Update, 5:50 p.m.: The Chargers will play in San Diego for the 2016 season, according to a statement from owner Dean Spanos. The Chargers have until Jan 26, 2017, to exercise their option to move to Los Angeles.
Our original post is below.
When the NFL approved the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles, they gave the Chargers a one-year option to make the move too. Depending on when—or if—owner Dean Spanos exercises it, the Chargers could be in L.A. in 2016, or 2017, or never. It looks like you can bank on sooner rather than later.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Rams and Chargers have agreed in principle on a plan to share Stan Kroenke’s future Inglewood stadium.
There are no details yet, but a report in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times indicates that the parameters of the deal have been in place for a while, and haven’t changed. The deal, brokered by the NFL, would make the Chargers tenants in the stadium, rather than full partners with Kroenke and the Rams. This probably would have been the case in the hearts and minds of fans anyway, but this arrangement would make it official: the Chargers would be L.A.’s secondary football team.
Nothing’s set yet—this is just a handshake stadium deal, entirely separate from the Chargers’ decision to utilize their option to relocate. That could come any time within the next year, though the Union-Trib reports an announcement is expected soon. If they want to be in L.A. for next season, the team would have to exercise that option by March 23.
The only hope for Chargers fans is not particularly palatable: that Spanos is using this stadium deal to gain more leverage to force San Diego to build him a new stadium and take on a significant portion of the cost. The city has shown no inclination to do so thus far. Nothing’s official, but the smart money is on the 2016 Los Angeles Chargers.