Fabiani Says Chargers Not Optimistic About Mission Valley
OUR TOP STORY A MIDDAY EDITION. THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS FAVORITE SITE FOR NEW STADIUM IS IN DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO. BUT, THE CITIZEN STADIUM ADVISORY COMMITTEE IS RECOMMENDING THE MISSION VALLEY SITE FOR NEW STADIUM. ADD TO THAT THE CHARGES PLAN B, NEW JOINT STADIUM PROPOSAL WITH THE OAKLAND RAIDERS IN CARSON. CHARGES OFFICIALS WERE UP IN THE CARSON AREA OVER THE WEEKEND HELPING TO COLLECT PETITION SIGNATURES IN SUPPORT OF THAT STADIUM PLAN. IT ALSO SEEMS LIKE THE SIGNS ARE POINTED TOWARD THE CHARGES LEAVING SAN DIEGO BUT IT SEEMS THAT SEEMS IS THE OPERATIVE WORD. THE MORE PRESSURE THERE TEAM PUTS ON OFFICIALS COULD BE WORKING IN THEIR FAVOR. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THE STADIUM QUESTION FROM THE CHARGERS POINT OF VIEW IS MARK FABIANI, SPECIAL COUNSEL TO THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS. MARK, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM. THANK YOU. NOW THAT THE CITIZEN STADIUM ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING IS RECOMMENDING MISSION VALLEY BEFORE NEW STADIUM, CAN THE CHARGES EXCEPT THAT LOCATION ? IF THERE'S A WAY TO FINANCE IT IN A WAY THAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE PUBLIC AND IN A WAY THAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE CHARGERS NFL, AND IF THEY CAN BE BUILT IN A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME, CERTAINLY WE WOULD EXPECT THAT SITE. THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR SO LONG, MARINE, NO ONE REMEMBERS THAT WE SPENT THE FIRST SIX YEARS OF OUR 14 YEAR EFFORT ON THE QUALCOMM SITE. SO WE KNOW THE SITE VERY WELL. WE THOUGHT WE COULD HAVE DONE IT BACK THEN, ARE BUSY, WE ABANDONED IT FOR WHAT WE THOUGHT WERE GOOD REASONS BUT IF THE TASK -- TEST WITH CAN COME WITH A SOLUTION WITH A SIGH, WE WILL GIVE IT SERIOUS CONSIDERATION WHAT'S A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME? CLEARLY, IF THE TASK FORCE WILL DO WHAT WE PROPOSED BACK IN 2004 WHICH IS CONSTRUCTIVE STADIUM ALONG WITH AN URBAN VILLAGE AROUND THE STADIUM TO THEN PAY FOR THE STADIUM WITHOUT ANY TAXPAYER MONEY, THAT WOULD TAKE YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS TOGETHER THE ENTITLEMENT PROCESS. THAT DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE. IT WOULD OF WORKED IN OVER FOUR, 051 WE PROPOSED AND HAD TIME BUT NOW WE DON'T. WE ARE OUT OF TIME BECAUSE OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN LOS ANGELES. IF THEY PROPOSE SOMETHING LIKE THAT, I THINK IT IS DIFFICULT TO SEE HOW THAT WORKS. IF THEY PROPOSE SOMETHING THAT IS JUST A STADIUM OBVIOUSLY THAT COULD BE DONE MORE QUICKLY PICK TWO YEARS, FIVE YEARS? WHAT IS TIMEFRAME ? IT DEPENDS ON WHEN THE ELECTION IS HELD. THE MAYOR HAS SAID THE NO MATTER WHAT THE TASK FORCE PROPOSES, THERE WILL BE AN ELECTION AND IF THAT ELECTION IS IN NOVEMBER 2016, YOU HAVE A FEW YEARS AFTER THAT OF APPROVALS AND DESIGN SO THAT IS 2018 OR 2019. MAYBE LUCKY TO BE BUILDING IN 2019 OR 2020 STARTING WITH