Chargers' future won't be decided until after 2016 NFL season

By Ron Clements 9 November 2016
Chargers' future won't be decided until after 2016 NFL season

The San Diego Chargers are in a state of uncertainty after public funding for a new downtown stadium was overwhelmingly rejected by voters.

Tuesday's defeat of Proposition C, which would have raised hotel taxes and provided public money and land for a new stadium, was expected.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos now has until January 15 to decide what he plans to do with the NFL team. He could move it to Los Angeles to join the Rams or try to work something out in San Diego.

Spanos does not want to move the team, but he will not make any decisions until after the 2016 season, which will end on Januray 1. 

"Despite the fact that Measure C failed to receive a two-thirds majority, I wanted to reach out right away with a very sincere thank you for your loyal support as a fan and for considering our initiative," Spanos wrote in a letter to Chargers fans on Wednesday.

"There is much we can be proud of tonight: the 110,000 residents who qualified the measure in just six short weeks; the vocal and passionate support from our fan groups and corporate partners; the strong endorsements and hard work of numerous civic, business, and labour leaders; and the heartfelt efforts of our alumni and players.

"In terms of what comes next for the Chargers, it’s just too early to give you an answer. We are going to diligently explore and weigh our options, and do what is needed to maintain our options, but no decision will be announced until after the football season concludes and no decision will be made in haste.

"The outpouring of support from friends like you, and so many others, has been heart-warming throughout the campaign and I will continue to be mindful of that in the weeks ahead.

"Thank you, again, for believing in the Chargers.  Everyone on the team and in my family appreciates your loyal support and continued patience, and we look forward to an exciting rest of the season."

Spanos does not want to be a tenant of Rams owner Stan Kroenke at his new Inglewood stadium, which will open in 2019. It would also be cost-prohibitive to move the team north. 

Instead of a difficult move to Los Angeles or even downtown San Diego, Spanos may now focus on trying to keep the team in Mission Valley, near Qualcomm Stadium's current location.

He has previously been opposed to building a new stadium in Mission Valley, but it may now be on a shortlist of options in San Diego. Instead of paying a relocation fee upward of $600million, Spanos would rather use a sum that large to remain in "America's Finest City."

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