Tucked among the election news last night was potentially a determinative night for the Chargers' future in San Diego.
A ballot measure that would have funded a new stadium failed by a vote of 57 percent to 43 percent, according to USA Today. The vote needed a two-thirds majority to pass, so funding for the project, which would have included a new convention center and cost taxpayers $1.15 billion, failed by close to 25 points.
The club has three options, and each has their drawbacks:
- Join the Rams in Los Angeles, where a move has already been approved by league ownership. The Chargers would make more money in Los Angeles than San Diego but be resigned to second-class status in the city.
- Seek alternative options for funding in San Diego, a long shot until the next election -- and perhaps even then.
- Make the most of life in Qualcomm Stadium, a 49-year-old structure growing more obsolete by the day.
In the meantime, the Raiders are attempting a move to Las Vegas. Should that fall through, they would have the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles if the Chargers do not.
There are no great options at this point, and the club's preferred route -- remaining in the city the franchise has called home since 1961 in a brand new stadium -- is off the table for the foreseeable future.
Chargers chairman Dean Spanos isn't tipping his hand at this point.
"In terms of what comes next for the Chargers, it’s just too early to give you an answer," Spanos wrote in a letter to fans on Wednesday morning. "We are going to diligently explore and weigh our options, and do what is needed to maintain our options, but no decision will be announced until after the football season concludes and no decision will be made in haste."
The Chargers have until Jan. 15 to come to a deal with the Rams until the option passes to the Raiders.