In a remarkable development, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have developed a plan in which they would partner to build and share a stadium south of Los Angeles.
According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, the clubs are proposing a $1.7 billion stadium on a 168-acre plot in Carson, California, which is 15-20 miles south of Los Angeles.
The stadium would be financed privately, the Times reported. The clubs have jointly purchased the land for a stadium site, the newspaper said.
Both the Chargers and Raiders are seeking new stadiums in their respective cities. And in a joint statement from the teams released Thursday night and posted on the Chargers’ website, the clubs pledged to “remain committed to continuing to work in our home markets throughout 2015 to try to find publicly acceptable solutions to the long-term stadium issue.”
Nevertheless, the Carson proposal very clearly turns up the pressure on San Diego and Oakland to step up to the plate.
The Los Angeles market has been without an NFL club since the Rams and Raiders departed after the 1994 season. However, earlier this year, Rams owner Stan Kroenke declared his intentions to build a stadium at the old Hollywood Park site in Inglewood, California.
Now, the Raiders and Chargers are playing the Los Angeles card, raising the stakes for their current home cities.
Below is the full text of the joint Raiders-Chargers statement released by the Chargers on Thursday night:
“We have both been working in our home markets to find a stadium solution for many years, so far unsuccessfully.
“We remain committed to continuing to work in our home markets throughout 2015 to try to find publicly acceptable solutions to the long-term stadium issue.
“We also both understand and respect the NFL’s relocation process, and we intend to adhere strictly to the relocation procedures that the League has set forth for Los Angeles.
“In particular, we respect the right of the NFL’s owners to decide on all Los Angeles-related relocation issues and understand that any relocation application that is filed for Los Angeles must obtain the approval of three-fourths of the NFL’s owners.
“Both teams have kept the NFL owners’ committee on Los Angeles, and the Commissioner, fully informed about our joint efforts.
“We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.
“In short, for the remainder of 2015, we intend to move down two tracks simultaneously:
“On track one, we will continue to work in our home markets to find permanent stadium solutions that are publicly acceptable.
“On track two, we will work in Carson to preserve our options, and the future economic viability of our franchises, in the event that our efforts in our local markets fail.
“Throughout this process we will respect the rules and procedures set forth by the League and defer completely to the ultimate decision of the NFL’s owners.”