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Spanos: Chargers In San Diego For 2016, Undecided After That

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Associated Press

Dean Spanos talks on the field before an NFL pre-season football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys, Aug. 7, 2014.

The Chargers plan to stay in San Diego through the 2016 football season, but the team could still bolt to L.A. after that, team CEO and President Dean Spanos said Friday.

"We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego," Spanos said.

The NFL's owners voted 30-2 earlier this month to allow Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams, to move his team to the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood and build a stadium there. The NFL has given the Chargers an option to join them. If the team declines, the option would transfer to the Oakland Raiders.

Spanos said his long-term hope is to stay in San Diego. In his statement, which was posted to Twitter, he said:

"This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve. Everyone on both sides of the table in San Diego must now determine the best next steps and how to deploy the additional resources provided by the NFL."

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell also sweetened the deal for the Chargers if they stay in San Diego. Earlier this month, the league offered $100 million to the Chargers if they stayed put. On Friday, he said in a statement he would give the team $300 million.

"We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution. NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league’s full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal."

Spanos met with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego County Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts on Friday to discuss his decision to stay for the year. The two officials released the following joint statement after the meeting:

“We appreciate Mr. Spanos' commitment to staying in San Diego for the 2016 season to work with the region on a stadium solution. We look forward to discussing his vision for a new San Diego home for the Chargers, and will be working with him and our negotiating team on a fair and viable plan to put before voters. We have agreed to meet again in the near future.”

Faulconer has said the city and county prefer working with the Chargers to build a new stadium at the 166-acre, city-owned Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley but would consider a downtown stadium location.

The city and county have offered up to $350 million in public money for a new Chargers stadium. Faulconer has insisted, however, that there would have to be a public vote on the project.


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