After years of battles to get the city of San Diego to help pay for a new stadium, the now Los Angeles Chargers abandoned hope. Less than two months later, there is another potential solution that could bring the NFL back to the Southern Californian city.
As reported by Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Doug Manchester has approached the NFL about privately funding a new stadium on the same land that currently houses the now-unused Qualcomm Stadium.
“Manchester, the former owner of The San Diego Union-Tribune, told Goodell he had ‘assembled a powerful group of associates’ who will develop the land on which Qualcomm Stadium sits and ‘construct a new 70,000-seat stadium and surrounding development.'”
The stadium could be the answer the Oakland Raiders need, especially in light of recent events which have caused their Las Vegas deal to potentially fall through (more on that here).
“Significantly, the letter said the project could ‘provide an immediate alternative’ for the Raiders if their stadium proposal in Las Vegas falls through,” writes Acee. He also passed along this information from the letter, dated February 8, that the group is “open to working with the Chargers, the Raiders, other NFL owners or a new ownership group.”
“Our group will provide the funds previously allocated to be provided by the City of San Diego and guarantee the stadium’s expeditious construction,” the letter says. “Accordingly, this project will not require voter approval.”
What is truly fascinating is that all this is happening now, just months after the Chargers abandoned San Diego. And it would be extremely strange if the Raiders were to move into the old stomping grounds of their AFC West rival — a proposition former Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson recently said he doesn’t want to think about.
The city of Oakland is still trying to get a deal done to keep the Raiders up north. A group of investors, spearheaded by Ronnie Lott, has the inside track on that angle.
There are a lot of moving parts at play here, and you can be sure all of them will be discussed when the NFL owners meet up for their annual spring meetings at the end of March.