To understand the twists and turns of the Chargers stadium saga, there’s really just one truth you need to know.
The Chargers will do whatever it takes to avoid their nightmare scenario – being stuck at Qualcomm Stadium indefinitely, with no stadium plan in San Diego, and no fallback option in Los Angeles.
That’s it. And that’s why the next few days are so important in this drama. If January 15 passes without the Chargers moving to Los Angeles, that option passes to the Oakland Raiders.
Now, it appears as though the Raiders aren’t interested in Los Angeles at the moment. Owner Mark Davis is charging ahead with his plan to move the Raiders to a new stadium in Las Vegas. But there’s still no guarantee that his fellow owners will approve a relocation to Vegas, and that’s clearly a problem for Dean Spanos.
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If Vegas falls apart for any reason after January 15, the Raiders can swoop in and take the L.A. option, leaving the Chargers stuck in a crumbling stadium in San Diego with no leverage.
All of a sudden, though, a plan could be in the works to preserve that L.A. option for the Chargers while continuing to work toward a new stadium in San Diego.
Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune continued a string of solid scoops this week with a new development. NFL owners on the league’s stadium and finance committees are now scheduled to meet next Wednesday in Manhattan. The stadium situations of the Chargers and Raiders are expected to be the main order of business.
That prompted more speculation later in the day from a pair of writers who have covered this story extensively:
— Vincent Bonsignore (@DailyNewsVinny) January 4, 2017
Source said #Raiders and Sheldon Adelson have made significant progress toward a deal to move team to Las Vegas.
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeBR) January 4, 2017
From here, it doesn’t take much to connect the dots. The Raiders are getting closer to turning Las Vegas into a done deal. If NFL owners feel comfortable that Mark Davis will be okay, they can start working on a plan to help Dean Spanos, possibly with more time and maybe even more money to make a stadium solution in San Diego possible.
Signs are certainly pointing toward the Chargers remaining in San Diego – at least for two more years until another stadium measure can go before voters in November of 2018.
But don’t celebrate yet. There’s a lot that can still go wrong, ranging from a snag for the Raiders in Las Vegas, opposition to additional time or funding from other powerful NFL owners, or simply Dean Spanos giving up hope in San Diego.
Either way, CHARGERS WATCH continues.