Chargers vs San Diego Mayor

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The blow-up between the Chargers and City Hall could be the opening salvo in the team exiting San Diego.

Chargers special counsel published a scathing interview stating communication between the two has broken down and ripped civic leader Steve Cushman as the primary cause.

There are two things at play that have to be reconciled.

The St. Louis Rams possibly moving to Los Angeles, and the expansion of the Convention Center.

Steve Cushman came up with financing plan for the expansion which was shot down by the courts.

Cushman was also involved in the Chargers task force formed over 10-years ago.

Council Member Todd Gloria is scratching his head over the mayor assembling another advisory group on the stadium issue.

“It hasn’t yielded success yet. I think, we’re rightly skeptical whether or not this will be a success,” he said.

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani told Sports Radio let’s not go back to the same cast of characters to resolve this. He was particularly hostile to Steve Cushman being involved.

“It was the one thing we asked them not to do, and that’s exactly what they did. The mayor said Cushman would continue to be involved in the convention center,” said Fabiani.

The problem with that is Cushman, whose on the Convention Center Board, is adamant about expansion being contiguous, while the Chargers stadium plan includes a convention center annex, but it’s three blocks away.

There is no doubt the team is under pressure to protect its franchise. Fabiani aid if the team moves to Los Angeles, it will siphon Chargers fans, treating the team’s viability in San Diego.

He is using Cushman to pressure City Hall because he has lost control of the timeline.

“For the last 12 or 13 years we’ve been working the time line. There’s been no one seriously threatening to move into the L.A. market. No longer, we have to respond to what these other actors are doing,” said Fabiani.

Fred Maas, a business man and civil leader whose volunteered his time for years to run the city’s re-development agency understands the dilemma.

“It doesn’t appear as though, from what I hear, that Steve is going to take an active role in the stadium, but I understand their inhibitions and concerns because of some of the strident positions he’s taken regarding the stadium in the past,” he said.

Maas said Cushman was also against a stadium in Chula Vista.

Mayor Faulconer is also under pressure.

He does not want to be the mayor who loses the city’s football team, so he is forming another advisory group.

“We’re going to have a great action group of San Diegans that are coming together with new energy, determination which I know which is we can get this done if we work together,” said the mayor.

Right now, the two sides are not together, nor are they talking.

One thing is sure, this will be a real test of the mayor’s leadership.

“The opportunity for leadership is to make a decision, rally public support, and move forward, that doesn’t seem to be happening yet, but doesn’t mean it won’t in the future,” said Gloria.

“It’s going to be one of many tests of his leadership and he’s certainly up to it. He’s committed to finding a solution,” said Maas.

Jason Roe is the mayor’s new spokesman on stadium issues, and he said, “For the first time we’ve got a mayor who is willing to put the political capitol at risk to get a solution here, but I don’t think we can do it if the Chargers aren’t willing to be partners in that.”

What is coming from both sides does not sound all that encouraging, and the Chargers could leave San Diego.

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