SAN DIEGO -- Looking for an opportunity to prove he can deliver, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was given a final reprieve to get a stadium deal done here for the Chargers.
The franchise announced Friday that it has reached an agreement in principle with the Rams to share the Inglewood stadium project, offering a clear path to move to Los Angeles.
However, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos also issued a statement saying the team was staying in San Diego for the 2016 season, committing to working on a long-term solution for a stadium that keeps the team in town.
"This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve," Spanos said in a prepared statement.
Now comes the hard part. Faulconer and Spanos must come to an agreement on the parameters of a deal and where the stadium will be built.
Along with concerns about the environmental review process, one of the reasons the Chargers have not pursued a $1.1 billion proposal by Faulconer on a stadium deal in San Diego is the belief that a public vote to unlock $350 million in public funding would not pass.
The Chargers also do not like the location of Mission Valley, which currently houses Qualcomm Stadium. The team prefers a downtown location.
The team has said it probably would seek to build a downtown stadium/convention center expansion by creating a citizens' initiative in San Diego and attempting to receive voter approval in the same manner the team moved forward in Carson.
The Chargers received a jump-start to the project with $300 million provided by NFL ownership, including $200 million in loans from the league's G-4 stadium fund, and a $100 million gift that can be used only for building a new stadium in San Diego.
But over the next couple of months, Faulconer and Spanos must determine the framework of the deal and the location for a new stadium so the two can present a unified effort required to propel a campaign for a public vote in November across the finish line.
"We appreciate Mr. Spanos' commitment to staying in San Diego for the 2016 season to work with the region on a stadium solution," Faulconer and San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts said in a joint statement Friday. "We look forward to discussing his vision for a new San Diego home for the Chargers, and will be working with him and our negotiating team on a fair and viable plan to put before voters. We have agreed to meet again in the near future."