San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with three members of the NFL's Los Angeles relocation committee, and with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, to stress that San Diego has a plan to build a new stadium to keep the Chargers from leaving.
Faulconer met with New York Giants owner John Mara, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. He hopes to meet with the other three members of the relocation committee soon: Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, and Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt.
In the meetings with Mara and Kraft, Faulconer was joined by county Supervisor Ron Roberts, and in the meeting with Goodell, he was joined by the city's lead negotiator Chris Melvin.
The meetings occurred in recent days in New York, Boston and Charlotte, N.C., after Faulconer finished a lobbying trip to Washington seeking money for projects such as affordable housing, water infrastructure and housing for the homeless.
Faulconer and Roberts were upbeat Saturday in assessing the meetings, which occurred just days before NFL owners are set to discuss efforts by the Chargers, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders to relocate to the Los Angeles area, although no decision is expected.
"There's no substitute for a face-to-face conversation," said Faulconer, "and this was an opportunity to let the league and other team owners know that San Diego is absolutely an NFL city."
Said Roberts: "It's always better to be able to define your intentions with the decision makers rather than depend on the interpretation of others."
Roberts and Faulconer stressed the civic plan to build a new stadium in Mission Valley on the site of the aging Qualcomm Stadium. The idea, however, is not supported by the Chargers ownership that considers the plan unrealistic and not destined to withstand legal challenge on environmental grounds. Without agreement from the Chargers, the idea for a special election seeking voter support for a financing plan has been scuttled.