Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Chargers To Mayor's Stadium Group: Team Won't 'Provide Political Cover'

Mark Fabiani, San Diego Chargers special counsel to the president, stands on the sidelines before a Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium, Nov. 27, 2011.
Associated Press
Mark Fabiani, San Diego Chargers special counsel to the president, stands on the sidelines before a Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium, Nov. 27, 2011.

Chargers To Mayor’s Stadium Group: Team Won’t ‘Provide Political Cover’
San Diego Chargers team counsel Mark Fabiani issued a statement on the Bolts' website about what he shared Monday with Mayor Kevin Faulconer's Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group.

A task force that will make recommendations for siting and financing a new football stadium in San Diego received advice Monday from a representative of the Chargers.

Task force member Jim Steeg, a former National Football League executive and ex-Chargers chief operating officer, said the nine-member group was scheduled to meet for two hours with Mark Fabiani, the Chargers point-man in their long search for a new playing facility.


Following the meeting at the U.S. Grant Hotel, Fabiani shared some advice for the task force based on the team's years of trying to make a new stadium happen.

"Based on this 14 years worth of experience, we would like to suggest four principles we hope will help guide your work," he said in a post on the Chargers site.

Fabiani's "principles" include:

First, you should resist the political pressure you will feel to make a proposal simply for the sake of making a proposal.

The second guiding principle is this: The Chargers have no intention of quietly participating in any effort to provide political cover for elected officials.

The third principle: Any proposal that emerges from the work of your Task Force should be subjected to serious, real world stress tests. In particular, any Task Force proposal should pass each of the following three real world tests: First, is the proposal one that has a strong chance of being approved by two-thirds of the voters? The second real world stress test should be this: Are the Mayor and a strong majority of the City Council prepared to support the recommendations of your Task Force? The third real world stress test for any proposal should be this: Does the proposal recognize the economic realities of our local marketplace and of the NFL

The fourth and final guiding principle is this: It should not be enough to suggest a plan that might succeed under perfectly controlled laboratory conditions – but that is unlikely to succeed in the real world of San Diego politics.
A spokesman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.

Adam Day, chairman of the mayor's volunteer Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group, said the members would "test and question" the four principles Fabiani suggested.

"We think that we can find a solution that works for everybody that's fair," Day said at a news conference outside City Hall. "Our objective is to come forward with something that settles this once and for all. Obviously it's something the voters need to support. If there's not a solution out there that the voters can support, you're not going to find us recommending it."


The latest estimates for a facility to replace Qualcomm Stadium have ranged at a little more than $1 billion, but Day said one may be able to be built for a little less.

Faulconer has said he wants the stadium group to have a proposal by this fall that can be put before voters next year. As for whether a plan can be developed that would win approval from two-thirds of voters, Day hedged on that.

"There’s a lot of distance between now and then, and we’re not at that point to determine what kind of voter threshold is going to be required of the public," Day said. "It’s more than just saying that’s what it has to be. I mean, there’s a number of different ways to skin that cat, and we’re going to evaluate all of the different options that are available.”

In an interview Friday on the Mighty 1090 radio station, advistory group member Steeg said that while the Chargers are a part of the stadium conversation, they aren't the only part.

"This is about something for everybody," Steeg said.

"The focus has been 10 NFL games a year, or hopefully, 11 or 12 with the playoffs," he said. "The idea is this is about a venue about umpteen events during a year."

Qualcomm Stadium during a game that pitted the San Diego Chargers against the New York Jets, Oct. 5, 2014.
Associated Press
Qualcomm Stadium during a game that pitted the San Diego Chargers against the New York Jets, Oct. 5, 2014.

He said other events would include San Diego State football contests, bowl games, the college football playoffs and soccer matches, among other things.

Day said the advisory group will be reaching out to other interested parties, including SDSU and county Supervisor Ron Roberts. The county could help with whatever funding mechanism the group proposes.

Details about a future meeting where the public can comment on the stadium all will be announced this week, Day said. The meetings are closed to the public because it's not an official city panel even though it was appointed by the mayor.

When Faulconer announced his stadium plan last month, Fabiani did not come out as a supporter of another task force. One was created in 2002 when the team first went to the city in 2002 asking for a new stadium.

Faulconer appointed the nine-member task force last month.

Last week, the mayor made public various documents related to the Chargers' decade-plus search for a new playing facility to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium.

The documents are located on the website for the city's Real Estate Assets Department. The links can be found by clicking "Related Links" and then "Stadium Information and Research."

Corrected: June 30, 2022 at 5:19 PM PDT
The Associated Press contributed to this report.