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Could the San Diego Chargers really be moving to Los Angeles?

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We’ll know by January 15

When the NFL voted earlier this year to let the Rams relocate to Los Angeles, it also gave the San Diego Chargers the limited-time option to move north and share the Rams’ new Inglewood stadium. Unable to get a new stadium built in San Diego, ESPN reports it’s looking likely that, “barring a miracle,” the Chargers will take the opportunity to move to Los Angeles.

It won’t be long before we know whether the team will join the Rams in Inglewood in 2019. The NFL’s option to move came with a one-year expiration date, and the January 15, 2017 deadline is rapidly approaching. The Chargers have about a month to tell the NFL whether they intend to move.

The Chargers stayed put for the 2016 football season in a last-ditch effort to get a new stadium built in San Diego. A measure on the city’s November ballot would have helped finance a new $1.8-billion facility, but it won just 43 percent of votes, far short of the two-thirds needed to pass, says ESPN.

Courtesy of HKS

The new Inglewood stadium being built for the Rams was designed to accommodate two home teams, with two sets of lockers rooms, offices, and owners' suites.

If the Chargers move, they would be Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s tenants. The Chargers wouldn’t have to front any of the money to help build the stadium, but they would be on the hook for a few other major expenses, such as a hefty relocation fee, estimated at $650 million over 10 years, and building their own training facility, says ESPN.

The pricey move would mean that the team would finally get its new stadium, and a pretty cool one at that. At nearly 300 million square feet, the Inglewood stadium will be the NFL’s biggest, and with a projected price tag of up to $2.66 billion, it stands to be the league’s most expensive stadium, too.

Previous reports have said that it’s “widely believed Kroenke does not want to share the market with another NFL team right away ... because he would be assuming the risk of the stadium by himself,” and would want to cash in on the benefits of the stadium alone, but ESPN notes that Kroenke “has motivation to complete a deal with the Chargers, because he cannot begin selling personal seat licenses until reaching a decision” on the relocation.

Work is underway now on the Inglewood stadium and the football facility is set to be complete in 2019. In 2021, it will host the Super Bowl.