Goodell Says Stadium Solution Needed If NFL To Return To San Diego
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that a stadium solution will need to be found if a team is to move to San Diego in the future.
Goodell made his remarks during his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference in Houston, about three weeks after the Chargers announced they would move to Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders' plans to move to Las Vegas were dealt a blow when casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and investment firm Goldman Sachs backed out of a partnership with team owner Mark Davis — raising speculation that Davis might turn his sights to San Diego.
It was also reported that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer contacted the NFL to let league officials know the city would be interested.
"I think for any team to relocate to San Diego at this point in time, we're going to have to find a solution to that stadium problem," Goodell said.
He noted that Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos spent 15 years trying to get a new stadium built in San Diego before deciding to move after 56 years in town.
"That doesn't mean it can't happen in the future and, in fact, there's a history of markets that get these projects done once a team leaves," Goodell said. "That's unfortunate, I think it's a painful way to do it, but this is something we obviously would work toward, but we're moving forward at this time."
He said the NFL offered an extra $100 million toward construction costs in San Diego, on top of the normal $200 million league contribution, and gave Spanos an entire year to try to forge a stadium agreement.
"It's hard on our fans, we understand that," Goodell said. "It's not the outcome we were hoping for. We hoped for an outcome that would keep the Chargers there for another 50 years."
He said the parties involved in the stadium issue needed to find a solution that would work for the community and the team so they could benefit in the long term.
"We weren't able to do that," Goodell said. "I think it's something that's a collective disappointment and a collective responsibility on all of us, and we have to work harder to avoid these things from happening in the future."
While the Raiders' plans to move to Las Vegas ran into obstacles, they're not entirely dead. The Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted the chairman of that city's stadium authority as saying he would continue to work with the Raiders to build a facility the NFL team would share with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas' football program.