SAN DIEGO — The future of the San Diego Chargers hung in the balance in January when the team’s owner, Dean Spanos, tried to make a crucial call.
Should he move his team to Los Angeles to share a lucrative new stadium with the Rams?
Or should he give San Diego what may be its last, improbable shot to approve a new stadium and keep its beloved team of 55 years?
After more than two weeks of deliberating, Spanos chose the latter, a decision that also teed up the next round of The Great Southern California Stadium Derby involving the Rams, Chargers and Oakland Raiders.
Almost six months later, it’s soon to heat up again — and the stakes are huge. The Chargers still could move to L.A. after the 2016 season. Or the Raiders could join the Rams instead. Or perhaps all three end up with shiny new NFL stadiums in three western cities, all within 320 miles of each other in L.A., San Diego and Las Vegas.
It depends on some key votes and some “three-dimensional chess,” said Fred Maas, special advisor to Spanos on the stadium project in San Diego. “All the moves have not been…