The San Diego Chargers have the right of first refusal for joining the Los Angeles Rams stadium in Inglewood, California. They hold the key to their own future, but they also hold the key to the Raiders future as well.
Which door they decide to open will have drastic effects on where the Raiders will call home in the years to come, assuming Oakland does not work out a deal with the Silver and Black to stay put. With that in mind, things are getting very interesting again down in Southern California.
The news coming down the pipe now is that the Chargers might not move in with the Rams in Inglewood because they just might get their downtown San Diego stadium built after all. They have until the start of next January to decide what to do or delay the decision for one more year, but it appears that they now are building momentum for a stadium vote to stay in San Diego.
What the Chargers need is a majority of voters in the city to approve this downtown stadium proposal that features the Chargers and NFL paying $650M with the other $350M for the project coming from the city. The city would pass those costs down to their tourism by increasing their hotel taxes by 4%.
If this were to pass then the city would own the stadium and the Chargers would rent it out on a 30 year lease agreement. The Chargers would get to keep NFL game day profits and stadium naming rights and the city would then get to keep the profits from any other events that the stadium would hold.
If this was voted yes by the residents of San Diego they would get to keep their "beloved" Chargers and the new stadium would be operational in 2022. What that would also mean is that the Chargers would be refusing the opportunity to move to Los Angeles, thus reopening the door for the Oakland Raiders to take their place.
With the Raiders current stadium situation being as stagnant as any NFL team has ever had to face, LA becomes a very real option for them. So real, in fact, that Mark Davis would be insane not to jump on the chance as soon as it became available. The Raiders need a new stadium too desperately to pass up the option to share one with the Rams in Los Angeles.
Let's face the truth here, Oakland is not going to budge on their position of not offering funds to help pay for the stadium. They offered the land at one point but there are legal complications with the city giving away land that make even just that much of a commitment from the City problematic. There are just no easy answers in Oakland to get a stadium built.
If Mark Davis does not have another way to get the funds for the stadium to be built by himself, then there will not be a stadium being built in Oakland. If Mark Davis was a multi billionaire like Rams owner Stan Kroenke this would not be an issue, but he is not on the same level as Kroenke or even most other owners in the NFL.
If the Chargers get their stadium approved in San Diego, then the Los Angeles Raiders will likely come to fruition. Not only will Mark Davis immediately agree to move his team to LA, but he would be making a big mistake not to. He has done everything he can in Oakland to no avail, it would be time to make the tough decision to leave the Bay Area if LA opens up for them again.
There are many Raiders fans out there that will cringe at hearing this news. They will blame Mark Davis, they will blame the City of Oakland, and they will blame the County of Alameda but it won't matter. Mark was ready to move if the vote that allowed the Rams to build their stadium had swung the other way, and he will be ready to move again if he gets the chance to do so.
The time has come that something has to break, because the Raiders can not keep playing in the O.Co until the city decides they can help after all. Whether the city should have to help is a different conversation, but Mark Davis needs them to whether they should have to or not.
No help from public funds means no Oakland Raiders anymore. As sad as that would be for the Bay Area there is simply no way around it. The vote in San Diego will decide whether or not the Raiders head to LA, but even if they can't head to the City of Angels they will have to go somewhere.
San Diego has made significant progress in keeping their team in town while Oakland has not made any progress what so ever. If the vote does come that allows the Chargers to stay in San Diego then the Raiders will be moving to Los Angeles. The drama is going to last a lot longer before we find out for sure, but there is once again a very real possibility of the Los Angeles Raiders coming back into existence.