THE STADIUM. THAT IS IF YOU DID A STADIUM ONLY PROJECT AS OPPOSED TO A MIXED USE PROJECT PIXMAP WOULD THAT BE OKAY TO THE CHARGERS ? IF WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE APPROVED BY THE VOTERS, IF THIS WAS THE PLAN THAT WE THOUGHT BASED ON RESEARCH WOULD BE APPROVED BY THE VOTERS AND WE SAW A CLEAR PATH TO SUCCESS, ABSOLUTELY. IF IT IS A PLAN THAT IS JUST THROWN OUT TO PROVIDE CALENDRICAL COVER FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS OF PEOPLE TO SAY, HEY, WE TRIED, THEN WE WILL NOT WAIT AROUND PROBABLY TO WATCH THE THING GOES DOWN AND DEFEATED NOVEMBER 2016 PICK MARCH, SOME PEOPLE WERE QUESTIONING WHY THE CHARGES WERE NOT PRESENT WHEN THE STADIUM ADVISORY GROUP MADE THEIR ANNOUNCEMENT. IT WAS A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT AND CHARGES WERE DIVIDED AND THEY WERE NOT THERE. DOES THAT MAYBE INDICATE YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO WORK WITH GROUP ? WE'VE BEEN WORKING WITH THEM SINCE THEY GOT FORMED. WHEN THEY STARTED, WE SAID WE WOULD LIKE TO SHIP YOU ALL OF THE MATERIALS THAT WE HAVE ACCUMULATED OVER THE LAST 14 YEARS IN THE TASK FORCE SAID WE DO NOT HAVE A BUDGET AND WE CANNOT PAY FOR COPYING. CAN YOU SET UP A WEBSITE AND PUT THE MATERIALS ON THE WEBSITE. WE DID THAT AND TESTIFY TO THE TASK FORCE ON THE DAY THEY ASKED US TO SPECIFY. MAY HAVE TO SPEAK WITH THE COMMISSIONER AND WE ARRANGED THAT. WE ARE WAITING FOR NFL OFFICIALS TO COME OUT AND MEET WITH THE TASK FORCE AND WE HAVE ADDRESSED EVERY TASK FORCE QUESTION PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY INDIVIDUAL TASK FORCE MEMBERS ARE REACHING OUT TO US ASKING US QUESTIONS. I THINK WE'VE DONE EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP THEM. OPPOSITE, THEY DID TAKE OUR ADVICE BECAUSE THEY'RE LOOKING AT THE SITE THAT WE DID NOT THINK WOULD WORK BUT THAT IS UP TO THEM AND NOW WE WILL WAIT TO SEE WITH THE COME UP WITH WHERE YOU SENDING A MESSAGE BY NOT BEING AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT ? WE WERE OTHERWISE OCCUPIED THAT DAY. WE HAD AN EVENT IN CARSON THAT WE OTHERWISE HAD TO GO TO. YOU CANNOT BE TWO PLACES AT ONCE. WHY IN THE CHARGES DO, WHAT MAKES DOWNTOWN THE BETTER LOCATION ? WELL, BECAUSE WE THINK THAT FIRST OF ALL, YOU ARE BUILDING MORE THAN JUST A FOOTBALL STADIUM. ASKING TASK THEY ASK TAXPAYERS TO SUPPORT A BILLION-DOLLAR PROJECT THAT IS USED 20 OR 25 TIMES PER YEAR FOR JUST FOOTBALL IS A HARD SELL FOR PEOPLE. WE'VE BEEN TO HUNDREDS OF COMMUNITY MEETINGS. I'VE DONE THREE LAST WEEK ALONE. AND THE SAME THING WE HERE AT EVERY MEETING, HARD TO JUSTIFY SPENDING THAT MUCH MONEY ON A STADIUM JUST FOR FOOTBALL. DOWNTOWN WE THOUGHT WE COULD BUILD A MULTIUSE FACILITY THAT WOULD BE USED HUNDREDS OF NIGHTS PER YEAR THAT WOULD HOST ALL KINDS OF EVENTS, NOT JUST FOOTBALL GAMES, NOT JUST SPORTING EVENTS, BUT ALL KIND OF USE CONVENTIONS AND MEETINGS AND SO WE THINK IT IS A MUCH MORE PALATABLE APPROACH. AND OF COURSE THE QUALCOMM SITE DOES HAVE ITS CHALLENGES BUT WE FIND OUT WHAT THEY WERE BACK IN 2004-2005 ONLY WORKED ON THIS AND THEY ARE BIG CHALLENGES. THE