By Vincent Bonsignore
One day after the San Diego Chargers announced they were staying put at Qualcomm Stadium for the 2015 season, I received a text from a high-level NFL executive.
Without getting into too many details, the text reiterated an interesting bit of information my source had passed along earlier in the week.
Two teams – the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders – will be sharing a stadium in Los Angeles by the 2016 season.
Even with the Chargers not exercising their annual out-clause at outdated Qualcomm Stadium, my source strongly indicated Los Angeles will soon have not one, but two teams in Los Angeles.
The information jives with recent reports that neither the St. Louis Rams, Raiders or Chargers will be re-locating to Los Angeles in time for the 2015 season – including ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s report on Saturday that commissioner Roger Goodell told all three teams there will be no move to L.A. for 2015.
I am hearing that it was actually the teams advising the commissioner they were not moving at the end of this season, but one way or another the NFL will not be in Los Angeles next season.
That also lines up with recent developments in St. Louis indicating momentum building for the Rams staying put in the Gateway City.
The Rams lease with the Edward Jones Dome can be terminated at the end of this season, but according to reports out of St. Louis local leaders are growing more and more confident they will come up with a suitable plan to build the Rams a new stadium to keep them there long-term.
As for the Raiders and Rams, there futures seem much more tenuous.
Both face similar issues building new stadiums in their current cities, and while the Chargers seem to be going all in in 2015 to finally get a stadium deal done in San Diego, there is little to suggest city leaders are ready to step up to the plate.
If not, the Chargers, could be eying Los Angeles again at this time next year.
The Raiders lease at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is set to expire at the end of this season, and while their preference is to remain in the Bay Area there is nothing to indicate a viable is forthcoming on a stadium deal with city, county and state leaders.
Meanwhile, Raiders owner Mark Davis told the Los Angeles News Group that Los Angeles is an attractive option.
Just not for the 2015 season, it seems.
But that doesn’t mean the NFL isn’t coming back to Los Angeles.
In fact, some people within the league are adamant it will happen by 2016 and I am hearing rumblings the preferred long-range plan is for two teams to play in a downtown stadium built by the NFL and AEG, which owns and operates Staples Center.