SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Three weeks from today, the National Football League’s Los Angeles committee could make a recommendation for which team or teams qualify for a move to LA.
If the chargers are one of the teams, a year's worth of work by the City of San Diego to keep the team will have failed.
There are many reasons but chief among them was the outside pressure on both the city and team to react to events neither could control.
The first was a surprise announcement last January by the owner of the St Louis Rams, Stan Kroenke, that he would be moving his team to Los Angeles. That changed everything.
In reaction, San Diego Chargers President and CEO Dean Spanos said a team in LA would threaten the franchise in San Diego by siphoning off about 25 percent fan revenue. The team needed an option, so in February they partnered with the Oakland Raiders for a in a shared stadium project in Carson, California.
That put pressure on the City of San Diego to quickly come up with a stadium plan to keep the team. The mayor assembled a task force to select a site and come up with a financing plan by fall of 2015. The chargers preferred downtown but the Mission Valley site was selected.
The city’s objective was to come forward with something that settled things once and for all.
It did the opposite. It's report came out in May. In June, negotiations focused on ways to get a lengthy environmental report, or EIR, completed in time for a 2015 election. The city said it could meet that deadline. The chargers said that was legally impossible and cut off negotiations.
After a meeting with Dean Spanos, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer agreed to speed up the time line for the task force's work.
What followed was a series of personal attacks from both sides, neither wanting to be blamed if it came down to the team relocating.
As this played out, the Chargers remained focused on Carson while the mayor turned his attention to working directly with the NFL, and setting up meetings with individual owners on the LA committee.
The city will be submitting its unchanged plan to the league by the December 30 deadline.
By the time the NFL meetings began in the fall it was evident the city couldn't meet the league's deadlines. Two elections were postponed and the EIR was never completed. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell emphasized the city's plan remained filed with uncertainty.
Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani says the die has been cast.