CARSON (CBSLA.com) — The San Diego Chargers organization is preparing to file official relocation papers in January, paving the way for a possible move to Los Angeles.
The Chargers have been discussing a $1.7 billion joint-stadium proposal with the Oakland Raiders in Carson for months. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is also proposing a separate $1.8 billion football stadium in Inglewood.READ MORE: Día De Los Muertos Celebrations and Others Return To LA
But the Chargers had not confirmed until this weekend that they would file for relocation with the NFL at their first opportunity. The team’s counsel told KCAL9 on Sunday that the team plans to submit its application to the league in January.
“At this point… our intention is to file our relocation application in January,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said. “We feel [Carson] is a great site for the fans… it will be the best gameday experience in the NFL.”
“Without any action here in San Diego, we really don’t have a choice but to protect part of our market that’s in Los Angeles and Orange County. We’re going to have two other teams that are filing for relocation, so we can’t really afford to be sitting on the sidelines.”
The Chargers are also in talks with officials in San Diego about the possibility of building a stadium in downtown San Diego. The team currently plays in the outlying Mission Valley area, but has for years said it wants a downtown location.READ MORE: Sigma Nu Fraternity At USC Suspends Member At Center Of Sexual Assault Allegations
There are, of course, skeptics in Los Angeles who believe the team is talking about its Los Angeles plans as a bargaining chip with the city of San Diego.
But Fabiani said NFL fans have good reason to believe that a team is on the way.
“I know fans in Los Angeles are understandably skeptical, but this is a different time, because now you have two sites that are linked to three different teams that are fully entitled and ready to go,” he said. “We’re hopeful that things will move along as they have so far this year.”
The NFL is holding a public town hall meeting in San Diego on Wednesday to hear residents’ thoughts on the team’s plans.
Meanwhile, a group of San Diego citizens has proposed a ballot measure for June 2016 that would raise the city’s hotel bed tax, which could help finance a downtown San Diego football stadium and keep the Chargers in San Diego.MORE NEWS: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims