Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti isn’t openly rooting for the San Diego Chargers to move to his city, in fact he’s evidently just fine with one NFL franchise.
As a guest on ESPN Radio’s Capital Games podcast on Wednesday, Garcetti said he likes the idea of the Chargers staying put, less than a week after the NFL approved the Rams bid to move to Los Angeles.
"We'd welcome any team to come here, but I love the idea of a great rivalry to the south," Garcetti said Wednesday. "We wish them luck."
The Rams are already set to play the 2016 season in the Los Angeles Coliseum while their new Inglewood stadium site is constructed and scheduled to open in 2019. The Chargers, along with the Oakland Raiders, were also under consideration by the NFL’s Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities and their plan called for a new stadium in Carson.
However, Rams owner Stan Kroenke was able to sway the committee and the NFL’s ownership, canceling out Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis’ union for the Carson project. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reported Spanos and the Chargers originally held a 5-1 advantage within in the six-man committee before the official vote of the NFL’s 32 owners, but the dissent of Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt allowed a silent majority of other owners to back Kroenke’s $2.66 billion Inglewood project.
The Chargers have until Jan. 15, 2017 to decide whether to join the Rams in their Inglewood stadium site and until March 23, 2016 to declare where they plan to play the 2016 season. Should the Chargers decide to pass, the Raiders then have the option to move and join the Rams in Inglewood.
However, the Rams and Chargers already held an exploratory meeting about the two forces joining, with San Diego are entering into a partnership with the Rams or Kroenke leasing the stadium out. The two sides agreed to keep their internal negotiations private for the time being.
And while San Diego and Spanos have time to figure out their next move, the franchise has made some headway for a move up north. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Chargers applied for the trademarks for “Los Angeles Chargers” and “LA Chargers” two days after the Rams bid was approved.
Qualcomm Stadium, home to the Chargers since 1967, was filled at 94 percent capacity in the 2015 season. The NFL's relocation agreement provides the Chargers with $100 million to build a new stadium, but a stadium plan is required within a year.