Stadium Watch: Spanos talks to San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Chargers filed an application to move the team to Carson Monday night. The Raiders and Rams did the same.

This doesn’t mean any team or teams are moving to Los Angeles unless, and until, the applications are approved by the league.

The Chargers filed because they believe they cannot get a stadium deal in San Diego. A deal was on the table, but it collapsed.

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In the words of Dean Spanos, it was because of the inability of the city at the political level to get any kind of public funding or any kind of vote to help subsidize the stadium.

This is the first time Dean Spanos has talked publicly to the citizens of San Diego since this whole stadium issue began last January and why he wants to move the team.

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And he did it by a Youtube video.

"This has been probably the single most difficult decision that I"ve ever made, that our family’s ever made in business, and I promise you it wasn’t an easy decision to come to," Spanos said.

Spanos said when Rams owner Stan Kroenke said he would move his team, the race to L.A. had begun.

Another team in Los Angeles would siphon 25 percent of Chargers revenue in San Diego.

Spanos needed an alternative.

"We have never wanted to leave, why would you want to leave san diego it’s a great city and great people," he said.

Jim Steeg was a member of the Mayor’s Task Force, or CSAG, charged with selecting a stadium site and a financing plan. Mission Valley was selected, the Chargers favored downtown.

"The hope was you were going to negotiate after you’re done with CSAG in May that you would negotiate over the next 3 months to be able to get something done," Steeg said.

But the Chargers never bought into the plan because the plan’s revenues would not make the team competitive, and the plan contained an Environmental Impact Report the team trashed, saying it was legally suspect and would take years to resolve.

"Obviously when the Chargers walked away from the negotiating table in late June early July that was kind of the end of that," Steeg said.

By now, the city was hard pressed to get a promised vote in December. It was put off until January, then until June.

These dates could not conform to the NFL’s time frame to have a vote by December.

"This current process by the mayor it runs past the time frames where you really need to have an answer and it really puts the burden on the team, if you’re not successful in having a positive vote its not that you didn’t try but at the end of the day there may be and probably most likely  would not be an alternative," Spanos said.

Uncertainties with the EIR and a vote essentially doomed the mayor’s plan.

"I understand the biggest concern I now here is if you delay this time frame you’re making them take the risk in case somebody else gets approved in Los Angeles. and they don’t want to take that risk," Steeg said.

That’s where we are now. Nobody, including Spanos, knows what the owners will do at their meeting next week when decisions are expected about which site and which teams can move.

"Whatever the decision of the owners is, we will abide by," Spanos said.

And if that’s it, you stay in San Diego?

"We’re back here and we’re gonna be here for the next year for sure and we’ll look at all the possibilities obviously with the city an see what our alternatives could be," Spanos said.

The alternatives are not good. One or two other teams will have taken over the Los Angeles Market, leaving the team in San Diego with no leverage to negotiate a new deal and a lease that’s expiring in 2020.

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