The next NFL drama: Rams and Chargers negotiate to share L.A. stadium

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:15am EST
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By Robin Respaut and Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The National Football League’s decision this week on Los Angeles relocations ended one long-running drama but started another.

The league approved the St. Louis Rams’ move to L.A. but only gave conditional approval for the Chargers to join them. But that won't happen unless the teams can cut a stadium-sharing deal.

The unique dynamic sets up a fresh round of brinkmanship involving the Rams, the Chargers and San Diego that could drag on another year.

Will the Chargers get a better deal from Rams owner Stan Kroenke, or from public officials in San Diego? And does Kroenke want to share his dramatic new stadium - and the coveted Los Angeles market?

“It’s certainly not over,” said Roger Noll, a Stanford University economist who studies the business of sports.

The decision follows years of contentious talks between three cities and their teams: the Rams, the Chargers, and the Oakland Raiders. All three applied to be the first Los Angeles NFL team since 1995.

The Rams and Chargers - if they can come to terms - would both play at a stadium that could cost as much as $2 billion in Inglewood, a suburb southwest of Los Angeles.

Should the Rams-Chargers talks fail, the Raiders could then try to work out their own deal with Kroenke and the Rams.   Continued...

The San Diego Chargers football team offices are shown in San Diego, California January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake