The effort of the Chargers to get a new home has sparked plenty of contradictions. The team deemed Inglewood to be an unacceptable destination for an L.A. stadium until the owners picked it over Carson, and then the Chargers struck a tentative deal to play in the place they previously claimed to be unfit.
Now, as the Chargers embark on a last-ditch effort to remain in San Diego, they’re embracing a timeline the team decried as impractical a year ago.
To build a new stadium in the city the franchise has called home since 1961, a successful ballot effort and a successful environmental review process are critical. As to the former, the Chargers have hired a consultant to launch a citizens initiative intended to secure hundreds of millions in taxpayer money.
Fred Maas, whom the Chargers wanted the city to hire a year ago to spearhead the effort, has been hired by the Chargers, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“The really encouraging thing is I believe to my very core Dean is committed to finding a solution in San Diego,” Maas told Acee.
Acee reports that the team plans to spend roughly $10 million in connection with the election, a process that commences with a citizens initiative.
“[Maas] has been around San Diego a long time,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a video post on the team’s website Monday, via Acee. “He’s very familiar with all the political aspects of what goes on in the city, how all that works. His knowledge of San Diego as whole will help us.”
Securing public money is only part of the process. Environmental approvals — and specifically beating back any litigation — also are critical to the effort.
Regardless of whether it all gets done, last year the Chargers were pooh-poohing the prospect of getting it all done in a year. This year, they’re singing a much different tune.