The San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams have been discussing a potential partnership on a stadium in Los Angeles for nearly two weeks, and according to a new report, talks have stalled.
XTRA Sports 1360 radio host Steve Hartman is reporting that the two sides have reached an impasse in their talks and an agreement does not appear imminent. The biggest problem appears to be figuring out what a relationship between the two franchises would look like.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Rams owner Stan Kroenke are known to have an awful relationship, and while Spanos clearly wants to be in Los Angeles, working with Kroenke might be too much to swallow.
Kroenke has offered the Chargers either a lease agreement or an equity partnership in which Spanos and co. would help shoulder construction costs on his Inglewood stadium project. The lease agreement would mean Spanos wouldn’t actually have a stake in the stadium, it wouldn’t be “his” and instead he would be a tenant in Kroenke’s building. Given that Spanos will have to fork over a $550 million relocation fee just to move to Los Angeles, then pay hundreds of millions more to be an equal partner, neither option looks appealing from the outside.
The NFL has given the Chargers until March 23 to make a decision on where they will play next season, but the team would likely have to inform San Diego whether or not it will renew its lease at Qualcomm Stadium even earlier than that. There is a serious time-crunch here and every day the Bolts sit idle, the Rams gobble up more power in their new market.
Chargers Special Counsel and human refuse volcano Mark Fabiani now says the team’s preference is to make a deal with the Rams and move to Los Angeles this year, but says the franchise hasn’t ruled out returning in San Diego. Funny, because he was saying the exact opposite of that for the past year.
Spanos, who I loathe with the power of 1,000 suns, officially has until January 17, 2017 to make a decision on whether or not to move to Los Angeles. But given that absolutely no one wants the Chargers in LA and that he’d have to shell out more than half-a-billion dollars just to be a tenant in someone else’s stadium, the smart move would be getting a new stadium in San Diego (which is completely on the table, despite whatever Fabiani and Spanos say).
The fact that talks with the Rams have stalled isn’t exactly surprising. Kroenke has no reason to welcome another franchise to Los Angeles now that he completely owns the market. He’d be smart to make a deal as difficult as possible on Spanos. We’ll see how it plays out.