Chargers believe election can’t be held by December 15

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San Diego officials emerged from Monday’s meeting with the Chargers intent on attempting to hold a citywide election on a new stadium by December 15. The Chargers, unlike the city, made no statement regarding the plan to put the matter to ballot so quickly.

And there’s a reason for the silence. Per a source familiar with the team’s thinking, the Chargers believe it’s impossible, under the applicable election and environmental laws in the State of California, to conduct an election by December 15.

The Chargers specifically believe that, before the San Diego City Council or Board of Supervisors can place a measure on the ballot, they must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. Compliance with the CEQA entails the completion and certification of an Environmental Impact Report, which the Chargers believes will take at least a year.

In this specific case, San Diego claims that the project can avoid the requirement of an Environmental Impact Report because a new stadium replacing an old stadium makes the project exempt from the CEQA. The Chargers believe that, given the size of the project, litigation challenging the city’s approach would be inevitable, which would tie the project up in court for years.

The Chargers apparently fear that the election will be held, the ballot measure will pass, and then the lawsuit(s) will be filed, delaying (and perhaps killing) the project and forcing the Chargers to explain to an electorate that approved the use of taxpayer funds for the construction of the stadium that the franchise can’t wait around for an outcome to the litigation. So the Chargers prefer an outcome that doesn’t entail a public vote.

There’s another reason for not having a public vote — the public in most states currently isn’t interested in voting to use public money to subsidize billionaire sports owners. So it won’t be easy to secure victory in a public election. The team’s concern is that it’ll be even harder to convert a successful vote into an actual new stadium, which that the Chargers could end up tapping the brakes on relocation just long enough to lose the race to L.A.

37 responses to “Chargers believe election can’t be held by December 15

  1. Congratulations, Chargers fans, and welcome to the wonderful world of welfare for billionaires. either you pay for the stadium or the ownership moves the team. What a great life.

  2. billionaires aren’t going to create jobs for us if taxpayers don’t fund projects that benefit them.

  3. In other words they don’t think they can deliver the bribes or come up with some way to extort a billion dollars from the taxpayers.

    No welfare for these disgustingly greedy billionaires !!!!! Don’t sacrifice funds desperately needed for the shrinking budgets of emergency services, education and infrastructure for this.

  4. San Diego has never really supported the team and there isn’t any reason for all this tip toeing around. If they want to go to LA, then just go. If a firm date is set for 2017 and seat preference in LA is given to people who buy 2016 seats in San Diego, (what 50 miles away?), the Chargers don’t really have anything to lose by just announcing the move. By playing this game with San Diego, they are opening themselves up for lawsuits charging them with negotiating in bad faith.

  5. The Chargers have already lost the race to L.A.
    Mr. Kroenke is much further along with the Inglewood site, than the Chargers/Raiders ridiculous proposal in Carson(on contaminated land).

    Dont get it twisted, the Chargefs and Raiders have no leverage. Just a bluff that will get shot down with environmental challenges.

    Kroenke did his homework, planned his move to L.A. perfectly, and there simply isnt a darn thing Goodell, Spanos or Davis cam do to slow the L.A. Rams down

  6. The Chargers are going to LA and the fans in San Diego have no one to blame but themselves and the local government officials who dragged their feet for a DECADE.

    This coming from a die hard Charger fan…

  7. The time frame of 6 months coincides with a measure passed by the state legislator four years ago that put a 175-day time limit on legal challenges to construction of stadiums. Assembly Speaker Tony Atkins, who is from San Diego, has stated she will do anything within the rules to help keep the Chargers in San Diego.

    These are the facts, not rhetoric. The team, as I have been saying all along, is staying in San Diego.

  8. stl45fan says: Jun 9, 2015 9:22 AM

    #GOCARSON #SAVETHERAMS

    Save the Rams from what? A future of prosperity?

  9. Armada says

    The Chargers are going to LA and the fans in San Diego have no one to blame but themselves and the local government officials who dragged their feet for a DECADE.

    This coming from a die hard Charger fan…

    ————————————————————

    Claiming fandom doesnt’ make you right.

    Just exactly how have fans “dragged their feet”?

    It’s kind of unbelievable that you’ve omitted the party mostly at fault – the owner.

  10. As a close friend to the Chargers, I know they will be staying in San Diego.

    You just have to trust me on this, besides I wrote that obligatory, ‘As a close friend…’ thing so you know I probably have inside information.

  11. Do the Chargers think the people in LA are going to fund their stadium up there??? The Chargers are going to have to build their own stadium, with their own money, no matter where in California they build.

  12. If the Rams or Raiders are in L.A., the Chargers better be well adept at playing second fiddle.
    The move is let Kroenke build that palace in Inglewood, get it done in SD (look, the Q sucks in the meantime, but they do better than StL or Oakland). We’ll see with the Raiders, but they’ll have options if Kephart doesn’t get it done in The Bay. They still have SA, London, and StL as safety nets.

