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Next week, Chargers stadium talk is expected to heat up again with a San Diego City Council discussion scheduled on an essential piece of the puzzle: increasing the money the city’s downtown redevelopment agency can collect so it can help pay for the facility.

But there’s also been plenty of new news around the NFL and oft-mentioned potential Chargers home in Los Angeles that I thought I would bring you up to speed on that, too.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that a second group was considering a new stadium in L.A. This new group, a pair of businessmen including the CEO of AEG, wants to build on city-owned land downtown near the L.A. Lakers’ Staples Center and the city’s convention center. This news should be interesting to San Diegans for a number of reasons:

• Sam Farmer, the Times’ football-beat-writer-without-a-team-to-cover, has made the point before that the more stadium proposals in L.A., the more serious the NFL likely is about returning a team to the nation’s second-largest market. The league, Farmer writes, likes to put stadium groups in competition with one another to get the best deal. Of course this new stadium proposal is up against the long-mentioned and fully entitled project from developer Ed Roski outside of the city.

• This new proposal includes a retractable roof and the facility could be used for other sporting events like NCAA basketball championships and conventions. Versatility and location are perhaps ways stadium backers could help justify a $1 billion price tag. In numerous conversations I’ve had with San Diego downtown redevelopment head Fred Maas, he’s discussed Los Angeles’ L.A. Live sports and entertainment complex as a model for San Diego’s downtown. If a football stadium goes through, San Diego would have a football stadium, baseball stadium, hotels and its Convention Center essentially within walking distance. If a football stadium comes to downtown L.A., it would be near that city’s convention hub and basketball and hockey arena.

• Keep an eye on the two-team solution for either L.A. project. Last week, CityBeat editor Dave Rolland asked me on Twitter which team I thought was more likely to move to L.A.: The Chargers or the St. Louis Rams. (One potential new owner for the Rams has ties to Los Angeles.) I replied that both teams could go. Two teams in a new stadium make it easier to finance its building, something very difficult to do in California.

• Last, the NFL’s labor situation is the elephant in the room for L.A. and likely the Chargers, too. The league and its players are entering contract negotiations for 2011 and until owners know the terms, it’s unlikely anyone will make a serious move.


Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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