NFL Decision Still Brings Uncertainty to SD, Oakland


     (CN ) – Uncertainty still remains in San Diego and Oakland, as the NFL’s decision to allow the Rams move from St. Louis to Los Angeles did little to address the Chargers and Raiders’ long term futures in their cities.
     The Chargers have one year to decide whether to join the Rams in L.A. If the Chargers decide not to join the Rams, then the Raiders will have a year to make the same decision.
     Such looming prospects continue to cast gloom over the two teams’ fan bases and both owners were vague about what their next move might be.
     “The Chargers have been approved to relocate to Los Angeles, at the Inglewood location, at any time in the next year,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said. “In addition, the NFL has granted an additional $100 million in assistance in the event there is a potential solution that can be placed before voters in San Diego. I will be working over the next several weeks to explore the options that we have now created for ourselves to determine the best path forward for the Chargers.”
     Nick McGregor was at a table full of his buddies at the Eastlake Tavern and Bowl in Chula Vista celebrating a friend’s birthday. The Oregon transplant became a Chargers fan when he moved down to San Diego.
     He said it’s been tough to watch the Chargers players go through a tough season knowing they may not return to San Diego next year.
     “It sucks,” McGregor said. “Even if they stay for one more season, it’s like mom and dad are fighting and you’re wondering when they’re going to get a divorce.”
     Manny Morales, also a transplant, has lived in San Diego for 10 years. While Morales said he’s not a “diehard” Chargers fan, he follows them since they’re the local team.
     Morales had criticism on the way both sides of the bargaining table handled the team’s proposal to move to Los Angeles.
     “I don’t think there was enough effort,” Morales said. “I think (Chargers owner Dean) Spanos is too cheap – at least Kroenke is willing to front the money.
     “I think there was a lack of transparency on the process from both sides.”
     Morales questioned the timing of the city’s proposal to keep the Chargers.
     “It seemed like ‘why are we waiting until the last minute,'” Morales said. “If my taxes went up, I would have done it. The common voter wouldn’t feel that.
     “I think they’re gonna stay. I don’t think the Rams really want them, it’s like the ugly step sister.”
     San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and County Supervisor Chairman Ron Roberts released the following joint statement today in response to the NFL owners’ decision.
     “Today NFL owners rejected the Chargers’ bid to move to Carson,” they said. “If Mr. Spanos has a sincere interest in reaching a fair agreement in San Diego, we remain committed to negotiating in good faith. We are not interested in a charade by the Chargers if they continue to pursue Los Angeles.”
     The Raiders who currently play in Oakland’s O.co Coliseum said in a statement that “the Raiders congratulate [St. Louis Rams owner] Stan Kroenke and the Rams on their successful bid for relocation to Los Angeles.”
     “The Raiders will now turn our attention to exploring all options to find a permanent stadium solution,” the statement said. “We thank fans throughout the Raider nation for their unrivaled passion and support.”
     Raiders fan Scott Poggenburg, who manages a Facebook page for “True Oakland Raiders Fans Only,” said in an email that although he was born and raised in Oakland and has been a Raiders fan for nearly 50 years, his feelings about the deal are “mixed.”
     “Even though the Raiders are not moving to L.A., they still have a problem staying in Oakland,” Poggenburg said. “The [O.co] Coliseum is too old to do anything with.
     “I love my team and would hate to see them leave Oakland, but to stay competitive a new state-of-the-art stadium needs to be built.”
     Raiders fan Alex Martinez said in a Facebook post responding to a request for comment on Tuesday’s decision that “of the three teams that applied for relocation, the Raiders are the only team that desperately need a new stadium.”
     “The Raiders are the only team in the NFL that share a field with a baseball team, have plumbing issues, and have nothing but the game itself to offer,” Martinez said.
     “I’m not surprised, I’m just getting tired of being a fan of a punchline. It just seems that the Raiders usually get the short end of the stick.”
     Gabriel Holland, a lifelong Oakland resident, said in an email that when he originally heard about the plans for the Raiders to move back to Los Angeles, he was “disappointed.”
     “I feel the fan base here has done a reasonable job supporting the team throughout the bad decade, which finally appears to be coming to a close, and putting up with O.co,” Holland said. “And in return, we’ve got a two-faced owner, who I personally believe would much rather leave.”
     Holland said that he is not sure whether Tuesday’s decision means that the Raiders are staying in Oakland “as much as they aren’t yet leaving.””I’m trying, although obviously struggling, to stay positive and hold out hope,” he said.

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