SAN DIEGO (KUSI) - Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer released the following statement Friday as the deadline to hold a January special election on a stadium agreement passed with the Chargers refusing to negotiate with City and County leaders.
“While it's no surprise that the Chargers have allowed today's deadline to pass for a January 12 special election, San Diego can still hold a public vote on a new stadium during the normal election cycle in June or November – if Chargers ownership is willing to work in good faith with their hometown.
City and County leadership remain ready to negotiate a fair stadium agreement. We have the regional political cooperation, fair financial framework and full environmental review necessary to build a new sports and entertainment complex that can be used by the Chargers and for future Super Bowls.
I would like to personally thank the fans, elected officials and civic leaders who have helped put San Diego in the best possible position to make the case to the National Football League that we are an NFL city. We will continue to work directly with the NFL ahead of the upcoming ownership meetings to show them that San Diego has all the ingredients necessary for a fair deal for taxpayers, the team and the league.”
Friday was considered the last day San Diego and the Chargers could forge an agreement in time to have the City Attorney's Office draft a ballot measure and get it approved by the City Council in time to hold a special election.
The Chargers ended stadium negotiations in June after objecting to the city's expedited timeline, which produced an environmental impact report much faster than usual. Team special counsel Mark Fabiani contended the study would not pass legal muster and, in an email to City News Service Thursday, said his opinion hadn't changed.
"Unfortunately the quickie EIR is not like a fine wine; it doesn't get better with age,'' Fabiani said.
"On the contrary, the more time you spend with the EIR, the worse it looks,'' he said. "So our position remains the same as it has been since mid- June -- the city has made a fateful mistake by basing its entire offer to the team and the NFL on a quickie EIR that is fatally flawed and that will almost certainly be thrown out by the courts after several years of litigation.''
Mayor Faulconer, county Supervisor Ron Roberts and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith created the hastened timeline because the league is poised to make decisions about relocating a team to the Los Angeles area as early as this fall, and probably no later than January.
They've said the quick EIR is valid because a project would simply replace existing Qualcomm Stadium, so the impacts are already known.
The Chargers have been wanting a new stadium for nearly 15 years and have acquired land in Carson, an L.A. suburb, to build their own stadium -- possibly in concert with the Oakland Raiders -- in case they can't make a deal in San Diego.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, meanwhile, is planning to build a stadium in Inglewood, another Los Angeles County city. NFL owners will have to decide if all, some or none of the teams will be allowed to move into the potentially lucrative Los Angeles market, which has been without a franchise for more than 20 years.
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