Poor performance of stadium measure leaves Chargers with no good options

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The Chargers currently don’t have a viable stadium option in San Diego, a reality underscored by the inability of the ballot measure to get at least 50 percent of the vote. So what comes next?

At this point, no one knows. Chargers owner Dean Spanos has said in a statement that the issue won’t be addressed until after the season. If that happens, it will leave the Chargers with only two weeks to negotiate to conclusion an agreement to relocate to Los Angeles as a tenant or partner in Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s new stadium in Inglewood. Unless the Chargers plan to discreetly trade terms with Kroenke over the balance of the season, the Chargers and Rams won’t have much time to work out a complicated, delicate, long-term arrangement to share not just a stadium but a market that may not be thrilled about the prospect of supporting two NFL franchises.

Meanwhile, Kroenke would have plenty of leverage in that two-week window, driving a harder bargain possibly aimed at keeping the market to himself.  Absent a league-encouraged agreement to give the Chargers another year to finalize the deal (and then another year after that, and then maybe another), it could be very difficult for the Chargers and Rams to strike such an important agreement by January 15.

Barring some other viable relocation destination (and there really isn’t one, unless the Raiders can’t finalize a deal to move to Las Vegas), the Chargers will have to find a solution in San Diego. The combination of the law requiring a two-thirds supermajority and an electorate that was unwilling to even get the team to 50-50-plus-one makes the prospect of public money a long shot.

The prospect of the Chargers making another run at a taxpayer-funded project hinges first on the California Supreme Court deciding in an unrelated case to drop the threshold from 66.6 percent to a simple majority. If that happens, the next question becomes picking the right year for another run at the votes necessary to get to a simple majority. The local thinking is that the best chance to getting to 50-percent comes during a high-turnout election. Which means the next presidential election in 2020 would be the most likely target.

Coincidentally, the Chargers’ lease runs through 2020. Which means that they have the luxury of time — if, that is, their window to move to Los Angeles somehow can be extended.

Thus, the best prediction at this point is that, barring an agreement by January 15 to leave for L.A., the Chargers will wait for the Supreme Court ruling and, if it’s favorable, plan a stadium push in 2020. The key will be to kick the can on the Kroenkeworld scenario, allowing the Chargers to bolt for L.A. as late as 2021, if a last-ditch effort to build a new stadium with free cash from the government in 2020 fails.

Here’s the challenge if the Chargers become a year-to-year proposition in San Diego: Fans will have a hard time remaining engaged with a team that may decide after any given year to leave. Although it was believed before the failed vote that the Chargers ultimately would not leave, the poor performance of the ballot measure could be the catalyst for an abrupt and sudden decision in that two-week window in early January to pack up and leave.

47 responses to “Poor performance of stadium measure leaves Chargers with no good options

  1. Why focus solely on LA? Seems like lazy journalism to me. San Antonio has been mentioned in years past as a place an NFL team could thrive. Memphis, TN is another. Outside of those two cities; Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, UT are potential cities. 3 of those 4 mentioned are places where the NFL wouldn’t have to consider realigning divisions. There are other options besides LA, people.

  2. Sure hope SD doesn’t lose their team, but, well done voters!!!!
    NFL can build their own damned stadiums.

  3. The deal was already worked out when the Rams got LA. The Chargers would pay $1 per year in rent and keep all revenue generated from Chargers games, including game day advertising. Where do you think the Jan 15th date came from? THOSE SAME NEGOTIATIONS!!

    Do you really need readers to do your work for you?

  4. So, LA, a town that couldn’t keep an NFL team 20+ years ago now might have 2 playing in the same stadium? And someone thinks that’s a good idea?

    I have a solution.

    Spanos, man the f*** up, pay for the stadium without public assistance and quit trying to screw the SD residents. It can be done, give Bob Kraft a call if you need help.

    Giving billion dollar bailouts to billionaires legitimately makes my head hurt.

  5. Good for you tax payers of SD. Stand up to greed and reckless spending bordering on misappropriation of tax payer funds.

    End big business welfare, now.

  6. The Chargers aren’t moving to St. Louis. The State of Missouri will never allocate money for a new stadium since it’s paying $12 million a year for the next five years for the former Edward Jones Dome. Besides, the Mississippi River is not the Pacific Ocean for Spanos.

  7. Chargers Organization here is a hint you should of got on the election results. You want a new stadium, just pay for it your selves. Take out a business loan from the NFL and expand your brand yourself. Robert Kraft did it.

  8. I guess blue states who tax everything else don’t believe in economic development…. Chargers find a friendly “red ” state and move on…..

  9. As a property owner on Coronado, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, glad the vote failed. For those that amuse themselves in the know? This vote was doomed before it hit the ballot.

    Chargers would never move to LA either. It would. E a massive fail. The Chargers and Dean Spanos have been also rans since their inception. May I suggest anywhere but Southern California because outside of the media hoopla? We, the property owners, simply do not care or are a little smarter then the people of St Louis who were financially raped to get a football team

  10. The stadium measure was defeated not by ‘Charger haters’, but by it’s hastily thrown together language. And onerous questions. Yea, lets get the tourists to pay for it. Great. But to cobb it together with the convention center, in an already dense downtown, left many voters wondering what to do with 60k or so vehicles.
    No Tailgating!?Nothing gets done quickly, or cheaply, in southern California, and the environmental and permit process daunted many. Downtown just seemed like such a…departure from it’s present, central site. It’s in need cleaning up, and rebuilding. But MUCH more central and accessible. On a lighter note…there won’t be so many of those pesky plastic bags carried by the breezes!

