The NFL formally opened the window for teams to apply for relocation to Los Angeles, and all three teams were apparently quick to submit their application. The San Diego Chargers announced they have formally applied for relocation, and owner Dean Spanos explained his side of the decision on the team's official website. Additionally, San Diego-based reporter Kevin Acee is reporting the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis both filed as well. The owners are meeting January 12-13 at which point a decision seems a pretty decent possibility.
In a fitting bit of timing, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York got a question about the LA market during his press conference. Bay Area columnist Mark Purdy raised the Raiders and LA issue late in the press conference. Here is the full question and answer exchange on the topic.
This is not a 49ers question, but it's an important Bay Area football question. You've got an owners meeting coming up next week at which the future of the LA market is going to be debated and the Raiders are involved in that. What is the 49ers and your stance on that? How will you vote in that and what do you feel about the Raiders future, perhaps involving this stadium even?
"I don't want to speak for [Oakland Raiders owner] Mark Davis or for anybody else and I'll leave their future and what they're looking at to them. I'm not going to speculate on that. Obviously LA is front of mind for the National Football League right now. I'm on the stadium committee, so I will certainly be in committee meetings this week. I have to make sure that all the information that's out there we figure out is there a reason for teams to relocate and if so what are the best teams and the best projects to move to Los Angeles. And there is a lot of information to get through. I certainly haven't made up my mind yet. I don't want to speculate on to where I think it's going to go, but I think it's important first and foremost that we were in an old stadium. Just going from my point of view, we did everything that we could to stay first in San Francisco and if that wasn't possible absolutely in the Bay Area. I think it's vitally important that the National Football League, that we do everything that we can to stay in markets that we're in. And if it's proven that we can't stay there and the markets aren't viable or if there's a reason to leave, we need to make sure that if we go back into a market such as Los Angeles, the second largest market in the country, we do it the right way and we do it where it's not going to be like it was before where you had two teams there that ended up leaving in, I can't remember the year but I think it was the early to mid-90s. You need to make sure that if you're going to go back you're there to stay. This is not going to be an easy decision."
Do you think a team should be playing in LA next year? Would you be in favor of that?
"In general, I'm in favor of teams being in markets that work. And, if you can prove that Los Angeles works and that the existing markets are tough and they're not workable for long-term stadium deals, then I think you have to do what's best for the overall league. But, you have to exhaust every effort possible to make sure that teams are staying in their own markets."