Chargers owner Dean Spanos has called an 8 a.m. PST meeting Thursday to tell his staff the news they have all been bracing for: The team plans to move to Los Angeles.
According to several sources informed of the team’s plans, Spanos told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, other league officials and a few fellow owners of his intentions following the committee meetings on Wednesday. During those meetings, the Chargers were barely a topic and the league did not offer any additional money to contribute to their stadium efforts.
According to those who know him well, the committee meetings were seen as the last opportunity for a solution. None came.
Therefore, Spanos plans to tell his staff that the team is moving. ESPN first reported that Spanos had made a firm decision. The owner had previously said he was leaning toward Los Angeles.
Earlier on Wednesday, the league extended the Chargers’ deadline to pick up the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles by a few days, making it Jan. 17. Yet it appears Spanos will make the call before that cutoff.
There is a caveat — and it’s a big one: Spanos has done nothing official. He hasn’t filed a formal relocation letter, hasn’t informed city officials in either San Diego or Los Angeles and hasn’t told his staff yet.
Two people who speak to Spanos regularly insisted he still can change his mind, though that seems unlikely. Another source pointed out how deliberate Spanos is, saying that if he’s called a meeting to inform his staff, it almost certainly means his mind is made up.
One team source would not address the matter, saying the decision has changed on a daily basis. But he also was telling those close to him what might be their reality.
If the Chargers do announce firmly they are moving, they have until May 1 to terminate their lease with Qualcomm Stadium and with their training facility. They’d owe a $12 million termination fee to the city and would have to be out of Chargers Park by July 1.
Having leased a practice facility and office space in Costa Mesa, California, they would likely be out far sooner than that.
As for where in the L.A. area they might play in 2017, the expectation is the StubHub Center in Carson would be the team’s temporary home until the Inglewood stadium they would share with the Rams is built.
That is, assuming, Spanos follows through and informs his staff of his decision to move.
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