CITY DOES NOT OWN THE SITE, THE WATER DEPARTMENT OWNS HALF THE SITE. THE SITE IS POLLUTED BY HUGE PLUME THAT HAS LEAKED FROM THE GAS TANKS THERE. THERE IS NO MORE REAL DEVELOPMENT SO YOU CANNOT CAPTURE THE TASK INCREMENT ON THE SIDE. THERE'S ALL KINDS OF ISSUES THE TASK FORCE WILL WRESTLE WITH. IF THEY COME UP WITH A PROPOSAL, WE WILL GIVE IT A SERIOUS LOOK PIXMAP WHAT -- ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE SEEN YOU SAY IS YOU SEEM VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE FINANCING PLAN THAT THE STADIUM ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING WILL COME UP WITH WILL HAVE TO FACE TWO THIRDS SUPPORT FROM THE TAXPAYERS, THE VOTERS. AND YOU KEEP SAYING I AM NOT SURE ABOUT THIS I DON'T KNOW HOW IT IS GOING TO PASS THE THRESHOLD. I'M WONDERING WHY IT COMES BACK THE FINANCING PLAN INVOLVING BURDENING THE TAXPAYERS OF SAN DIEGO. BECAUSE THAT IS NOT THE CASE IN CARSON. NO BECAUSE THE CARSON MARKET, IT'S NOT REALLY CARSON, IS THE WHOLE LOS ANGELES ARE SCANTLY MARKET. 22 MILLION PEOPLE SOME OF THE MAJOR COMPANIES IN THE WORLD ARE LOCATED THERE THE LAW FIRMS, ACCOUNTING FIRMS EVERYTHING THAT BUYS SUITES AND ADVERTISING PICK THE PEOPLE THAT BUY PERSONAL SEAT LICENSES. YOU DON'T NEED A PUBLIC COMPANY JEWISH AND IN THAT MARKET BECAUSE OF THE MARKET WILL SUPPORT THE BUILDING OF THE STADIUM JUST AS IT DID IN SANTA CLARA FOR THE 49ers. WE ARE IN A DIFFERENT MARKET HERE. IT'S MUCH SMALLER AND THERE IS NO HISTORY OF PEOPLE BUYING PERSONAL SEAT LICENSES WE DO NOT HAVE THE SAME CORPORATE BREAKS HERE SO IT'S A QUESTION OF MARKET SIZE IF WE COULD SELL IN SAN DIEGO WITH THE 49ers SOLD IN SANTA CLARA, YOU AND I WOULD NOT TALK ABOUT THIS NOW. WE WOULD HAVE BUILT THE STADIUM A LONG TIME AGO. IT'S JUST NOT THE KIND OF MARKET IN SAN DIEGO THAT WOULD SUPPORT IT COMPLETELY PRIVATELY FINANCED STADIUM HOW CAN YOU BE SURE THAT IF THIS IS ALL JUST SPECULATION? I THINK BACK TO THE SAN DIEGO OPERA. IT DISBANDED LAST YEAR NOBODY WOULD'VE THOUGHT THEY COULD'VE GENERATED $2 MILLION IN CROWDSOURCING FUNDS BUT INTO THE DAVID. WHAT MAKES YOU SURE THAT YOU COULD NOT FINANCE THE STADIUM WITH PERSONAL SEEPING LICENSES OR OTHER KIND OF PUBLIC STADIUM AUTHORITY ? WELL, WE HAVE DONE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MARKET RESEARCH IN LOS ANGELES AND SAN DIEGO AND RESEARCH SHOWS WITHOUT MUCH DOUBT THAT THERE IS A LIMIT TO WHAT PEOPLE WILL PAY FOR SEATS IN SAN DIEGO. NO HISTORY OF ANYONE EVER IN SAN DIEGO PAYING FOR PERSONAL SEAT LICENSE. THE PADRES TRIED IT AND FAILED. WE THINK WE CAN SELL SOME BUT NOT NEARLY THE VOLUME THAT YOU CAN SELL IN LA. AND THE LIST GOES ON FROM THERE. THE NAMING RIGHTS ARE OBVIOUSLY WORTH A LOT LESS IN SAN DIEGO THAN THEY WOULD BE A LOS ANGELES THE SUITES CAN BE SOLD FOR A LOT MORE IN LOS ANGELES THAN HERE. THE ADVERTISING SPONSORSHIPS, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. IS A SMALLER MARKET AND THAT IS NOT A COMPLAINT ABOUT THE MARKET, IS JUST THE REALITY THAT WE FACE. I'M SPEAK WITH MARK FABIANI, SPECIAL COUNSEL TO THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS. THE STADIUM ADVISORY GROUP HAVING MAIN MISSION VALLEY AND THERE RECOMMEND ESTATE FOR NEW STADIUM. IT IS NOW COMING UP WITH A FINANCING PLAN FOR NEW STADIUM. