SAN DIEGO – The Chargers have informed San Diego Mayor Bob Filner the team will not be exercising its right to leave the city in 2013 and will not be applying to relocate to Los Angeles next season, The Times has learned.
Filner announced the Chargers’ decision in a speech Tuesday night.
The development is not a guarantee that there will be no NFL in L.A. next season — although there has been no recent movement on that front — nor is it a guarantee the Chargers will never relocate. They have to make the same decision whether to stay next season, and each year after unless there’s a change in their lease terms.
What it does mean is the Chargers will not be playing in L.A. in the fall. If a team were to relocate to L.A., it would play in the Rose Bowl or Coliseum while a stadium was constructed downtown, in City of Industry, or potentially elsewhere (if another candidate arises).
At the moment, L.A. is a back-burner issue for the league, and probably will continue to be at least until there’s some resolution to the AEG sale.
The Chargers for years have sought venue solutions in the San Diego area, an alternative to the aging Qualcomm Stadium.
Negotiated into the club’s lease is an out clause that allows the Chargers to negotiate with other cities — and relocate, if they choose — after each season without the threat of lawsuits by San Diego, as long as they pay off the existing bonds on their current home.
Said Mark Fabiani, Chargers special counsel: “For more than a decade the Chargers have done everything possible to find a stadium solution in San Diego, and we are going to continue to work hard in 2013 with the new mayor and City Council.”
———–Story by Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Farmer