  11. The “only two weeks to negotiate a conclusion” is bogus. Whatever is decided has already been decided, despite any “owner rules” about behind the scenes negotiating. The sports talk focus here is now “so the citizens don’t mind the Chargers moving to L.A.” Oh? That’s going to happen? You know this for sure?

    Then again, San Diego sports reporters are lap dogs for Dean Spanos and whoever else is giving them free donuts.

  12. Raiders to Las Vegas and the Chargers can have a choice between sharing the Rams stadium or sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers. It’s very simple.

  13. The Chargers can move to Los Angeles. They made a deal with Kroenke last year. STL and San Antonio are also options. It was really dumb of San Diego to vote against the stadium plan. The economic potential for the new stadium was awesome.

    If the Raiders don’t move to Las Vegas, Vegas would be an option. But it is almost certain the Raiders will go to the desert.

  14. It could be worse, you could be the Cleveland Browns. 1 double digit winning record since they came back to Cleveland. And why do the citizens have to pay for places that Millionaires or Billionaires play a game? Without the fans this monopoly would fold.

  15. Problem with the stadium vote was the Chargers weren’t flexible on location. they refuse to use Mission Valley where Qualcomm is. Most don’t want a stadium where their proposal was for.

  16. Suck it up and spend some cash improving the stadium you play in now. Or move to St. Louis. Or find a team like the Cowboys with a shiny stadium they’d like to rent out for 8 games a year. NOT that complicated. When you have the cash, build a stadium.

  17. Here’s the thing. It’s always been about money with Spanos……and it always will be. They’ll cash in big when they sell the team to a new billionaire who’s got the dough to build a stadium by him or her self. There’s no upside to moving because of the costs and inherent risks.Under Kroenke the VALUE of the Chargers would decrease. They’ll keep playing at Qualcomm. How much money does Spanos make from a Superbowl in San Diego? Nada. There is “0” upside for Spanos to move. He just wants other peoples money to build his stadium. Californians are being taxed out of their minds! Talk about corruption! California can’t tax the citizens enough. Now when an out of state car is driving in California, the CHP gets their license plate number, traces it to their home and sends them a”cordial’ but threatening letter to register the car in CA so they can get more money. California is tax and spend country. How does anybody raise a family in that environment? No wonder the proposition failed.

  18. You cannot seriously assert that there are no viable options anymore for the Chargers besides LA following the conclusion of this debacle of a measure. San Antonio would be an excellent choice for Spanos and his franchise. The Alamodome could be made ready for the Chargers in a heartbeat. It holds 72,000 for football and, voters in SA would gladly support a measure to fund a new Dome down the road. If Spanos is seeking a home that will embrace his team and support it through thick and thin, then San Antonio’s the place. And it is certainly deserving of an NFL team.

  19. Here’s what they SHOULD do. Give a call to Bob Kraft, and ask him how he managed to build his own stadium without any public money. THEN they should figure out a way to put the financing together. If they have trouble let the other owners and the NFL lend them some money.

    BOTTOM LINE: the public financing of these welfare programs for billionaires has to end today.

  20. If Spanos does come here to LA, he is going to find a big problem. Raider and Rams fans not giving screw about them. Only way they might fit in is if they rebrand, leave the name colors and bolts in SD. Start fresh, like the Titans and Ravens did. Don’t be like Indy, Az and St Louis, pretending to be a team you no longer aren’t. Ruining players legacies. So weird when they try and honor Colts from Baltimore in Indy, worst was seeing Dickerson, and the Fearsome Foursome being honored in a city they had no link too in St Louis.

  21. glac1 says:
    Nov 9, 2016 5:56 PM
    I guess blue states who tax everything else don’t believe in economic development…. Chargers find a friendly “red ” state and move on…..
    ==================================

    LOL, you just lost your own argument there. “Blue states” don’t want to give multibillionaires free public money for their workplace. If you suckers in “red states” are willing to give them the your hard earned income, then we bid adieu to the Raiders and Chargers. We in California are seeing an economic development boom in SF Bay Area, all over Southern California, and in San Diego. Huge developments and skyscrapers are being built all over downtown LA and not one of the buildings is using public taxpayer money (local or visitor).

  22. mdintino1420 says:
    “It was really dumb of San Diego to vote against the stadium plan. The economic potential for the new stadium was awesome.”
    That Kool-Aid is so old dude. NO one believes that nonsense anymore. Like has been argued many times, if the economic potential was “awesome,” or even a little profitable, the NFL and its teams would be in the stadium building business.

  23. Fact is a fact. The stadium bill failed because a majority of people in San Diego could care less about the Chargers. When the Broncos, Raiders, Packers, Steelers, Cardinals all come to town, there are more of their fans there than Charger fans. Get over it Spanos and build your own stadium. Then you can build up the product in San Diego. Until then the San Diego market,as a whole, could care less.

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