The Chargers have reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams, but the Bolts will play in San Diego in 2016, the team announced Friday.
This newest development in the Bolts’ stadium scramble comes one day after the San Diego Chargers released a statement announcing plans for an interim headquarters and practice facility in Santa Ana, Calif., in the event they move to Los Angeles.
At 2:50 p.m. PT, the Chargers released the following statement on Facebook from team Chairman Dean Spanos:
"Today I decided our team will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season and I hope for the long term in a new stadium. I have met with Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Roberts and I look forward to working closely with them and the business community to resolve our stadium dilemma. We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego. This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve. Everyone on both sides of the table in San Diego must now determine the best next steps and how to deploy the additional resources provided by the NFL.
I am committed to looking at this with a fresh perspective and new sense of possibility. With deep appreciation for your years of support, Dean A. Spanos."
The NFL had installed a March 23 deadline for the team to make its decision on where it would play the 2016 season so the league could finalize schedules and all the other business of getting ready for the upcoming football season.
Following Spanos' announcement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released this statement:
"We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution. NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league’s full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal."
Goodell's statement was soon followed by one from Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams, who touched on the fact that there are still decisions to be made:
“The Los Angeles Rams have reached an agreement with the San Diego Chargers to join us in the new Inglewood Stadium, if they choose to exercise their option to relocate within the next year. We look forward to partnering with the Chargers in Inglewood, but the decision of course is Dean’s to make.”
Before Friday’s major announcement, it appeared as if negotiations between the Chargers and Rams had stalled. The two teams have been trying to come to an agreement on a move that would allow the Chargers to join the Rams in their new NFL stadium in Inglewood.
On Thursday, when asked if the Chargers had entered into a lease-purchase agreement for the land, Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani told NBC 7 there would be no details released regarding the transaction.