This might be escalating a little quicker than people previously thought. The Los Angeles Times is reporting the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are moving forward with a plan to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California. For those wondering, Carson is in the greater Los Angeles area.
The two franchises released a joint statement to the Times on the project:
We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.
The two teams have said they are trying to figure out a solution in their home cities, but clearly they are not overly optimistic. The return of football to the Los Angeles market has felt more and more like an inevitability, and this might be the tipping point.
There is still a lot to be figured out, including a potential relocation fee, but this is getting really interesting, really quickly. If this were to happen, I am curious what it would mean to have two AFC teams relocating to the same city. Would we see one of the two teams move to the NFC? They could very well work around it with the schedule, but maybe we see some kind of realignment.
This also potentially leaves the St. Louis Rams in the dark with regard to a new facility. The team and the NFL are putting the squeeze on the city of St. Louis, and my guess is something gets done. But if LA were removed from the equation it reduces the Rams leverage for more public money. And of course, if the Rams can figure out a deal in LA first, maybe that puts the kibosh on this kind of deal. I don't imagine we see three team in LA, but at this point, who knows where this is going.