San Diego, Oakland And St. Louis Speak To NFL Owners
San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis made pitches to save their teams from moving to Los Angeles.
Officials from those three cities spoke Wednesday to the league's Los Angeles, stadium and finance committees — all three of which play some role in a potential relocation. Oakland spoke first, and was followed by San Diego and then St. Louis.
The Raiders and Chargers have combined on a project in Carson, that would cost about $1.78 billion if approved by three-fourths of the 32 owners. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is pushing a rival project in nearby Inglewood.
No votes were scheduled for Wednesday, and the league has set a special meeting in Dallas on Dec. 2 at which substantial steps could come, including moving up from January the deadline for application to relocate. Most NFL owners have reserved judgment on which plan they favor.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer represented San Diego.
"Most importantly the owners got to hear the strong commitment politically and in the community to get this done in San Diego," Faulconer said about getting the Chargers a new facility and keeping them in San Diego. "I think there was a clear understanding once we left of the tremendous amount of work that San Diego has done. The ability of us to get across the finish line I think was evident, and that was exactly what we wanted to accomplish with today."
Faulconer said the owners' questions focused on the details of San Diego's Mission Valley stadium project, including the financing, the environmental impact report and the likelihood of getting a referendum on the plan on the June 2016 ballot.
"Everyone in that room was fully engaged," Faulconer said. "We talked a lot about the momentum we have in San Diego."
While representatives from the three cities outlined plans for potential new stadiums — St. Louis already has a state-backed project costing about $1 billion — the league seriously contemplates a return to Los Angeles for the first time in more than two decades. Coincidentally, the Rams and Raiders were the teams that left the Los Angeles area after the 1994 season.
The Raiders-Chargers proposal added some firepower Wednesday by announcing that Disney CEO Bob Iger has agreed to lead the effort to build the stadium should NFL owners approve the teams' move.
Iger is set to serve under a five-year contract as non-executive chairman of Carson Holdings LLC, the joint venture to build a stadium on a 168-acre site.