Raiders and Chargers propose joint L.A. stadium as backup
Two NFL teams sharing a stadium is nothing new, but two teams from the same division playing in the same digs?
The Chargers and Raiders released a joint statement Thursday announcing the pursuit of a new stadium in Carson that will be home to the two AFC West rivals with one caveat. The plan will serve as a contingency as both teams continue to work on stadium solutions in their current markets. Both teams have been trying to get new buildings for years and are operating on year-to-year leases in their current homes.
“We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.”
The venue, estimated to cost $1.7 billion, will be privately financed and have a projected capacity of 68,000, expandable to 72,000, according to the Los Angeles Times. One early concept that sounds pretty damn cool — clear seats to reflect the color of the lights shining on them. They could be silver and black for Raiders games and powder blue for the Chargers.
“We’re thinking about the project as a 21st century, next-generation stadium,” said architect David Manica, noting that the venue and renderings are still in the early conceptual stages. “We want it to be the ultimate outdoor event experience, which includes both sports and entertainment. And we want it to be uniquely L.A.”
The Chargers and Raiders have already purchased the land needed to build the stadium. Next they’ll launch a petition drive for a ballot initiative in hopes of getting voter approval for the construction. All signs point to a 2016 relocation target date.
Los Angeles, which has been without an NFL team since the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995, now has three teams fighting to make the city their home. Rams owner Stan Kroenke proposed to build an 80,000 seat stadium in Hollywood Park in December to bring his team back to Southern California.
Photo courtesy of Manica Architecture