A number of NFL owners will reportedly meet in New York City on Wednesday as part of the league’s stadium and finance committees. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, owners in attendance will attempt to finalise a last-minute pitch to prevent the San Diego Chargers from joining the Rams in Los Angeles.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos has until Monday to decide whether to relocate his team up the California coast.
Because of the Rams’ disappointing first season in LA, which featured poor attendance and uninspiring TV ratings, La Canfora reports that NFL owners are worried about having a second team in the same market.
“The Rams have had a rough first season in Los Angeles and are already engaged in a coaching search, and the ratings in that market were not what some might have hoped for, as well. With both the Rams and Chargers rebuilding and searching for coaches, the timing is less than ideal for another team to join that market.”
As such, owners are likely to offer Spanos some sort of financial subsidy in order to improve the Chargers’ current stadium in San Diego. This would buy both parties time. That said, La Canfora reports that a potential economic incentive will not necessarily change Spanos’ mind:
“[S]ources said that any deal offered Spanos — such as money to upgrade the stadium in San Diego and remain in that market for a few years until another referendum vote on a new stadium deal could be held — would likely be less than optimal for the Chargers.”
Right now, Spanos is between a rock and a hard place. Numerous reports over the past year have said he would be less than pleased to join the Rams in L.A., as it would make him and his franchise tenants of Rams owner Stan Kroenke in the stadium he is building in Inglewood (set to open in 2019).
But in order to stay in San Diego, the Chargers need a new stadium and the Election-day initiative to fund that stadium publicly came nowhere close to passing.
According to La Canfora, the Chargers are expecting the NFL to make an economic pitch to keep the team in San Diego at some point this week. Spanos is not in New York City, and ultimately he has the final say over whether or not the Chargers move. He has until Monday. As of this publication, he has not requested to push back the relocation deadline.
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