Immediately following the news that Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs were backing out of the Raiders’ stadium proposal in Las Vegas, San Diego has tried to make themselves appear as a legitimate destination.
San Diego last the Chargers to Los Angeles recently and are hoping to see the NFL return to their fine city in short order. Currently the Raiders are the only team actively seeking to relocate, so that’s naturally the franchise who is receiving their focus.
Initially, their interest didn’t gain any traction. Mainly because if they just lost a team because they couldn’t get a new stadium built, how would it somehow magically work for a different franchise.
Well, the answer would be private funding.
When the NFL owners voted in favor of the Rams and Chargers to share a stadium in LA, the caveat was the Chargers would have a year to opt in. That would give San Diego another chance to approve public funding on a new stadium. It didn’t pass and the Chargers skipped town.
Enter San Diego developer, Doug Manchester, who recently contacted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with interest in privately funding a stadium project there.
According to a report in the San Diego Union Tribune., Manchester told Goodell he had
“assembled a powerful group of associates” who will develop the land on which Qualcomm Stadium sits and “construct a new 70,000-seat stadium and surrounding development” which would “provide an immediate alternative” for the Raiders if their stadium proposal in Las Vegas falls through.
Manchester went on to point out that because the project would be privately funded, there would be no need for public funding and therefore no need for an approved ballot measure.
In addition, the Raiders could play game at Qualcomm until the new stadium in constructed.
As we know from when the Raiders play in San Diego, there is a significant Raiders fan presence in Southern California.
If you’re keeping track; the Raiders are still attempting to move to Las Vegas despite having to look elsewhere for as much as $650 million in funds Adelson was to provide. The owners vote is expected to take place on March 26. If it is not approved, the Raiders can go back to the negotiating table in Oakland and/or look to another city such as San Diego or perhaps even San Antonio to keep their leverage and hopes alive for a new stadium in the near future.