NFL extends deadline for Chargers to make looming Los Angeles decision
The clock is ticking on the Chargers' relocation decision
The NFL has decided to give the Chargers 48 extra hours to decide if they want to stay in San Diego or move to Los Angeles.
That was the biggest piece of Chargers-related news to come out of the meeting of the league's stadium and finance committees that was held on Wednesday at NFL headquarters in New York City.
The Chargers had originally been given a deadline of Jan. 15, 2017 to make a relocation decision. However, the NFL didn't want the team's decision to interfere with Sunday's playoff games or with Martin Luther King Day on Monday, so the Chargers' deadline has now been extended until Tuesday, Jan. 17 (the Chargers could theoretically take all day Tuesday to make a decision, making the actual deadline midnight on Wednesday).
As for what's going to happen, that's still up in the air. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported multiple times over the past few months that the Chargers feel that they have no choice but to move to Los Angeles due to the tenuous stadium situation in San Diego.
La Canfora has also reported that the NFL would rather have the Chargers in San Diego, even if owner Dean Spanos thinks he has a better chance of financially succeeding in L.A. On Tuesday, La Canfora reported the league office and several owners have "grave concerns about the potential of having two teams" in L.A.
With Spanos leaning toward L.A., there was a belief that the NFL might chip in some extra money on a potential stadium in San Diego or offer the team a subsidy to keep the Chargers in that city.
If the Chargers were going to get an offer from the league, it would've likely come on Wednesday, but that didn't happen.
According to Steelers owner Art Rooney II, the subject of offering the Chargers more money was never even broached at Wednesday's meeting.
"We're not in discussions on anything else besides what's been on the table," Rooney said, via the Los Angeles Times. "Dean's got a decision to make here. We know there's been discussions with the public sector, and I don't want to speculate on whether he's ready to make a decision."
Cowboys general manager Stephen Jones said that the league's ownership is trying to "work through" the situation in San Diego.
"It's just a tough stadium situation right now that everybody is trying to work through," Jones said, via the Times. "I know it's agonizing for Dean and the Spanos family, and obviously a tough situation for them."
Jones also added that he views San Diego as a "great market."
With Spanos leaning toward L.A., and the league wanting to keep the Chargers in San Diego, it looks like the NFL is going to have to entice Spanos to stay if they don't want two teams in Los Angeles.
If the NFL is willing to kick in some more money, it's possible a deal could get done. Although the Chargers stadium referendum was voted down handily in November with just 43 percent of voters supporting the measure -- it needed 66 percent to pass -- there's still hope.
The city has put together a plan that includes a $375 million contribution from a combination of entities that include the city of San Diego, San Diego County and San Diego State University, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
If you combined that money with the $300 million that the NFL has already pledged toward a San Diego stadium, and the $350 million pledged by the Chargers, that leaves a gap of roughly $150 million that would still be needed to build the stadium. If the NFL were willing to commit to that final $150 million, it's possible a stadium deal could get done in San Diego.
If that doesn't happen though, the Chargers will likely move to L.A., and an announcement of that decision could come at any time up until the deadline. The NFL could be facing a disaster scenario of two unsuccessful teams turning the L.A. market away from NFL football.
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