With a deadline looming for Chargers chairman Dean Spanos to decide whether to remain in San Diego or move the team to Los Angeles, a pair of National Football League committees are scheduled to meet Wednesday in New York.
The outcome of the stadium and finance committee meetings could impact the directions taken by the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, who have been exploring a potential move to Las Vegas.
Spanos has until Sunday to decide whether to exercise an option — provided by his fellow NFL owners last year — to become the second team in Los Angeles along with the Rams. Media reports say preparations for a move are underway.
But Spanos could, however, be given extra time to work on a San Diego solution with city and county officials, and/or provided with extra money that would reduce the public’s share of the cost of construction of a new stadium to a level the public would consider palatable.
Numerous news reports over the past year or so have indicated that some NFL team owners are reluctant to abandon the San Diego market.
The movement in the Chargers’ long-running search for a new playing facility comes two months after the defeat of Measure C, which would have raised hotel room taxes to provide the public portion of the cost of building a downtown stadium. Because of the tax increase, the ballot measure required two- thirds approval to pass, but it failed to even get a simple majority.
The challenge for Spanos and local political leaders who want to keep the Chargers in town is to formulate a funding plan that doesn’t involve tax increases, so a future vote would require only a simple majority, and to keep the public contribution at a moderate level that would be supported by at least half of the voters.
Another public vote on a San Diego stadium plan could take place next year, if incorporated into a scheduled election.
Meanwhile, respected ESPN reporter Jim Trotter said on his Twitter account that a “Hail Mary is developing to keep the Chargers in SD at least two more years” and that the San Diego situation is believed to be “salvageable” by the league while Oakland’s is not.
Spanos is not scheduled to attend the committee meetings.
–City News Service
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