Stadium Watch: Town Hall followup
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – So the NFL has come and gone. Was anything accomplished besides checking off the box that requires these town hall meetings in the league’s relocation process?
After listening to everyone who spoke, including the league, the team, elected officials and the fans, the answer is probably not much.
As NFL Executive Eric Grubman said, it doesn’t appear that the meeting gave Chargers’ fans the satisfaction that they were seeking.
San Diegans keep hearing the same song. The city saying the Chargers have no desire to stay and Mark Fabiani blaming the city for failing to listen to the team’s concerns and needs for getting a new stadium.
Mr. Fabiani is paid to take the hits.
"The problem is he hasn’t been respectful, he can talk about seven different mayors and these proposals but if you’re not respectful people won’t respect you," said said Johnny Abundez, a member of "Save Our Bolts."
On "Good Morning San Diego," the mayor’s political consultant, Jason Roe, laid the blame squarely on Dean Spanos, the greed among NFL owners and Mark Fabiani.
"It’s difficult to find an elected or civic leader in the city of San Diego that thinks this guy is an honest broker, and I think for the future of finding a solution, if and when the Chargers come back to the table, it better not be Mr Fabiani representing the Chargers," Roe said.
"Let’s face it, Dean Spanos is hiding behind Mark, I mean, its Mark’s job to go out there and be the bad guy so that doesn’t need to be the bad guy."
Councilmember Scott Sherman felt the invective against Fabiani and scored points with the NFL executives.
"When Mr. Fabiani got up there, a chorus of boo’s rang out from the crowd, they were genuinely taken aback with the level an antagonism leveled towards Mr Fabiani," Sherman said.
The Chargers left the table in June, saying the city wasted months on a Task Force, then came up with a flawed Environmental Impact Report that will be challenged in court – wasting more time- knowing the NFL wants an actionable plan by year’s end.
The calls to flood Spreckles Theatre with fans fell short. A thousand seats were claimed, but less than 500 showed up.
The league would prefer that teams stay in their home cities, but that requires taxpayers funding 60 percent of the stadiums. San Diego is offering 32 percent.
The NFL is not one to leave public dollars on the table, but those dollars have to be substantial.
"We’re working towards a solution in San Diego, and each of the three cities. We haven’t given up, if we had given up, we wouldn’t be here," Grubman said.
In fact, they’re required to be here because of the NFL’s relocation guidelines.
What hasn’t changed is the bottom line. Back in April, the league told the city if it didn’t have a stadium plan the Chargers can support by the end of the year, there’s a good chance the city could lost the team.