Chargers will be in San Diego one more year

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The San Diego Chargers announced they will be staying in San Diego for at least one more season, and that they have come to terms, in principle, with the Los Angeles Rams to share the stadium in Inglewood.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos released a statement saying, “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.”

It’s good news for Chargers fans in San Diego who have supported the team for 54 years.

It’s no secret the team and the NFL want a new stadium in Downtown San Diego, on or near San Diego Bay, like Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Several plans have been offered, the latest from the city offering $350 million to help build a stadium that will cost more than a billion dollars. The city’s most recent offer was for a stadium next to Qualcomm Stadium, the current home of the Chargers, but the NFL and the team rejected that without much consideration.

With the administration of Mayor Kevin Falconer the team has found a city interested in keeping the team in that city. Since the “ticket guarantee” debacle of the late 1990’s, both city officials and residents have not been enthusiastic about supporting any more expenditures for the Chargers. But later this spring there will be a referendum on the ballot asking the residents for approval to help fund the Mission Valley Stadium.

There is another plan for building a new stadium with the convention center, which would be a joint-use stadium/convention center that relies on increased hotel taxes for much of the building costs. It is also environmentally friendly and would be in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Two things that are important to the San Diego tax base: enhancing the convention center to accommodate bigger conventions, like the burgeoning Comic-Con and keeping the football team in San Diego.

And one other reality for the Chargers: if they do move to Los Angeles and share a stadium with the Rams, they will be the second option for football fans — which is probably why Dean Spanos says his focus is on San Diego. He and his team don’t have to play second fiddle to any other NFL teams there.

Claudia Gestro contributed to this article, including top photo.