A $1.7 billion NFL stadium next to one of the busiest highways in America could draw two California football teams to Los Angeles, if their cities don't provide them better facilities at home.
The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders support the proposal, revealed Thursday, to build a 72,000-seat arena next to the 405 Freeway in Carson that would host both teams. Each has been in protracted negotiations with their respective cities to build more modern accommodations than the 1960s-era stadiums they play in now.
On Friday, elected officials from Carson, a city between Los Angeles and Long Beach, announced wide community support to build the huge stadium complex on an empty, 168-acre lot in the city. A local coalition, Carson2gether, backs this latest proposal to bring a team to Los Angeles.
"If you can't work it out with your cities, we welcome you with open arms here in Carson," Congresswoman Janice Hahn said at what amounted to a pep rally to show community support.
"We will give you a beautiful new stadium, we will give you fans like you've never had before," Hahn continued.
Representatives from the Chargers and Raiders didn't appear at the rally in Carson. For the most part, the local politicians and community leaders who spoke focused on the Carson community, which must approve the stadium through a ballot measure.
The teams, which have both played full seasons in LA before, stressed in a joint statement released Thursday that they were working with their current cities to "find permanent stadium solutions that are publicly acceptable."
"If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises," the teams said.
Oakland reaction: "It would be a great blow"
San Diego reaction: "That’s not how you do business”
After years without an NFL team, Los Angeles suddenly has an abundant set of options with a range of backers, from a major sports development group to a current NFL owner, making a Los Angeles NFL team a likelier prospect that it's been in decades -- though certainly not a guarantee.
The National Football League has long wanted a football team in Los Angeles, a huge market for television viewers, where it hasn't had one since 1994, when the Raiders returned to Oakland. The league set up a committe on Los Angeles, according to the Chargers-Raiders statement.
The Chargers and the Raiders have both been publicly courting moves because both play in outdated stadiums -- Qualcomm Stadium and O.co Coliseum, respectively. Meanwhile, the Oakland situation is even more complicated because there have been talks about the Raiders sharing a venue with the Oakland A's baseball team at new stadiums on the same site.
Any team that relocates to LA would need its proposal approved by three-fourths of the NFL's owners, according to the Chargers-Raiders statement.
NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.