Chargers now have until Tuesday to exercise option for L.A. move

ByEric Williams ESPN logo
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- In a move that protects the league from having a major announcement during a playoff weekend, the NFL extended the San Diego Chargers' deadline to exercise an option to move to Los Angeles from Sunday to Tuesday.

The news came after the NFL owners comprising the league's finance and stadium committees met in New York on Wednesday.

The extension was initiated by the NFL, not the Chargers, due to the fact that Jan. 15 fell on Sunday, and Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday.

The extension does not preclude the Chargers from announcing their intention to move the franchise to Los Angeles before then.

Also complicating matters is San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is scheduled to give his State of the City address on here Thursday evening.

So now the Chargers have until Tuesday to decide whether to move the team to Los Angeles, where the franchise was founded in 1960, or remain in San Diego, where it has played for the past 55 years.

In December, the Chargers announced that the team had entered into an agreement to lease land for a temporary training facility in Orange County, should the team exercise its option to move to Los Angeles.

The Chargers agreed to lease part of a Costa Mesa office campus, along with a nearby 3.2 acres for temporary offices and a practice facility. The land in Costa Mesa would serve as the initial location of the team's office headquarters and practice and training facilities.

Faulconer's last-ditch proposal to keep the team here was a projected $1.2 billion new stadium in Mission Valley, current site of Qualcomm Stadium, which included a potential $375 million in public contribution.

However, there remained a $175 million gap in funding after the NFL and Chargers contributed $650 million, and the Chargers had reservations that a vote for public funding would not pass in San Diego, along with potential environmental and legal entanglements at the Mission Valley site.

The Chargers received just 43 percent support in a November referendum on the team's $1.8 billion downtown stadium and convention center annex that proposed raising the city's hotel tax to help fund the project.