Chargers to stay in San Diego in 2012

The San Diego Chargers are staying put next season.

Owner Dean Spanos said Monday that the team will not exercise its right to move the NFL franchise for at least another year.

The Chargers want to allow more time for efforts to build a new downtown stadium. Spanos and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders say in a joint statement that they will work closely together to make that happen.

Sanders and Spanos issued the following statement Monday morning:

“The City of San Diego and the Chargers continue to work closely together to explore publicly acceptable ways to build a Super Bowl-quality stadium on the bus maintenance yard site in the East Village of downtown San Diego. To give this ongoing process every chance to succeed, the Chargers have announced that the team will not trigger the lease’s termination clause in 2012. Both the Mayor’s Office and the Chargers look forward to continuing their joint efforts to build a multi-use stadium that will benefit the entire region.”

Sanders leaves office at the end of this year due to term limits.

Each year through 2020, the Chargers can announce intentions to leave San Diego on condition they pay off bonds that were sold to expand Qualcomm Stadium in 1997.