Carson Land Deal Closes For Shared Chargers-Raiders Stadium
One day after San Diego officials unveiled a financial plan aimed at keeping the Chargers in town, the team and the Oakland Raiders Tuesday completed a complex land transaction for 157 acres in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, where they are proposing a joint stadium.
Mark Fabiani, the Chargers' general counsel on stadium issues, told City News Service the transaction "that would enable the Chargers-Raiders joint venture to build an L.A. NFL stadium in Carson has officially closed this morning."
The key part of the complex land swap transfers the 157-acre parcel near the 405 Freeway and Del Amo Boulevard to a "joint powers authority" controlled by the city of Carson. Under the stadium proposal, the authority will own and control the land, then lease it to a separate stadium authority.
If the stadium is not ultimately built, the city would retain control of the property at no cost to the city, Fabiani said.
The Carson City Council last month approved plans for a $1.7 billion, 72,000-seat stadium on the site that could house both the Chargers and Raiders, if the teams do not reach stadium deals in their respective cities.
On Monday, an advisory group appointed by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer unveiled a proposed $1.4 billion financing plan for a 65,000-seat stadium for the Chargers near the team's existing home at Qualcomm Stadium.
Fabiani said Monday the team would review the financial plan.
Backers of the Carson stadium collected thousands of signatures to get the stadium proposal directly before the City Council, bypassing the need to complete extensive environmental reviews.
A similar tactic was employed in Inglewood, where the City Council voted unanimously Feb. 24 to approve an initiative allowing for construction of an 80,000-seat stadium planned by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke at the former Hollywood Park racetrack site. Although Kroenke is behind the project, the Rams have not announced any intention of moving back to the Los Angeles area.
An NFL team has not played in the Los Angeles area since 1994, when the Raiders and Rams relocated.
According to a Carson staff report, the 157-acre site — located on a former landfill — is in the Boulevards at the South Bay Specific Plan area, which calls for a mix of commercial, retail, hotel and housing projects. The council's vote last month essentially created a "stadium overlay," which allows the stadium as an alternative use of the property.
The report also notes that the Boulevards plan "has already undergone a significant amount of detailed land use, planning and environmental analysis, and a certified Environmental Impact Report for the Specific Plan was adopted by the city in 2006."
Despite city approval of the plans, the project was never developed due to the recession, according to the report.
In addition to the stadium, the latest project would also include a 350- room hotel, 850,000 square feet of commercial, entertainment and other uses, and a minimum of 10,000 parking spaces.
Any move by the Raiders and/or Chargers would require approval from the NFL. To help with that effort, the teams have hired Carmen Policy, the former president of the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.
"I understand the league," Policy told the Los Angeles Times. "Even though I've been gone (from the league) for awhile, the dynamic within the room is basically the same, although many of the faces have changed."
Policy was expected to speak with NFL team owners during their meetings today and Wednesday in San Francisco, The Times reported.