Chargers extend stadium lease in San Diego through 2015
The San Diego Chargers announced their intention to remain in Qualcomm Stadium through the 2015 season, via the team’s website. The announcement pulls the Chargers out of any immediate conversations about a potential move up the coast to Los Angeles.
On February 1st of every year since 2007, the Chargers have been eligible to terminate the team’s lease for Qualcomm Stadium. And each year since 2007, the Chargers have announced that the team will not exercise the termination clause and instead continue to work toward a permanent stadium solution in San Diego.
Today, the Chargers are making the same announcement that the team has made each year since 2007: The team will not be exercising the lease termination clause and will keep working to find a publicly acceptable way to build a Super-Bowl quality stadium in San Diego. Calendar year 2015 will constitute the team’s fourteenth year of work on a San Diego stadium solution.
L.A. is once again a hot topic among NFL analysts after a report surfaced during the NFL owners meetings that both the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders were candidates to potentially move to the area in time for next season. Jason La Canfora reported that the potential moves placed even more pressure on the Chargers ownership group to solve their stadium concerns or face a possible move of their own.
While the Chargers have less outward interest in getting to LA as the Rams and Raiders do, the willingness of those other clubs to move — neither of which has a stadium lease beyond this season — has placed additional pressure on San Diego’s owners to navigate this situation and be prepared to relocate themselves if need be.
It’s impossible to tell whether or not L.A. will once again serve as host city for an NFL franchise in the near future. Rumored moves to the area have been floated since the second largest media market in the U.S. lost the Rams and Raiders after the 1994 season. In fact, it might even be better for the NFL to keep the L.A. market open as leverage to hold over markets in which a current team faces unsatisfactory stadium conditions. The threat to move to L.A. has already been held over the heads of the Minnesota Vikings, for example.