Chargers, Raiders, Rams file for relocation to Los Angeles

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Chargers, Rams, Raiders Apply to Relocate to Los Angeles

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams filed for relocation to the Los Angeles area on Monday night, trying not to be left out in the race to return the NFL to the nation's second-largest market after a 21-year absence.

The Chargers want to partner with the AFC West rival Raiders on a stadium in Carson.

Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has had the right to leave San Diego since 2008, but the team's long, contentious efforts to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium became more aggressive after Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build a stadium in Inglewood.

The NFL confirmed it received the applications to move for the 2016 season. They will be reviewed by league staff and three committees of owners that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday. All owners will meet in Houston next week and are expected to vote on whether to allow any of the teams to move. A team wanting to move needs 24 of 32 votes.

Los Angeles has been without the NFL since after the 1994 season, when the Raiders moved back to Oakland and the Rams moved to St. Louis. The Rams had been in the L.A. area since 1946.

The Chargers and City Hall have been at odds since 2000, when team owner Alex Spanos said the team needed a new stadium. That was just three years after the stadium was expanded to accommodate the Chargers and Super Bowls.

The stadium saga turned nasty this year as Mark Fabiani, an attorney for Dean Spanos, attacked Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his proposals to keep the team.

In a video posted on the team's web site, Dean Spanos blamed "the inability of the city at the political level to get any kind of public funding or any kind of vote to help subsidize a stadium."

The Chargers' filing came hours after Spanos' son, John, the team's president of football operations, thanked fans for "your unwavering support and passion" in a statement in which he expressed support for beleaguered coach Mike McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco. McCoy will return despite the Chargers going 4-12, their worst record in 12 seasons. Telesco had his contract secretly renewed last summer.

The Raiders and Rams were both 7-9.

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Chargers, Raiders, Rams file for relocation to Los Angeles
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) dives to the end zone for a touchdown as Carolina Panthers defensive back Robert McClain (27) and defensive end Charles Johnson (95) defend in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) falls into the end zone for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals free safety Rashad Johnson (26) and cornerback Justin Bethel (28) defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (83) cannot catch a pass as he is defended by San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Buffalo Bills strong safety Leodis McKelvin (21) intercepts a pass to New York Jets' Eric Decker (87) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Walter Thurmond (26) intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants running back Shane Vereen (34) as Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) looks on during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. Thurmond ran the interception 85 yards back for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
Washington Redskins' Will Compton (51) and DeAngelo Hall, upper left, knock the helmet off Dallas Cowboys' Robert Turbin, right, after a short run in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. The Redskins were charged with a personal foul on the play. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) makes a touchdown catch in the end zone against Atlanta Falcons free safety Charles Godfrey (30) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 03: Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates intercepting a pass during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on January 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers lunges across the goal line against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 3rd quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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The Chargers walked away from negotiations with the city and county in mid-June.

In the three brief negotiating sessions between the Chargers and city and county officials, the team mostly focused on what it called a flawed environmental impact report for a new stadium. The team did not negotiate finances, but it has said in the past that it expects a public contribution of at least 60 percent.

Under the city and county's proposal, public funding would be capped at 32 percent, with the team being responsible for overruns.

The Chargers claim 25 percent of their fan base comes from north of San Diego County, although they've declined to offer proof.

Oakland has expressed interest in building a new stadium for the Raiders at the Coliseum site but has no funding plan as of yet.

The Rams currently have a year-to-year lease with the Edward Jones Dome.

Kroenke has ignored efforts by a St. Louis task force that is proposing a $1.1 billion stadium along the Mississippi River, not far from the Rams' current stadium built in 1995.

The Rams have had 12 consecutive non-winning seasons, including a 15-65 record from 2007-11 that is the worst five-year stretch in NFL history. Out of 21 seasons in St. Louis, they've fielded four winners, including the 1999 Super Bowl title team and 2001 team that lost to Patriots in the Super Bowl.

The St. Louis stadium task force said in a statement it had anticipated the filing "for more than a year" and was "extremely confident" its proposal would be "well received as the league weighs its options in the weeks ahead."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher was head coach of the Houston Oilers when they relocated to Tennessee in the 1996, and that could happen again.

"I shared with the team today, I've been through this experience before," Fisher said earlier Monday. "We have to take the approach and with the assumption that everything's taking place here in St. Louis until we're told otherwise."

Safety T.J. McDonald's father, Tim McDonald, was a rookie defensive back on the Cardinals in 1987 in their final year in St. Louis before owner Bill Bidwill moved the franchise to Phoenix.

"That's kind of crazy," said T.J. McDonald, who's rehabbing from shoulder surgery. "He's told me a lot of stories, too many to try to remember."

Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said the demands of the season kept it from being too big of a distraction.

"Really, it'll become a big distraction now as you sit with nothing to do and you realize it's what, two weeks or not even (that) away from the decision," Laurinaitis said. "Everyone's just kind of fatigued about it, to be honest. Everyone wants closure to it all, just wants to know one way or another."

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