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN THAT PLAN? WHAT WOULD THE SEEM LIKE TO -- T MAGAZINE THAT PLAN CHRISTMAS SOMETHING THE TAXPAYERS WITH SUPPORT. THE MAC AND THAT WOULD BE ? IT'S HARD TO KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE IN MIND FOR THAT SITE. WE LOOK AT THE SITE FOR SIX YEARS AND WE MOVED ON FROM THE SITE SO WE HAD WHAT WE THOUGHT WERE REALLY GOOD REASONS FOR MOVING ON FROM THE SIDE. WE DID NOT THINK THAT SIDE WORKED. SO WE'RE HOPING THAT WE MISSED SOMETHING THAT THE TASK FORCE IS GOING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WE MISSED. AND THEY WILL COME UP WITH SOMETHING BUT I CANNOT SIT HERE AND HONESTLY TELL YOU THAT I HAVE A PLAN OR WE HAVE A PLAN THAT WOULD WORK FOR THE SITE. WE DO NOT PEER ALTHOUGH WE LOOKED AT IT FOR MANY YEARS BACK WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU LOOK AT A PLAN THAT THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMES OUT WITH AN SAY YES, WE WILL SUPPORT THAT PLAN BECAUSE WE THINK THAT IT IS EITHER GOING TO TAKE -- GET THE TAXPAYERS SUPPORT IN NEEDS OR A VIABLE FINANCING PLAN? WHAT WOULD BE IN THAT PLAN THAT YOU WOULD SUPPORT THERE WOULD HAVE TO BE THREE THINGS. IT WOULD HAVE TO BE SOMETHING THAT COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED QUICKLY. NOT SOMETHING THAT WOULD TAKE MANY YEARS OF ENTITLEMENT TO GO. YOU SAW THE ONE PASEO PROJECT IN SAN DIEGO. YOU'VE REPORTED ON THAT. IT'S BEEN IN THE PLANE FOR SIX YEARS AND STILL NOT FINISHED. THERE IS MAYBE A REFERENCE HIM TO CHALLENGE IT. SO WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT WOULD MOVE ALONG QUICKLY. SECOND, WE HAVE TO HAVE A REASONABLE STADIUM COST. IN OTHER WORDS, SAN FRANCISCO BUILT ITS STADIUM FOR $1.2 BILLION. WE WOULD NOT START CONSTRUCTION IN SAN DIEGO UNTIL 2020. SO YOU NEED TO TAKE WHAT STADIUMS ARE BEING BUILT FOR NOW AND ADD FIVE YEARS OF INFLATION AND THEN YOU HAVE TO HAVE A NUMBER. THE THIRD THING IS AS YOU MENTIONED IT HAS TO BE SOMETHING TAXPAYERS WITH SUPPORT. WHEN BE SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE SAY JUST PUT IT ON THE BALLOT IN PEOPLE -- LET PEOPLE DECIDE IT IF IT'S DOOMED TO DEFEAT AT THE BALLOT WE SHOULDN'T WASTE PEOPLE'S TIME WITH IT AND PUT ON THE BALLOT. THOSE THREE THINGS I THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS. THERE'S MORE THAN A FEW SPORTS WRITERS AND ECONOMISTS THAT THE THIS CARSON STADIUM PROPOSAL AND SOMETHING OF AN ELABORATE BLUFF TO GET OAKLAND [ LAUGHTER ] TO GET OAKLAND AND SAN DIEGO TO GIVE THEIR TEAMS BETTER DEALS BEFORE STADIUMS. