Where is the team effort to keep the San Diego Chargers in town?
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Where is the team effort to keep the San Diego Chargers in town?
The city of Carson has crossed the 50-year line in its effort to score a stadium for the Chargers and Raiders. Inglewood is already in the red zone in its efforts to lure the Rams to LA next year.
It seems as though it’s barely out of its own end zone.
Selecting a stadium site was the easy part. The hard part is coming up with a financing plan to give the Charge upwards of $600 million of public funding for a stadium.
“We don’t have a plan, we don’t have a design, and we don’t have financing,” said Jan Goldsmith, a San Diego City Attorney.
On “Good Morning San Diego,” Goldsmith suggested the city might have taken a different approach.
“Let’s recognize our position and go in a business like manner and do it the right way. The Chargers respect that. Mark Fabiani and Dean Spanos, from my discussions with Mark, would like to see the city go in a business like way,” Goldsmith said.
Chargers stadium point-man Mark Fabiani likens this to a landlord/tenant situation.
The tenant is unhappy, the lease is expiring and the tenant has a place to go.
“The question is if you’re the landlord how do you keep your tenant, and that’s a business transaction, it’s not emotional, it’s not anything more than a business transaction,” Fabiani said.
Had the city, the county, the Chargers and the NFL gotten together in one room early on, this might have been settled long ago.
“That’s what’s maybe scary about that kind of process. If you put everybody in a room and don’t let them out until they’re finished, they might come out and say it doesn’t work, and I didn’t know that that’s something the mayor really wanted to have happen,” Fabiani said.
Now the city is pressured to act quickly and pressure can cause mistakes.
“If you look historically where mistakes were made in negotiating with the NFL and their sports teams, it has been city attorneys like me think we know it all, and although I know how to negotiate, I don’t know stadiums,” Fabiani said.
In the case of Carson and Inglewood, the initiative process was used to speed up the process and bypass many of the obstacles San Diego is facing.
But the initiative process requires a plan to present to the voters and we don’t have a plan.
For now, we’re a long way to the end zone, LA is beckoning and the clock is running out.
“We ought to have some result by the end of the year, hopefully it’s a positive result here in San Diego, and if it’s not then we’d be prepared to go with the Carson site if the NFL owners voted to let that happen,” Fabiani said.
That’s a big “if.” The team has to prove it’s operated in good faith with the city. Thirteen years, and millions of dollars later, suggest it may have.