It’s well known that the NFL wants to bring a team back to Los Angeles. They have the investors and the plans – they just need a team.
Leading up to the 2013 season, the far-and-away favorite has been the San Diego Chargers as they’ve fought for more than ten years to come to an agreement for a new stadium. They’ve yet to be given the time of day on the issues, and many had them already penciled in to land in the new market.
But according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times, the Chargers aren’t bolting (pun intended) yet.
The Chargers have informed San Diego Mayor Bob Filner the team will not be exercising its right to leave the city in 2013 and will not be applying to relocate to Los Angeles next season, The Times has learned.
Filner announced the Chargers’ decision in a speech Tuesday night.
The development is not a guarantee that there will be no NFL in L.A. next season — although there has been no recent movement on that front — nor is it a guarantee the Chargers will never relocate. They have to make the same decision whether to stay next season, and each year after unless there’s a change in their lease terms.
What it does mean is the Chargers will not be playing in L.A. in the fall. If a team were to relocate to L.A., it would play in the Rose Bowl or Coliseum while a stadium was constructed downtown, in City of Industry, or potentially elsewhere (if another candidate arises).
At the moment, L.A. is a back-burner issue for the league, and probably will continue to be at least until there’s some resolution to the AEG sale.
The Chargers for years have sought venue solutions in the San Diego area, an alternative to the aging Qualcomm Stadium.
The Chargers are heading in a new direction, wanting to get the issue resolved. They haven’t had any luck with ticket sales over the years. Whether that’s from the lack of game-day experience and stadium situation, or the underachieving team they’ve had to market, they look to get back on track with a new front office and head coach.
Other teams mentioned in the possible move to L.A. are teams that have been there before. The Raiders and the Rams. The owners of both clubs have been spotted at meetings involving the L.A. market. They could be there as part of a committee, or listening to offers laid on the table. Nothing concrete has come out of the talks, but the NFL will continue to reel in a team.
We’ll have a team in L.A. this weekend at a conference where they’ll be discussing the future of the NFL in the city, if we hear anything groundbreaking, we’ll let you know!
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Down and Distance Editor-in-Chief – Justin Arbogast @NFLGuy_SK
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