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT ? AGAIN, WE HAVE BEEN AT THIS FOR 14 YEARS. WE HAVE NEVER BLUFFED DURING THAT WHOLE PERIOD TOP IT WILL NEVER SET TO THE CITY, WE ARE MOVING A LIST TO DO THIS OR THAT. WE HAVE A 14 YEAR TRACK RECORD OF NOT BLUFFING. WE ARE BUYING THE LAND NOW. BUYING 168 ACRES OF LAND. WE ARE SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY GATHERING SIGNATURES. ONCE THE SIGNATURES ARE GATHERED THEY WILL BE CERTIFIED BY THE COUNTY AND THEY WILL BE PUT BEFORE THE CARSON CITY COUNCIL. I GUESS WHAT I WAS SAVE YOU THINK IT IS A BLUFF, THINK THAT. WE ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF TRYING TO TALK YOU OUT OF THAT IF THAT IS WHAT YOU THINK SOME OF THAT IS WHAT YOU THINK. BUT I WOULD SAY IT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE WAY WE HANDLED OURSELVES OF THE PAST 14 YEARS. THE WORD IS OAKLAND RAIDERS REALLY DO WANT TO STAY IN OAKLAND. ABSOLUTELY. AS WE IN SAN DIEGO. NO, THEY REALLY WANT TO STAY IN OAKLAND AND THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT REALLY SCALING BACK ON THE STADIUM TO BE ONE OF THE SMALLEST IN THE NFL. A 55,000 SEAT STADIUM THAT DOES NOT HAVE ANY OF THESE CONTIGUOUS DEVELOPMENT OR ANYTHING. AND THE WORD IS THAT THE OWNER OF THE ELEVATORS IS FIERCELY LOYAL TO THE FAMILIES IN OAKLAND WAS THE SLAVERY OR SO IF THE OAKLAND RAIDERS PULL OUT OF THIS CARSON STADIUM DEAL, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE YOU ? WE WOULD GO AHEAD WITH THE DEAL ON OUR OWN. WE BELIEVE IT IS A DEAL THAT CAN BE FINANCED BY ONE TEAM AS WELL AS BY TWO TEAMS. METHOW ? EASY TO DO IT WITH TWO TEAMS BUT IT CAN BE DONE WITH ONE TO PICK IS IT STILL $1.7 BILLION FACILITY ? NO, THE QUESTION IT WILL BE LESS IT IS YOUR STILL BUILDING UP ONE TEAM NOT DOUBLE LOCKER ROOMS, NOT TWO TEAMS DESIGNING FOR THEIR OWN NEEDS. SO IT WOULD BE LESS THAN THAT. THE SAME TIME, YOU GET ALL OF THE MARKET. YOU'RE NOT SPLITTING THE MARKET WITH ANOTHER TEAM. YOU'RE GETTING 1% OF THE MARKET. SO WE DOES WORK OUT FOR ONE TEAM. HAD THE RAIDERS DECIDED NOT TO GO IN WITH US IN FEBRUARY WHEN WE MADE OUR ANNOUNCEMENT, WE WOULD'VE MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT ANYWAY. HAVE THE PROFILE, BUT TEAM PROFILE THAT COULD STILL GARNER FIVE $1 MILLION IN PSL'S, PERSONAL SEEDING LICENSES, OPEN CARSON WITHOUT THE RAIDERS ? YES. WE HAVE DONE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MARKET RESEARCH. WHERE NOT GUESSING AT THIS PIC YOU DON'T INVEST THIS KIND OF MONEY AND PUT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON THE LINE WITHOUT DOING A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF RESEARCH AND WE HAVE DONE IT AND WE ARE ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED IT WILL WORK. IF IT COMES TO THAT. HOPEFULLY IT DOESN'T COME TO THAT. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE DOING TO TRY TO MAKE IT NOT COME TO THAT? WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING RECENTLY IS REALLY VERY PESSIMISTIC ABOUT STAYING IN SAN DIEGO. YOU DO NOT LIKE THE SITE. YOU HAVE BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD BEFORE. YOU CANNOT REALLY SEE HOW IT CAN COME OUT AS ANYTHING THAT YOU WILL APPROVE OF. MAYBE THE COMMITTEE ADVISORY COMMITTEE HAS SOME MAGIC IN THE BACK POCKET, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT COULD BE. I'M WONDERING WHERE IS HIS COMMITMENT TO STAY IN SAN DIEGO?'S I HEAR YOU SAY IT, BUT I DON'T HEAR ANYTHING ELSE. WELL, YOU MUST NOT HAVE