All the usual suspects have been bandied about for months, but after reading ESPN's breakdown of potential candidates, only three or four would seem to really be in the running. I'm thinking San Diego, Buffalo, and perhaps St. Louis and Minnesota. On the Chargers:
Not only does the proposed stadium in downtown San Diego seem like a long shot, simply getting a public vote on the stadium in 2012, which the Chargers had hoped for, looks unlikely at this point. The Chargers seemingly meet all the requirements to be Los Angeles' next NFL team. AEG wants to buy at least a 30 percent minority interest in the first team that moves into Farmers Field, and [Chargers owner Alex] Spanos seems willing to sell roughly that amount. AEG needs a team to be able to commit to move to Los Angeles by May 2012 and the Chargers can get out of their lease in San Diego between Feb. 1 and May 1. The Chargers already have some history with AEG and Casey Wasserman, who is partnering with AEG on Farmers Field. Two years ago, the Chargers signed a deal with the Wasserman Media Group to help market the team in Los Angeles, and for two years the Chargers held their training camp at the AEG-owned Home Depot Center in Carson.
Oakland and SF are also mentioned as possible contenders, but that doesn't seem likely. By the way, AEG head Tim Leiweke told reporters this afternoon that the construction schedule would be very tight if they want to complete the stadium in time for the 2016 season. "We have no margin for error here," he said. It's worth mentioning that a memorandum of understanding - what the City Council signed off on today - is not the same as a done deal. That won't happen until the environmental review is completed next year.