Surprise, disappointment and, in some cases, silence greeted news Thursday night that the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders plan to build a stadium in Carson.
In San Diego, which appointed a nine-member committee last month to recommend a new stadium site for the Chargers, civic leaders were particularly dismayed.
“It’s now abundantly clear that while we have been working here in San Diego to create a plan for a new stadium, the Chargers have for some time been making their own plans for moving to Los Angeles,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “This would amount to abandoning generations of loyal Chargers fans.”
However, the mayor promised to continue pushing for a stadium solution.
George Mitrovich, president of the City Club of San Diego, the city’s major public forum, said that the Chargers “engaged in blatant hypocrisy and untruth.” City Councilman Todd Gloria called the development “beyond unfortunate.” And Adam Day, chairman of the city’s stadium committee, termed the news “a complete surprise.”
A more hopeful response followed in Oakland, where the Raiders moved from Los Angeles in 1995.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said Raiders President Marc Badain assured her Thursday that the team’s “No. 1 priority” is to build a new stadium in the city. Schaaf, who doesn’t believe Oakland should subsidize a stadium, “respects” the Raiders’ need to explore other options for a new home.
“They have done it before and they will do it again,” she said.
Meanwhile, quiet surrounded the proposed 80,000-seat stadium project at the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood. The partnership between St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the Stockbridge Capital Group now faces another competitor. Officials with the project, including Kroenke, declined to comment.
But Inglewood Mayor James Butts Jr., a vocal proponent of the sprawling mixed-use development, didn’t think the Carson project changed anything about his city’s effort to attract an NFL franchise.
“We are fully engaged in bringing this city forward,” Butts said. Inglewood City Council members could vote as soon as Tuesday to approve changes to the Hollywood Park plan to include the stadium.
In a brief statement, an NFL spokesman noted that the league remains in contact with the clubs involved with the L.A. market. A committee of six owners has been appointed to evaluate stadium options in the area.
Organizers of the effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis used the Carson news to reiterate their commitment to keeping the team as part of a stadium plan unveiled last month.
“We are very encouraged and thrilled with the progress we’ve made in our NFL riverfront stadium project in St. Louis,” said Dave Peacock, a businessman in charge of the project, “and anticipate more headway in the weeks ahead.”
Times staff writers Sam Farmer and Lee Romney contributed to this report.