San Diego stadium vote fails; Chargers likely to move to Los Angeles
The NFL returned to Los Angeles when the Rams moved to Southern California earlier this year.
The Rams might get some company soon.
Measure C, a $1.8 billion stadium funding bill on Tuesday's ballot in San Diego, appears destined to fail, pulling well less than the two-thirds margin required for passage.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos admitted that the measure had lost in an early-morning statement Wednesday.
The failure of Measure C, which would have increased hotel taxes and issued more than $1 billion in bonds to pay for a new Chargers' stadium in San Diego, likely means the Chargers will announce a move to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
As part of the NFL's agreement to move the Rams to Los Angeles, the Chargers have the option to join the Rams in their new stadium in Inglewood, which is currently being built. The Chargers and the Rams have worked out a stadium-sharing agreement and local-market territory deal for such a move – the Chargers will be based in Orange County, should they move, the Rams in Ventura County — last January.
The groundwork for the move has been laid, but under the current agreement, the Chargers will have to decide if they're going to stay in San Diego or go north before Jan. 15 — otherwise the Raiders will receive the option to move to L.A.
Reports out of San Diego indicate that the Chargers, predicting the outcome of Tuesday's vote, have long felt a move to Los Angeles is inevitable.
Should they make the move, Chargers would likely play at the L.A. Coliseum in 2017 and 2018 before the Rams' new stadium is completed for the 2019 season.
"In terms of what comes next for the Chargers, it’s just too early to give you an answer," Spanos said in a statement. "We are going to diligently explore and weigh our options, and do what is needed to maintain our options, but no decision will be announced until after the football season concludes and no decision will be made in haste."