Both franchises have been working for many years to improve on their current locations – Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego and the Oakland Coliseum – and are committed to do so until the end of 2015.
But the two teams, in a joint statement, said they will also continue to work on the project in Carson to ‘preserve their options’ as the league ponders allowing a team (or teams) moving back into the Los Angeles market.
“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 two teams said in the joint statement.
The proposed $1.7b stadium would be on a 168-acre site near the 405 freeway in Carson, a city 15 miles south of downtown Los Angeles and already home to MLS franchise LA Galaxy.
Talks on the joint stadium have reportedly intensified since St Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans in January to build an 80,000-seater stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood.
ESPN reports that the Chargers and Raiders would both have to play at temporary homes following the 2015 season if the plans go ahead – both would prefer to play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena as it is more NFL-ready than the Coliseum, host of the 1984 Olympic Games.
Any move could also mean one of the AFC West rivals being moved to the NFC.
The Chargers have been trying to build a new stadium for 14 years, and the city’s mayor Kevin Faulconer was disappointed to hear of the plans for a potential move away.
“It’s now abundantly clear that while we have been working here in San Diego to create a plan for a new stadium, the Chargers have for some time been making their own plans for moving to Los Angeles,” Faulconer said in a statement on Thursday night.
“This would amount to abandoning generations of loyal Chargers fans. Despite this news, we are going to continue our efforts to develop a viable stadium solution.”