As the Chargers execute a win-win, guilt-cleansing strategy aimed at getting them the stadium they want in San Diego or Los Angeles, the NFL has reminded the powers-that-be in San Diego of the contribution the NFL is willing to make to get a stadium built in the team’s home since 1961.
“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,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement posted at the team’s official website. “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.”
On top of the $300 million is the $550 million relocation fee the Chargers would avoid if they don’t move. Which would go a long way toward building a stadium, if Spanos would be willing to divert that money to building his own place.
But Spanos apparently isn’t inclined to spend all of the money he’d spend on a relocation on a stadium in San Diego. The question then is whether San Diego can move quickly enough to get a stadium deal in place before January 15, 2017. Last month, San Diego made a proposal that, if approved by voters and if successfully defended against any legal challenges, would add $350 million to the pot.
In the past, the Chargers have taken the position that all legal and political hurdles can’t be cleared so quickly, which makes this look a lot more like an effort to ensure that, if the Chargers move, the Chargers will be able to shift the blame away from themselves.