Chargers officially file for relocation to LA

Posted at 7:42 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 11:16:17-05

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers have officially filed their application to relocate the franchise to the Los Angeles area.

In a video posted on the Chargers website Monday evening, team chairman Dean Spanos confirmed the filing.

"This has been, probably, the single-most difficult decision that I've ever made, my family's ever made, in business … I promise you it wasn't an easy decision to come to," he said.

Spanos added: "It's been 14 years. We've been working hard to try to get something done here. We've had nine different proposals that we've made that all were basically rejected by the city … Over 25 percent of our business comes from Riverside County, Orange County and the Los Angeles County area. Another team or teams going in there would have a huge impact on that. That's what really was the catalyst that got this whole thing going. When the Rams decided to make their move there, this was a move to protect our business, more than anything."

Asked about the city of San Diego, Spanos said:

"We have never wanted to leave. Why would you want to leave San Diego? It's a great city with great people. This decision to file has nothing to do with the fans; the fans have been great, they've been supportive. It's really been the inability of the city at the political level to get any kind of public funding or any kind of a vote to subsidize a stadium.

"This current process that's proposed by the mayor, it just runs past the timeframes where you need to have an answer and it really puts the burden on the team; if you're not successful in having a positive vote, it's not because you didn't try, but at the end of the day, there may be, and probably most likely would not be an alternative for the team."

"This is a very fluid situation … whatever the decision of the owners is, we will abide by," Spanos said.

If the Chargers are not selected to move by the NFL, Spanos said, "We'll be here for the next year, for sure. We'll look at all the possibilities, obviously with the city, and see what our alternatives could be."

The Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams also submitted applications Monday. Each team submitted the appropriate documentation in support of its application as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations, according to the league.
The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday – the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees.
The applications will be presented for consideration at the league meeting in Houston Jan. 12-13. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs, 24 of 32.
The Chargers and Raiders have proposed a joint stadium in Carson, while Rams owner Stan Kroenke is proposing a stadium for his team at the former Hollywood Park racetrack location in Inglewood.
 San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the Chargers applying to move “isn't a surprise, but it's still disappointing for generations of San Diego Chargers fans."
"Our city is the rightful home to the Bolts," Faulconer said. "We believe the viable stadium plan we've presented to the NFL should be cause for keeping the Chargers in their hometown.
"San Diego developed a fair stadium proposal and a plan to hold a special election by the NFL's deadline, but the Chargers' owner walked away from the table. The more San Diego has done the less engaged the Chargers have become. San Diegans deserve better."
The team's official statement on the relocation filing:

Today the San Diego Chargers submitted to the National Football League the team's application to relocate to Los Angeles.

We have tried for more than 14 years, through nine separate proposals and seven different mayors, to create a world-class stadium experience for fans in San Diego. Despite these efforts, there is still no certain, actionable solution to the stadium problem. We are sad to have reached this point.

What happens next is in the hands of the NFL's owners, who will meet in Houston on January 12-13. The Chargers have pledged from the outset to respect whatever decision the League ownership makes.