Chargers drop hammer on SD, say vote on new stadium 'not possible'
Things aren't looking good for San Diego.
It's starting to look like the city of San Diego is facing a fourth-and-long situation when it comes to keeping the Chargers.
After three meetings between the city and the Chargers, the team has decided that there's no possible way the city could get a local stadium ballot measure in front of voters before the end of 2015.
The city had recently laid out plans for a $1.1 billion stadium in San Diego that would have required $121 million in contributions from both county and city taxpayers.
The tentative plan was to have a vote on Dec. 15, 2015, which would have been well before the January 2016 window opens for teams to apply for relocation to Los Angeles.
However, the Chargers don't think getting a ballot measure ready that fast is possible and the team's special counsel, Mark Fabiani, made that clear in a statement.
"Based on all of this work and discussion, the Chargers have concluded that it is not possible to place a ballot measure before voters in December 2015 in a legally defensible manner given the requirements of the State’s election law and the California Environmental Quality Act," Fabiani said. "The various options that we have explored with the City’s experts all lead to the same result: Significant time-consuming litigation founded on multiple legal challenges, followed by a high risk of eventual defeat in the courts."
The statement doesn't mean the Chargers are gone, but it's definitely not good news for San Diego.
Not sure i see a scenario in which Chargers not playing in LA next year, but anything possible.— daniel kaplan (@dkaplanSBJ) June 16, 2015
In a statement released by the San Diego Mayor's office, it sounded like the city was almost ready to admit defeat.
"It appears the Chargers have pulled the plug on San Diego even though the city and county have gone out of their way to try and accommodate the team," a spokesman said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Instead of working collaboratively on a solution, the Chargers have thrown up one road block after another in San Diego while working aggressively on stadium plans in Carson. It's disappointing, especially for fans."
Speaking of the Carson plan, that took another step forward in May when the Chargers and Raiders closed the deal on the 157 acres of land the two teams will need to build a new stadium at the California site just south of LA.
One positive for San Diego though: Fabiani's statement did leave the door open for further negotiations.
"The Chargers are committed to maintaining an open line of communication with the City’s negotiators as we move through the summer and leading up to the special August meeting of National Football League owners," Fabiani said. "That meeting may provide important information about what is likely to occur during the remainder of 2015."
As you can tell by the statement released by the Mayor's office, no one in the city is overly optimistic about keeping the Chargers right now.
As for the special meeting Fabiani's referring to, all 32 NFL owners are set to meet in Chicago on Aug. 14 with the main topic of discussion focusing on which teams might move to LA and when they would move there.
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