Stepping up their campaign to bring NFL football to Carson, city officials and other supporters rallied last week in front of the proposed site of a stadium that could house the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, saying there’s regional support for the effort. Officials also unveiled a large banner reading “Future Home of Professional Football” and renamed a street “Stadium Way” at the location near the San Diego (405) Freeway and Del Amo Boulevard.
“As people drive down the freeway or drive down the roads, they no longer have to wonder where football is going to be played,” Carson Mayor Albert Robles said.
Backers of the stadium displayed letters of support from officials in cities ranging from Los Angeles to Pico Rivera to Compton to show there is regional support for the stadium project. A competing stadium proposal is moving forward at the former Hollywood Park racetrack site in Inglewood, where St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is backing an NFL-ready facility. Moving any NFL franchise requires a vote from league owners.
The Raiders and Chargers have both been involved in talks in their respective cities for new stadiums. The teams joined forces on the $1.7 billion Carson proposal in case they are unable to reach deals. San Diego officials are proposing a $1.1 billion replacement for Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley in hopes of keeping the Chargers. The team, however, has been less than enthusiastic about the proposal, criticizing a fast- tracked environmental review of the project.
In Carson, stadium supporters collected thousands of signatures to get the stadium proposal directly before the City Council, bypassing the need for any extensive environmental reviews. The Carson City Council approved plans for the 72,000-seat stadium in April. An NFL team has not played in the Los Angeles area since 1994, when the Raiders and Rams relocated.
“Only God can address the water drought, but the city of Carson is going to do its best to make sure we address our football drought,” Robles said during the rally.