BEEN LISTENING FOR THE LAST 14 YEARS BECAUSE WE HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING WE COULD THINK OF FOR THE LAST 14 YEARS. IT HAS NOT WORKED. BUT THAT IS A STRONG AND EVIDENCE OF A COMMITMENT AS THERE CAN BE, THE AMOUNT OF MONEY AND TIME THAT HAS BEEN SPENT FOR 14 YEARS. RECENTLY, WE ARE TRYING TO BE REALISTIC WITH PEOPLE. WE ARE NOT TRYING TO THROW THINGS OUT THERE JUST TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL BETTER. I THINK IF WE SAID NOTHING FOR EXAMPLE IN JANUARY WHEN THE MAYOR APPOINTED HIS TASK FORCE AND SAID, THEY WILL BE BACK WITH THEIR REPORT IN OCTOBER, WE WOULD NOT BE TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW BECAUSE THE TASK FORCE WITH THE DOING WHO KNOWS WHAT UNTIL OCTOBER. ALL OF 2015 WOULD BE GONE. I WOULD ARGUE THAT OUR CHANCES OF STAYING IN SAN DIEGO HAVE BEEN INCREASED BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN REALISTIC. WE HAVE TOLD PEOPLE WHAT IS GOING ON. AND THAT HAS RESULTED IN A SPEED UP THE WORK OF THE TASK FORCE, WHICH WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED OTHERWISE. I THINK WHAT WE HAVE DONE ALTHOUGH YOU THINK IT IS NEGATIVE, WE THINK IT IS REALISTIC AND HONEST AND STRAIGHTFORWARD. IN FACT, IT HAS HELPED INCREASE THE SENSE OF URGENCY. SO FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW, IT'S BEEN AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY TO LESS QUESTIONS. MARK DAVIS OF THE RAIDERS SAID HE'S LOYAL TO THE FAN BASE IN ORACLE AND THINKING ABOUT BUILDING THE SMALL STATE OF IT WOULD A SMALL STADIUM LIKE THAT BE SOMETHING CHARGES COULD GET BEHIND? WHEREVER THE PROPOSED ON A SMALL STATE OF FROM 60 TO 54,000 FEET. SO WE HAVE AGREED THAT STADIUM COULD BE SMALL THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW. LAST QUESTION. THIS WHOLE THING WITH CARSON IT MAY ENGENDER, IN FACT I THINK IT HAS INJECTED SOMETHING OF A BACKLASH IN SAN DIEGO. PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT ORDINARILY SAY, YES, LET'S GET THE STADIUM FOR THE CHARGES ARE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE, HAND THEM THEIR HELMETS AND I WILL BUY THEM A TEST -- BUS TICKET. I'M WONDERING IF YOU TOOK THAT INTO CONSIDERATION? ABSOLUTELY PICKED THAT'S HOW PEOPLE FEEL, THAT'S HOW THEY FEEL PIC IS NOT OUR JOB TO TALK THEM OUT OF THAT. IF THEY FEEL LIKE THE CITIES BETTER OFF WITHOUT US, THAT IS THEIR RIGHT TO FEEL THAT WAY. WE HAVE TO DO WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE FUTURE OF THE FRANCHISE. WE COULD NOT HAVE LET ONE OR TWO OTHER TEAMS TAKE OVER THE LA MARKET, TAKE ALL OF OUR BUSINESS FROM LA AND ORANGE COUNTY AND LEAVE US SITTING HERE IN SAN DIEGO IN AN AGING STADIUM WITH NO LEVERAGE WHATSOEVER. WHEN I SPEAK PUBLICLY I ASKED THEM WOULD YOU DO THAT IF THIS WAS YOUR BUSINESS? EVEN CRITICS SAY, WELL, GUESS I WOULDN'T. WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT THAT WAY, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE DOING WHAT WE ARE DOING PICK I'VE BEEN SPEAKING WITH MARK FABIANI SPECIAL COUNSEL OF THE SAN DIEGO CHARGER'S RESPECTED SO MUCH FEEDBACK THAT YOU SO MUCH.
