The deadline for the San Diego Chargers to exercise their option to relocate to Los Angeles has been extended for two days, although a media report surfaced Wednesday night that the team plans to move.
The Chargers have called a staff meeting for 8 a.m. PST Thursday, a team employee said Wednesday night. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The employee said the topic of the meeting hadn’t been divulged.
Team chairman Dean Spanos didn’t immediately return a message left at his home.
Citing league sources, ESPN.com reported Wednesday night that the Chargers plan to announce as early as Thursday that they are moving to Los Angeles. According to the report, the Chargers have notified NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the owners of other teams, of their intent to move to Los Angeles for the 2017 season.
ESPN.com reported that nothing was final.
The original deadline was Jan. 15. Because that is a Sunday and Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday, the NFL moved back the deadline until Tuesday. The league initiated the move.
San Diego would become a tenant in the stadium being built in Inglewood for the Rams if the Chargers exercise that option. If not, the Oakland Raiders would have the option to join the Rams in the LA area, though Raiders owner Mark Davis has indicated his intention to seek a move to Las Vegas.
The Chargers would have to find a temporary home in L.A., either the Coliseum or the 27,000-seat StubHub! Center in Carson.
The NFL’s stadium and finance committees met Wednesday for about 3 1/2 hours to discuss relocation of the Chargers and Raiders. The fact-finding meetings mostly centered on the Raiders’ plan for a potential move to Nevada. No filings for relocation were made; Oakland has until Feb. 15.
“There was little to no discussion on the topic of the Chargers,” league executive Eric Grubman said.
And no decisions were planned nor made at the meeting, in which all members of the two committees took part, some by teleconference. Those owners are finance chairman Bob McNair of Houston, along with Atlanta’s Arthur Blank, Tampa Bay’s Joel Glazer, Kansas City’s Clark Hunt, Indianapolis’ Jim Irsay, Jacksonville’s Shahid Khan, New England’s Robert Kraft, Philadelphia’s Jeffrey Lurie and Miami’s Steve Ross.
Participating from the stadium committee were chairman Art Rooney of Pittsburgh, Arizona’s Michael Bidwill, the Jets’ Woody Johnson, Dallas’ Stephen Jones, Chicago’s George H. McCaskey and San Francisco’s Jed York.
The owners did talk about possible relocation fees, though Rooney said no specific numbers were discussed. PJT Partners, which analyzed what the relocation fee for the Rams’ move from St. Louis last year should be, has been hired by the league to do the same job again. The Rams paid $550 million to move to LA.
Much of the meeting was taken up with the Raiders presenting financial updates. Rooney and Grubman said there was no discussion of Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson’s potential role in the Raiders’ relocation. Rooney noted NFL rules and policies that would prohibit a casino owner from having ownership of a franchise.
“It would have to be in compliance with our rules,” Rooney said. “The Raiders are looking at the potential of doing without Mr. Adelson if it comes down to that.”