Thursday March 5th, 2015

The organizers behind a proposed new $1.7 billion stadium for the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers in Carson, Calif., filed ballot initiative paperwork Wednesday in the first step to bring the plan to a vote.

The organizers must begin collecting petition signatures as early as next week to get the required 8,041 signatures over the next six months to get the issue on the ballot.

If the plan is approved by a public or city council vote, it would ease the current zoning laws allowing construction on the site of a former landfill.

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The deal for the Carson site is almost complete, and the Chargers are locked into buying it. The Raiders and Chargers still say they will continue to explore options to build stadiums in the respective cities.

"There are no contingencies, there is no option," Mark Fabiani, special council to the Chargers, said to the Los Angeles Times. "We have to buy it. Starwood has to sell it."

Another stadium project located just 10 miles away from Carson is already being fast-tracked by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, but St. Louis officials are working to develop a 90-acre site to build a riverfront stadium in efforts to keep the team from relocating.

The Inglewood stadium project, which is located next to Hollywood Park, skipped the ballot process after a vote by the city’s council because of development already in the area.

Kroenke’s stadium project would be privately funded and would include a 6,000-seat performance venue as well as retail, office, hotel and residential space next to the site, while the Carson project would be publicly owned and have a 350-room hotel with possibly a museum or entertainment venue.

The earliest a team can relocate is next season, and the NFL created a committee comprised of six NFL owners to determine viable stadium options in Los Angeles. The city has not had an NFL team since the Rams and Raiders relocated after the 1994 season.

- Scooby Axson

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