NFL owners’ committee reviews Chargers’ relocation application
SAN DIEGO — Three committees of NFL owners will begin two days of meetings in New York City Wednesday to evaluate the applications by the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams to move to the Los Angeles area.
The applications will be reviewed by the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees, according to the league.
The applications will be presented for consideration at the league meeting in Houston next Tuesday and Wednesday. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the 32 NFL clubs.
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.
According to Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos, his fellow owners could approve either the Carson or Inglewood sites “and it could be that neither site is approved.”
At most, two teams will be allowed to move to Los Angeles and only one stadium be built.
A document produced by the Rams supporting their application to return to the region they played in from 1946-94 says their “Inglewood project presents the league and all the member clubs with the best opportunity for successful long-term operations in Los Angeles.”
The document cites the NFL’s previous approval of the Inglewood site for an NFL stadium; Rams’ ownership purchase of approximately 300 acres for the stadium and additional development to house NFL Network studios and to build an entertainment district; and surveys of NFL fans in Los Angeles showing greater demand for the return of the Rams than any other team.
All three teams filed applications to move on Monday.
In a three-minute, 44-second video posted on the team’s website, Spanos called filing for relocation, “probably the single most difficult decision that I have ever made, and our family has ever made, in business.”
“It’s been 14 years that we’ve been working very hard to try and get something done here,” Spanos said, referring to efforts to build a new stadium to replace Qualcomm Stadium, the team’s home since 1967. “We’ve had nine different proposals that we’ve made, and all of them were basically rejected by the city.”
Spanos’ claim of making nine stadium proposals has drawn questions from longtime observers of the team, which has played in San Diego since 1961.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said “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,” Faulconer said. “The more San Diego has done the less engaged the Chargers have become. San Diegans deserve better.”
Spanos said Kroenke’s proposal to build a stadium in Inglewood was “the catalyst” in the Chargers seeking to move.
“This was a move to protect our business more than anything,” Spanos said.
“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.”