After all these years of hearing about the Chargers possibly moving to Los Angeles, the big week is finally here. By Sunday, we’ll know once and for all if Dean Spanos is packing the moving vans and heading up the City of Angels. Unless we don’t.
While several reporters continue to float the possibility of more time for the Chargers to work on a stadium solution in San Diego, the team has yet to ask for an extension beyond the January 15th deadline. That could be semantics, though.
An extension may turn out to be unnecessary if the NFL fast-tracks the Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas. The Chargers could keep on playing with a friendly lease at Qualcomm Stadium while continuing to look for additional money from the NFL, the city, the county, SDSU, or anyone else they can think of to make a new stadium in San Diego financially appealing.
Still, the Chargers staying in San Diego is far from guaranteed. ESPN’s Jim Trotter joined me in-studio on Valley View Casino & Hotel Sports Xtra, and doubled down on his tweet from last month, saying he’d still be shocked if the Chargers didn’t end up in L.A.
The well-connected Trotter has spoken to influential NFL owners, and says there’s “no appetite” to float more money to Dean Spanos for a stadium solution in San Diego. They’re just as likely to push the Chargers up the 5 freeway as they are to assist the team’s efforts to stay.
Here’s what I expect to happen this week:
NFL owners on the stadium and finance committees will meet in New York on Wednesday. I’m told Dean Spanos and the Chargers won’t be attending that meeting. Spanos isn’t on either of the committees, and the focus will be on the Raiders and their proposed stadium in Las Vegas.
However, there’s a good chance NFL owners will clear the way for a Raiders move to Las Vegas, eliminating the urgency for the Chargers to claim their spot in Los Angeles, or risk losing it to the Silver & Black.
It will then be time for Dean Spanos to tell everyone what he’s going to do. There’s an unspoken rule in the NFL that major announcements shouldn’t draw attention away from playoff games, so expect news to come before Saturday, when the divisional round begins.
I’m told that the remaining members of the Chargers coaching staff (many were still under contract when Mike McCoy was fired) aren’t expected to return to Chargers Park until Thursday. That gives Dean Spanos a 2-day window to make his decision and gather his employees, who are understandably anxious about the possibility of uprooting their lives in San Diego and moving north.
As soon as that meeting takes place, I’ll be looking for an official news release from the Chargers, because they know any decision will leak to the media within moments of Dean Spanos telling his employees at Chargers Park.
So make sure your 10News mobile app alerts are on this week – because big news could be coming at any moment.