(Reuters) - The chairman of the San Diego Chargers said on Friday the football team would stay in San Diego for the 2016 season, though the club has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams on sharing a Los Angeles-area stadium.
Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said in a statement that he has been working with city lawmakers to find a resolution to their stadium woes. He said the team has an option to move with the Los Angeles Rams to a stadium in Inglewood next year, but added, “My focus is on San Diego.”
“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,” he said.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts said they “appreciated” the move, while National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell applauded it.
“We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos,” Goodell said in a statement. “NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego.”
Still, team spokesman Jamaal LaFrance confirmed on Friday that the club has reached a tentative agreement with the Los Angeles Rams on sharing a stadium.
The news was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune on Friday.
Representatives for the Los Angeles Rams could not be reached immediately for comment on the announcement.
Earlier this month, owners voted overwhelmingly to give the Rams approval to return to Los Angeles for the start of the 2016 National Football League season while the Chargers have until next January to agree to lease terms with the Rams.
The Rams, who have won one Super Bowl since leaving Los Angeles in 1995 for St. Louis, will play their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum until their $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood, roughly 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, is complete.
The Inglewood stadium project will be privately financed, making it a steep buy-in for the Chargers. Should the Rams-Chargers talks fail, the Oakland Raiders could try to work out their own deal with the Rams.
Los Angeles has been an NFL wasteland without a franchise since the Raiders and Rams left the region in 1995.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Bernard Orr, Leslie Adler and Richard Chang