Chargers sound like they want to stay in San Diego, but still need stadium

The Chargers are hoping for a new stadium to keep them in San Diego. (USATSI)
The Chargers are hoping for a new stadium to keep them in San Diego. (USATSI)

Late last month, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos announced that the team was staying in San Diego for the 2016 season. And while the Chargers have an option to share a home with  the Los Angeles Rams beginning in 2017, Spanos maintained at the time that his "focus is on San Diego."

Put another way: The Chargers are going to need a new stadium to stay put.

The team has hired consultant Fred Maas to help get public assistance for a new stadium. And Spanos reiterated to the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee that staying in San Diego is the goal.

“Whatever we need to do, we’re going to do what we need to do to get this done,” Spanos said. “We’re trying as hard as we can. I can’t do it myself. It’s going to take the effort of the mayor; politically we need support. The business community needs to step up. I think once we have a definitive plan in place they’ll get behind us and support us. It has to economically make sense for the voters, and I think (the business community) will help make that case down the line and they’ll support us.”

Spanos also knows that the quickest way to convince people that a new stadium is worth the cost: Fielding a good team.

“Our product on the field will be helpful; 4-12 isn’t going to help much.”

Spanos also knows that San Diego will never be a "big-market team" but that's no excuse for not being competitive.

"We're never going to be in the top quartile [in revenue],” Spanos said. “We don’t expect it. Never have been. Just be competitive. We need to make enough in revenue to be competitive with the top teams ... That is why we have the salary cap. There is parity in the league. Just to be able to field as many good players as the high-end clubs.

"This league, the way it’s built, it really comes down to the expertise of your general manager, player personnel, coach. If you have those right, that’s where it’s really going to happen --- not because you have the most money. ... (Generating more revenue) gives you more to spend for a coach or coaching staff or different front office people you might want to acquire that you might not be able to otherwise because you don’t have enough revenue."

When Spanos announced the Chargers were staying put last month, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer released a statement saying, "We look forward to discussing [Spanos'] vision for a new San Diego home for the Chargers, and will be working with him and our negotiating team on a fair and viable plan to put before the voters."

Meanwhile, the Chargers have until Jan. 15, 2017, to decide if they will relocate to Los Angeles. If no decision is made by then, they will be out of the running altogether and the option to move to L.A. will be given to the Raiders.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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