NFL commissioner: Keeping Chargers in San Diego is priority


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at the Moscone Center West on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

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SAN DIEGO — National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that keeping the Chargers in San Diego is a priority, and the league will do what it can to help build a new stadium for the team.

Speaking at his annual Super Bowl news conference, Goodell said neither San Diego nor Oakland has the “right kind of facilities” for the Chargers or Raiders, respectively.

A plan by the two teams to jointly build a stadium in Carson, in Los Angeles County, was rejected last month by NFL owners, who approved a request by the Rams to move to Los Angeles and build a playing facility in Inglewood.

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos was granted one year to decide if he wants his team to become the second one in the future stadium, at the site of the old Hollywood Park. Spanos has a tentative deal with Rams owner Stan Kroenke on sharing the facility, but announced he wanted to make a last bid to stay in San Diego.

“My pledge to Dean Spanos, to (Raiders owner) Mark Davis, to the mayor of Oakland and the mayor of San Diego is to do everything possible we can to support them, to try to get the right kind of facilities long term in both of those markets,” Goodell said.

“I think it’s great that Dean Spanos and his family said `we want to make this work in San Diego,”’ Goodell said. “They have an incredibly attractive option in Los Angeles, but they decided they’re going to try to go and make this work in San Diego, and we’ll do everything we can to support that.”

The commissioner said that any deal for the Chargers and Raiders to remain in their current cities will have to work for both the teams and communities.

As part of the deal reached by team owners last month, the NFL will chip in an extra $100 million toward stadium construction costs in San Diego and Oakland, on top of the $200 million the league already pledges for such projects.

Spanos met with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and county Supervisor Ron Roberts last week to inform them the Chargers would stay for the 2016 season. Mayoral spokesman Craig Gustafson said another meeting is likely next week.

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