  13. So if the fans are that adamant about keeping their team, and the city claims it will do what it takes, and the league feels that it is OK to spend tax dollars on a private business, then we Packers fans have the perfect solution – have the city buy the team. It works in Green Bay. Quite well, actually.

  14. Any diehard Charger fan can make the 100 mile trip (less than that from North County) to LA 8 times a year.

  15. Going to be really weird having the Chargers in LA permanently. I mean with the Raiders or Rams… ugh… it’ll be like they never left. But the Chargers?

  16. octothorpe455 says:

    So if the fans are that adamant about keeping their team, and the city claims it will do what it takes, and the league feels that it is OK to spend tax dollars on a private business, then we Packers fans have the perfect solution – have the city buy the team. It works in Green Bay. Quite well, actually.

    ==================
    Cool! Since it’s so easy, let’s just have you persuade the Spanos to sell their half-a-billion-dollar enterprise. I’m sure that’ll be easy.

  17. So if the fans are that adamant about keeping their team, and the city claims it will do what it takes, and the league feels that it is OK to spend tax dollars on a private business, then we Packers fans have the perfect solution – have the city buy the team. It works in Green Bay. Quite well, actually.
    _______________________________________

    Please do the math for me…I just don’t see how a broke City can muster up at least 2.4 billion.

    Team – 1 Billion
    Stadium – 1.4 Billion
    Also who is going to pay for the constrution overrun? Stadium over runs historically run 40 – 500%

  18. As a close friend of the Chargers, I can tell you that they remain ringless and hopeless no matter where they are.

  19. As a city planner in California with significant knowledge of CEQA (I review that stuff nearly daily) they possibility does exist for the exemption to be applied. Its a categorical exemption to CEQA and can be applied in this situation because it is reconstruction of an existing structure. The Chargers are also right in that that exemption can be challenged in court, and if the exemption is defeated an EIR would be required. If they hire a good consulting company the EIR can be done in a few weeks, which then required a 45 day circulation period before being able to be voted on by the City Council. And still it can be challenged in court, however, if who ever wrote the EIR knows what they are doing it should be dependable so long as the impacts aren’t too significant.

    So why did I just write so much you ask? because I am putting validity to each side’s view point regarding the timeline of the project approval process from someone who knows and administers this sort of policy as my career. My opinion is that it can be exempted and on the ballot by December, but we will have to wait and see if Dean even wants to stay at that point.

  20. A new stadium will NEVER pass a public vote in San Diego. Far too many transplants for one thing, and San Diego is a very conservative city that is unlikely to hand out money.

  21. Trust me. We in LA County aren’t going to give one red cent to the Spanos’ either, especially since the Raiders/Chargers announced they could build a stadium in Carson using private money. Funny how the team could find enough spare change to build THEIR OWN stadium.

    Downtown Los Angeles has been undergoing re-building for the past 10 years building multiple skyscrapers costing billions, yet the developers didn’t extort the residents for taxpayer money. Why should taxpayers pay for the NFL?

  22. “dasmol says:
    Jun 9, 2015 11:33 AM
    A new stadium will NEVER pass a public vote in San Diego. Far too many transplants for one thing, and San Diego is a very conservative city that is unlikely to hand out money.
    ==========================================

    Nonsense. Plenty of conservative cities have given public money to the billionaire NFL teams: Cowboys, Texans, Panthers, Falcons, etc. Yet, the SF Bay Area (very non-conservative) refused to give any money to the 49ers who built their own stadium. San Diego and Oakland can build their own stadiums.

  23. The Chargers need to hire former FIFA executives Sepp Blatter, Jack Warner, and Chuck Blazer. Those guys know how to get things done. Heck, San Diego might even be able to get the 2022 World Cup in their new stadium, if they play their cards right, (i.e. pay big $$$ bribes).

  24. As a close friend of the Raiders, I just want to remind you guys to do a few things before the season starts.
    1. Get the tarp ready
    2. Get ready for another losing season. What is this, 15 years in a row?
    3. Have your first pick ready for the 2016 draft.

  25. Wow look at the Chargers backpedal. The city finally puts some pressure on the Spanos and his pet worm Fabiani and now theyre gunna say whatever they can to try and force the leverage back in their favor. Donald Sterling could run this team better than Spanos

  26. Has there even been a public vote on stadium financing or upgrades in the last 15 years that was voted through? About the only one I can think of is in Green Bay, but you can’t really compare the Green Bay and California demographic.

  27. harrisonhits2 in the post above is right on the money. To get a measure on the ballot is very doable. To get the politics right and the votes is another matter. They began building the original 50k seat stadium 50 years ago when they passed a $27 million bond. We agree it’s old when compared with the new venues the NFL has. The low interest rates make this a good time to finance this project. The problem is that the return to the City building such stadium is terrible. The City would be better off leasing the land to Spanos for $1 and let him spend his cash building the stadium, and operating it. What not a good deal, Dean?

  28. Do your research Dogsweat. San Diego has a frisbee football team, and they just beat LA’s last Saturday. Guess we got your number there too.

  29. If true, this is ironic considering they said they wouldn’t agree to a plan that didn’t have a public vote not too long ago.

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