‘San Diego Has Their 9th Life on This’: Civic Leaders React to NFL Decision

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Los Angeles fans of the San Diego Chargers react to news from the NFL owners meeting during a meet-up at El Compadre Restaurant on Jan. 12, 2016. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

San Diego’s civic leaders, while buoyed by the news that they have yet another shot at holding onto the hometown team, said it will only succeed if the Chargers ownership really wants to stay.

As word spread that team owner Dean Spanos was given the option of striking a deal with Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move to a new stadium in Los Angeles or renew talks to stay put, local stakeholders agreed there is still time — and hope —for getting public approval via the ballot.

Much, though, depends on whether Spanos can work out a deal with Kroenke that he believes will be more favorable to the team financially than remaining in San Diego.

“I think San Diego has their ninth life on this,” said Jim Steeg, a member of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s stadium task force and a former Chargers and NFL executive. “I’m sure what’s going to transpire, since they’re both sitting in Houston, is there will be a meeting with the two of them, and they’ll find out what’s there and what isn’t. Either you (Spanos) will be a tenant or a partner. But I hope there are those in San Diego who are already reaching out.”

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