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Why is San Diego a possibility for the Raiders if it fails for the Chargers?

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If the Chargers move to Los Angeles, the vacant market of San Diego might end up working for the Raiders even if it didn't for another team.

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If the San Diego Chargers elect to move to Los Angeles, a relocation to San Diego would be a "very viable" option for the Oakland Raidersaccording to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

But that seems like a counterintuitive move after years of attempts to keep the Chargers in San Diego look to be on the verge of officially failing. So why would the city make sense for the Raiders if it doesn't for the Chargers?

The key is the different expectations of Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis, who have encountered entirely different hurdles in their attempts to find viable solutions in the San Diego and Oakland markets.

Why would the Chargers leave San Diego?

A move to Los Angeles almost seems inevitable for the Chargers after the team was given the option to join the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood. While finding a venue that could host the Chargers in 2016 could be a hurdle the team is still trying to jump, Schefter reports that the team is actively negotiating a partnership with the Rams and the Chargers have already filed trademarks with a Los Angeles title.

None of that means it's a done deal, but the Chargers haven't been able to find an option that makes sense in San Diego and an extra $100 million to make it happen is ultimately just a drop in the well that doesn't come close to bridging the gap between the city and the Chargers.

The incentives of a move to Los Angeles are obvious for the Chargers. A state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood will blow Qualcomm Stadium out of the water and the market size of Los Angeles will instantly add a tremendous amount of value to the team. When the Rams moved from St. Louis, Forbes executive editor Michael Ozanian told the Washington Post that the team's value doubled, launching it from estimations as the No. 28 most-valuable team in the NFL to No. 3.

That possibility of a huge jump in value is one that Spanos has been able to use as leverage to ask a lot of San Diego and the city hasn't been able to meet his requests. But the wants of Davis could be much more reasonable.

San Diego is a market the NFL would prefer over Oakland

Oakland isn't a particularly big city, but is a viable NFL market as part of the Bay Area, which includes fans in San Francisco, San Jose and other neighboring cities. But if the Raiders leave the area, the NFL still has its hands in the pot with the San Francisco 49ers, which would be an even more valuable team without the competition of another NFL team nearby.

But if the Chargers leave San Diego, it would instantly become one of the biggest markets in the nation without an NFL team. That could make the NFL very friendly to the idea of a move south for the Raiders.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the NFL may even help facilitate a move to San Diego for the Raiders.

It's a market the NFL absolutely wants to be in, and one the league is comfortable the Raiders would dominate.

In fact, don't be surprised if the NFL either waived any relocation fee to facilitate a possible Raiders move to San Diego or set one at a price extremely affordable. Also, the additional $100 million the league promised to the Raiders to go toward a deal in Oakland is expected to be available to them in a move to San Diego.

While San Antonio has also been discussed as a possible landing spot for the Raiders if Oakland doesn't work, the NFL would likely be less willing to help or waive fees to facilitate that move, especially if it meant cutting into the markets of the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Of course, cutting into the new markets of the Rams and Chargers is also one of the negatives of a move to San Diego for the Raiders, but three teams in Southern California might make more sense than three in Texas or two in the Bay Area if it means San Diego isn't ignored.

Davis has more realistic stadium goals

With Los Angeles as leverage, Spanos was able to ask for one of the world's best sports stadiums and if San Diego wasn't able to deliver it, LA would be. But the requests of Davis could be much easier for San Diego to reach, especially if the NFL is willing to chip in $100 million toward the cause.

Via the LA Daily News:

Davis isn't looking to build an extravagant $1.7 billion stadium. He wants a modest, contemporary venue that includes all the bells and whistles and revenue streams of new stadiums around the league. But at a much smaller price tag.

As Davis explained at the owners meetings in Houston, an extra $100 million toward a solution in Oakland doesn't fix the issue of land that has hampered a resolution with the city. Davis has asked for an additional 120 acres to work with, but the city has balked at his requests.

Those are problems he likely wouldn't face in San Diego, although just the fact that potentially viable markets like San Antonio and San Diego exist for the Raiders could make Oakland more ready and willing to concede to Davis.

Still, in San Diego a proposal for a $1.1 billion stadium in Mission Valley was spurned by Spanos and it could be one that Davis is ready to work with and better than anything Oakland is able to offer if the Chargers move to Los Angeles.

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