San Diego Makes Last Ditch Pitch for Chargers

Chargers fans (Denis Poroy / Associated Press)
Denis Poroy / Associated Press

Though the outlook looks grim, San Diego football fans haven’t given up yet on hopes that their long-time Chargers will remain in the town they have called home for over 50 years.

A 56-page pitch from San Diego went out on Wednesday to the NFL defending the city’s commitment to keeping an NFL team in the city, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Boasting an illustrations of a proposed Mission Valley stadium, the packet will just meet the NFL’s  year end deadline for submitting the proposal.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was quoted in the packet:

“This report captures the passion San Diego fans have for their home team and everything we’ve done to show that San Diego is the only true home of the Chargers. San Diego has an excellent stadium proposal and is a fantastic market that nobody should want to leave.”

The bulk of the proposal highlights San Diego as a growing, distinct market. The latter portion contains a “cost summary, polling data and a draft of the city’s term sheet,” according to the report.

The NFL Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities will meet Wednesday and Thursday in New York. All 32 team owners are then scheduled to meet in Houston, Texas January 12 and 13. It is there that the owners are expected to vote on which team or teams will win the right to move to the coveted Los Angeles market.

The fight to keep the Chargers in San Diego has been long, and sometimes ugly and laborious. Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani and Mayor Falconer have been locked in a heated battle during the process.

Three teams are vying for coveted Los Angeles territory. The St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders both called L.A. home until 1994 until leaving the area for their current home towns. The Rams spent the longest in the L.A. market, some 49 years until they left. The Raiders called L.A. home for just 14 years.

NFL leadership traveled to each of the three cities where teams are looking to leave for L.A. At the San Diego meeting one man got up to pitch the organization that they should have held an L.A. meeting as well, asking fans there which team they want to return to their city. “Save the Bolts and bring back the Los Angeles Rams,” said a man identifying himself as a representative of a group called Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams.

Falconer also wrote in the pitch, “San Diego has been a great NFL city for more than 50 years and we have put together a fair and viable stadium proposal to keep the Chargers here for years to come.”

The Rams, Raiders and Chargers are expected to file their relocation requests on Monday, according to the Union-Tribune. Oakland has yet to submit a stadium proposal to keep the Raiders. St. Louis submitted an updated $1.1 billion stadium plan. The NFL confirmed that it has received submissions from all three teams.

Stadium plans proposed for L.A. include a $1.86 billion plan for a Rams stadium in Inglewood, and a $1.7 billion two-team stadium proposal in Carson that would house both Raiders and Chargers.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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