By: Casey Sudzina, @CaseySudzina
We have heard all the back and forth buzz about the now LA Rams moving to LA from St. Louis. Finally, the team has moved and they are currently playing in USC’s Coliseum while they await the building of their new stadium. The new multibillion-dollar stadium, $2.6 billion to be exact, is going to be state of the art, and it is estimated to be finished in 3-4 years, by the 2019 season. The LA citizen tax dollars are partially paying for the new stadium, and the community supports it. The organization seems to be optimistic about its future in Los Angeles, and they could have a really good thing going.
BUT WAIT… what if they were not the only football team in Los Angeles?
Another team could certainly throw a wrench into things, especially if that team already has a semi-local fan base in California. What team could that be you ask? None other but the San Diego Chargers.
It is no secret the Chargers have been out of sorts as of recent, and their current stadium is very outdated. The owner, and the organization as a whole, needed to figure something out to keep the fan base happy, so they considered a new stadium. They are in need of a new state of the art stadium, and they proposed Measure C. Measure C is a $1.8 billion funding bill for their new stadium to be built in San Diego. The building of the stadium would cause a huge increase in taxes and more than $1 billion in bonds, so to no one’s surprise, it did not pass on the ballot.
It was put on the ballot this past week, and Chargers owner Dean Spanos explained it was shut down shortly after. The proposal needed a 2/3 support to pass, but it received far less than that.
As part of the NFL’s deal with the Rams moving to LA, the Chargers and the Raiders were both to be given the option to play in the new state of the art stadium. When I say state of the art, I am talking the world’s most expensive stadium, complete with a shopping center, hotels, and performance venue all built on 298 acres of land. The stadium will be the biggest in the NFL. The new stadium has already been a catalyst for new neighborhoods in the area. Now, it only makes sense that other teams can utilize this phenomenal space.
The Chargers wanted to try to stay in San Diego, but it looks like the move to LA is becoming very realistic. If the Chargers make the move next year, they will play at the L.A. Coliseum until the stadium is finished as well. The coliseum was built in 1923[PYCC1] , and the Rams are already having issues with outdated concessions and restrooms, so this could become a large issue. The city may have to put some money into the coliseum if this is to be the case. Sounds like USC will luck out a little with this deal, not to mention the money the university is probably already raking in from sharing their stadium. Once the teams are both in the new stadium, there is a territory-sharing clause. The LA Rams are based in Ventura County, and the new team will be based out of Orange County, an agreement that has been previously spoken about between the Rams, the Chargers, and the NFL.
Spanos has explained it is too early to give an answer as to what is next for the Chargers, but many reports have speculated LA is the best future option. Spanos explains they need time to weigh their options, and a decision will be released after the 2016 season. However, in the deal with the NFL about the stadium sharing, the contract gives the Chargers until January 15, 2016 to make a decision as to whether they want in on the stadium sharing. After that, the option is offered to the Raiders.
If I were a betting woman, I would put money that we will hear of a decision relatively soon and definitely before that January date. It will be exciting to see how the Chargers respond to this moving forward. More importantly, it will be extremely exciting to see how the city of LA responds to being a shared fan base and how the two teams compete for fans with one another.