Necali Bilches, 8, came out to Qualcomm Stadium to express is support for the Chargers. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams each submitted applications Monday to move to the Los Angeles area beginning with the 2016 season, the NFL announced.

Each team submitted the appropriate documentation in support of its application as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations, according to the league.

The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday — the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees.

The applications will be presented for consideration at the league meeting in Houston Jan. 12-13. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs, 24 of 32.

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.

“There is no certainty on anything,” Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos said in a three-minute, 44-second video posted on the team’s website.

“As I sit here, this is a very fluid situation. You read all this stuff in the paper and everybody is tallying votes, but nobody knows anything for sure.  But as we’ve said all along, whatever the decision of the owners is, we will abide by.”

According to 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 will be built.

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.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the Chargers applying to move “isn’t a surprise, but it’s still disappointing for generations of San Diego Chargers fans.”

“Our city is the rightful home to the Bolts,” Faulconer said. “We believe 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. 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.”

The decision to seek approval to move “has nothing to do with the fans,” Spanos said.

“They have been great and they’ve been supportive,” Spanos said. “It’s really been the inability of the city at the political level to get any kind of public funding or any kind of a vote to help subsidize a stadium.

“This current process that’s proposed by the mayor, it runs past the time frames where you need to have an answer. It really puts the burden on the team if you are not successful in having a positive vote.

“It’s not because you didn’t try, but at the end of the day there may not be, and probably most likely would not be, an alternative for the team.”

If a move to Los Angeles is rejected the Chargers will “be here for the next year for sure,” Spanos said.

“We’ll look at all the possibilities obviously with the city, and see what our alternatives could be,” Spanos said.

–City News Service

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