Chargers seem to hold little hope for San Diego stadium solution
In another indication of the impasse between the Chargers and the city of San Diego, the club released a statement Tuesday saying it does not believe a stadium initiative can be put on the ballot this year.
That means the Chargers hold little hope of staying in San Diego, at least according to the NFL’s current timeline, and will continue to jointly pursue a Carson stadium with the Oakland Raiders.
The Chargers said they have had three formal meetings with the city -- the third taking place Tuesday -- and numerous informal conversations, but could not find a way to create a stadium ballot measure for December that complied with the California Environmental Quality Act and met election law requirements.
Said Mark Fabiani, Chargers special counsel: “The various options that we have explored with the city’s experts all lead to the same result: significant time-consuming litigation founded on multiple legal challenges, followed by a high risk of eventual defeat in the courts.”
Time is of the essence for the Chargers because St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke intends to begin construction in December on a competing stadium project in Inglewood. The NFL is not going to give the go-ahead on two L.A.-area stadiums, so the Chargers don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a years-long approval process that might never come to be.
“It appears the Chargers have pulled the plug on San Diego even though the city and county have gone out of their way to try and accommodate the team,” said Tony Manolatos, spokesman for the San Diego mayor’s stadium task force. “Instead of working collaboratively on a solution, the Chargers have thrown up one road block after another.”
The NFL wants an answer in the coming months about which team or teams will get the green light to relocate to L.A. with the intent of beginning play there in 2016. The Chargers, who play in outdated Qualcomm Stadium, have been looking for a San Diego solution for more than a dozen years.
“The Chargers are committed to maintaining an open line of communication with the city’s negotiators as we move through the summer and leading up to the special August meeting of National Football League owners,” Fabiani said. “That meeting may provide important information about what is likely to occur during the remainder of 2015.”
A joint statement by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, county Supervisor Ron Roberts, and City Atty. Jan Goldsmith said, “We are still at the table. We have all the ingredients for success in San Diego if the Chargers work with us. We can get this done if the Chargers want to get it done.”
Staff writer Tony Perry contributed to this report.
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