A San Diego Chargers spokesman said the team isn’t optimistic a task force’s site selection for a new stadium will be successful and is prepared to pursue a Los Angeles-area stadium plan on its own.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer's Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group picked Mission Valley last week as the location for a new facility, but Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said the team gave up on that site years ago.
“We’re hoping that we missed something that the task force is going to figure out what we missed and that they’ll come up with something,” he told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. “But I can't sit here today and honestly tell you that I have a plan or that we have a plan that would work for that site, we don’t. Although we looked at it for many, many years."
Fabiani said putting the plan before voters by next year, as Faulconer has promised, could push construction on a new stadium back to 2020. And if the task force suggests using new development around the stadium to help cover the costs, entitlements for that would delay the project even further, he said.
"There are all kind of issues that the task force is going to be wrestling with, and if they come up with a proposal, we’ll give it a serious look,” he said.
Chargers President Dean Spanos sang a similar tune on Monday in an interview with U-T San Diego's Kevin Acee:
"I’m anxiously awaiting what the mayor and the task force come up with,” Spanos said at least four times during a 40-minute conversation Monday morning in the conference room adjacent to his Chargers Park office.<br><br>That was the only answer he would give to the question of whether he will be surprised if the task force presents a financing plan the team deems acceptable and also whether he is skeptical about that possibility, as many sources have indicated is the case.
“If it’s a plan that’s just thrown out there to provide political cover for elected officials so that people can say, ‘Hey, we tried’ then we probably wouldn’t wait around to watch the thing go down in defeat in 2016,” he said.
Fabiani said time is a factor because the team feels pressured by another NFL team’s plans to move into the Los Angeles market, where the Chargers get 25 percent of their business. In response, the Chargers are moving forward on a proposal for a joint L.A-area stadium with the Raiders.
The same day the task force announced it selected Mission Valley, the Chargers were busy collecting signatures to get the Carson City Council’s support to move forward with the plan.
When asked if the proposal was a bluff, Fabiani laughed.
"Now, we’re buying the land, that’s buying 168 acres of land. We’re spending a lot of money gathering signatures. Once the signatures are gathered, they’re going to be certified by the county and then they’ll be put before the Carson City Council,” he said.
The $1.7 billion joint stadium calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in personal seat license sales, which would eliminate the need of a public subsidy. If the Raiders are able to find a suitable solution in Oakland, Fabiani said the Chargers have done the research and believes they can successfully move forward on the plan on their own.
"We’re absolutely convinced that it will work,” he said.
But despite the Carson proposal, Fabiani said the team is committed to finding a solution in San Diego.
“Recently, we’re trying to be realistic with people. We’re not trying to throw things out there just to make people feel better,” he said.
Fabiani said the team’s honesty has helped improve the chances of it staying in San Diego because the Chargers’ actions have sped up the work of the task force.
"From our point of view, it’s been an effective strategy,” he said.