San Diego makes last-ditch effort to keep the Chargers with $1 stadium lease deal

Dive Brief:

  • As San Diego makes its last-ditch efforts to keep the Chargers from relocating, the team is moving forward with a lease agreement that would allow it to share the Rams new $2.6 billion stadium in Los Angeles, according to ESPN.
  • In an attempt to keep the team in the city, the San Diego City Council sent a letter to the Chargers organization and NFL owners offering a 99-year, $1-per-year lease deal for the team's current home of Qualcomm Stadium as a starting point for discussions about a new stadium in the future.
  • The offer comes on the heels of a failed ballot measure that would have helped fund a new stadium for the Chargers, one of the conditions that team officials laid out if they were to remain in San Diego.

Dive Insight:

The Chargers have until Jan. 15 to decide whether they’ll take the San Diego deal or relocate to Los Angeles. As part of NFL approval for the move, Oakland has the opportunity to share the Rams stadium if San Diego turns the opportunity down. However, because the $1 deal has reportedly only served to irk Chargers owner Dean Spanos, the team is not likely to take the city up on its offer.

Despite the $1 lease deal play, the Chargers would also have to operate and maintain the stadium to the tune of $15 million a year. That doesn't include the $100 million of maintenance projects the venue requires. The team would also have to negotiate development rights for the stadium and likely endure another voter approval process.

The presumed "loser" out of the three teams requesting location to Los Angeles last year — the Oakland Raiders — might end up scoring a better deal. The team has won approval from the state of Nevada for a new stadium in Las Vegas, and state legislators authorized $750 million towards construction, paid for by an increase in Clark County hotel taxes. Now the Raiders must wait for the nod from NFL owners, who have never been enthusiastic about authorizing a franchise in a gambling town like Las Vegas. In a last-ditch effort to keep the Raiders, the city of Oakland has offered the team a $1.3 billion financing proposal for a new stadium if it decides not to relocate.

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