Stadium Watch: Is it time to let the Chargers go? - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Stadium Watch: Is it time to let the Chargers go?

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) - One has to wonder if the tide is turning against keeping the Chargers in San Diego. There are no negotiations, no financing plan and a third of the council members voted against funding the Environmental Impact Report.

Besides that, a public meeting on the stadium issue Wednesday night drew only one speaker and lasted a mere six minutes. 

Those issues were more important to three council members than funding for the controversial environmental report and it sent a message to the mayor's office about the city's overall strategy to keep the team. 

Council member Marti Emerald said the Chargers want to part this misbegotten strategy and we should listen to them.

"Let's focus on the needs of our neighborhoods, we need billions of dollars to rebuild vital facilities and services, repair roads and bridges, build parks and invest in public safety and quality of life for all San Diegans," she said.

The city accelerated the EIC process to show the NFL the city is serious about keeping the team and staying within the NFL's time frame to get a January election. 

But Council member Todd Gloria doesn't see that as the biggest challenge which, he said, is paying for the stadium. 

"Now if the Mayor is serious and wanted to send a clear message to the NFL, a signal about San Diego's willingness to keep the Chargers here, he should have asked the council to consider a series of financial options to build a new stadium, that would buy credibility," Gloria said. 

Mark Fabiani is the spokesperson for Dean Spanos. 

"The city hasn't even begun to talk about financing, and ultimately that's what the league would look at," Fabiani said.

Then there's the public meeting that drew only 20 people and one speaker. Is the public losing faith? 

"The more the people have seen the city's strategy here, the more puzzled they've become," Fabiani said.

Millions of taxpayer dollars have already come out of the general fund for the stadium and with the city rejecting the sale of land and development at Qualcomm, where does the money come from? 

"There's nothing left to fund the public contribution here except the general fund," Fabiani said.

All of these are issues not sitting well with the public, largely because there is no financing plan or even a term sheet detailing the principles of a deal. 

"Our negotiating team led by the Mayor has made it very clear that we're not going to put something on the ballot without a term sheet with the Chargers," said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. 

This puts a January election in jeopardy. 

"We believe that we need to have in order to meet the January 12 deadline for an election we need to have a term sheet by early September if there is going to be a deal," she said.

The question now is, how will the NFL owners react to what the city's negotiating team presents on August 10th in Chicago? Having a financing plan is critical. 


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