Although the Chargers are the only team that could move to L.A. in 2013, the Chargers say that the memo hinting at the possible move of a team to L.A. in 2013 doesn’t move them any closer to, um, moving.
Mark Fabiani, the team’s special counsel on stadium issues, told NBC 7 in San Diego that the memo doesn’t “move the sticks” any closer to the Chargers getting a new stadium in Los Angeles.
“We saw it simply as a re-affirmation of things that the Commissioner and the league were saying for a long time,” Fabiani said.
He then summarized the most important points.
“You can’t move to L.A. without a permanent facility,” Fabiani said. “[I]f you move, you’d better expect there to be a second team moving there at some point in the near future after you move. And, the NFL is clearly in charge of the L.A. market — and anybody that thinks otherwise should read this memo.”
On the first point, Fabiani isn’t entirely accurate. The memo from Commissioner Roger Goodell to all 32 teams explains that a team can negotiate a deal with an alternative site like the Coliseum or Rose Bowl that would host games until the permanent facility is built. Thus, the Chargers could move in 2013, play at the Rose Bowl until the permanent venue has been built, and stay put.
“No memo from the NFL can change the basic fact that until there’s a stadium that’s finished and ready to go,” Fabiani said, “and until there’s a team that wants to play in it, nothing’s going to happen in L.A.”
Again, that’s not what the memo says. A team can move to Los Angeles and play elsewhere temporarily.
Fabiani apparently missed that part of the memo. Or maybe he’s deliberately misrepresenting it so that the Chargers can have some cover as they position themselves to move, especially in light of an upcoming mayoral election in which both candidates have said they oppose the use of public funding for a football stadium.
So while the memo may not move the Chargers any closer to Los Angeles, it definitely doesn’t move them any farther away.