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Chargers Fate Soon To Be Known

Two key National Football League committees are talking about the future of football in San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as the NFL's stadium and finance subcommittees are meeting in New York City. The committees won't make any binding decisions and Chargers officials are not expected to attend.

Photo credit: San Diego Chargers

An undated illustration of a proposed Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego.

Whether the Chargers will remain in San Diego could be discussed by football owners during a meeting in New York City on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the team has a deadline looming on Sunday that will go a long way toward determining where the Chargers end up playing in the future.

The NFL has approved a move to Los Angeles where the Chargers would share a new stadium with the Rams, but the team has to exercise that option by Sunday January 15th.

The Rams have already moved from St. Louis to LA, and the Oakland Raiders are widely expected to submit a petition to move to Las Vegas. The Raiders have the promise of $750 million in public funding for a state-of-the-art facility if they move to the nation's gambling capital.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks, San Diego city, county and San Diego State University officials have all met with team owner Dean Spanos.

County supervisor Ron Roberts said publicly that a regional funding plan for a new stadium was discussed, but all sides agree the plan doesn't generate enough money for a new stadium in San Diego.

The parties are waiting to hear whether the NFL is interested in contributing additional money to that effort. The league has already promised to add $300 million to a football stadium project.

The movement in the Chargers' long-running search for a new playing facility comes two months after the defeat of Measure C, which would have raised hotel room taxes to provide the public portion of the cost of building a downtown stadium. Because of the tax increase, the ballot measure required two-thirds approval to pass, but it failed to even get a simple majority.

The challenge for Spanos and local political leaders who want to keep the Chargers in town is to formulate a funding plan that doesn't involve tax increases, so a future vote would require only a simple majority, and to keep the public contribution at a moderate level that would be supported by at least half of the voters.

Another public vote on a San Diego stadium plan could take place next year, if incorporated into a scheduled election.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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