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Chargers talking to L.A. Coliseum

Posted December 9, 2016

John Breech - CBS Sports

 

After the Chargers' stadium measure went down in flames back on Nov. 8, team owner Dean Spanos promised to not make any decision about the team's future in San Diego until the end of the regular season.

Despite that promise, Spanos is still covering all his bases in case the Chargers end up moving to Los Angeles, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported was seen as all but inevitable by the franchise following the failure of the ballot initiative in November.

One of the key things the Chargers need to figure out if they move to L.A. is where they'll play. The Rams currently play at the L.A. Coliseum, and there's a chance that the Chargers could end up there, too.

L.A. Coliseum Commission president Mark Ridley-Thomas confirmed this week that his group has been in contact with the Chargers about the team's possible move.

"In light of the vote of the people of San Diego, it's back on the table in earnest," Ridley-Thomas told USA Today. "So the appropriate amount of due diligence continues to be done, and we will see if in fact we can strike a deal."

The fact that Spanos has been talking to people in L.A. even though he promised to not make any decisions until the end of the season shouldn't come as a shock. As Ridley-Thomas pointed out, the team has to make sure to cover all of their options.

"They had to get ready," Ridley-Thomas said of the Chargers. "There's a lot on the line. The health of the franchise is literally on the line."

Before the Chargers could play at the Coliseum though, they'd need to get cut through a few more pieces of red tape. For one, the Coliseum Commission would have to change its lease terms with the University of Southern California. Under the current lease, only one NFL team is allowed to play there.

Since USC runs the facility, the school would have to sign off on adding a third team to the building.

La Canfora has also reported that the Chargers have been in touch with the StubHub Center and that some in the organization see the Carson-located stadium as a superior alternative to becoming the third tenant of the Coliseum. According to La Canfora, the Chargers and Rams have made some serious headway on a possible stadium deal that would end with the Chargers moving to L.A. and playing in the Rams' future permanent home.

Anyway, just because the Chargers have been talking to officials at the L.A. Coliseum doesn't mean that all hope is lost in San Diego.

During an interview held just before November's election, Spanos implied that he would likely move the team if the stadium measure received 35 percent of the votes or less.

"If we get 30 or 35 percent voter approval, that will tell me something," Spanos said of fan support, via Fox 5 in San Diego.

Since the measure got 43 percent of the vote, Spanos may feel that there's enough support to keep the team in San Diego. No matter what he does, we shouldn't have to wait long to find out. The regular season ends in four weeks and as of right now, Spanos has to make a decision on whether or not to move to L.A. by Jan. 15.