Chargers say election on new stadium “not possible”


The city of San Diego said recently that they believed it was possible to hold a citywide vote on a new stadium for the Chargers before December 15, which would come just before the window opens for teams to apply to relocate to a new city.

The Chargers didn’t make any public comment about the possibility of a vote at the time, but PFT reported that the team thought getting a measure on the ballot before a September deadline would be impossible because of environmental laws and that any attempt to circumvent an environmental impact study would result in lengthy litigation.

In a statement on Tuesday, Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said the same thing.

“On behalf of our entire organization, the Chargers thank the City of San Diego’s negotiating team for working with us to try to find a way, at this late date, to place a stadium ballot measure before voters in December 2015 while complying fully with the California Environmental Quality Act and election law requirements. Both groups have spent many hours examining possible options, and we have now discussed these options together at three formal meetings and during numerous informal conversations.”

“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. 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 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. That meeting may provide important information about what is likely to occur during the remainder of 2015.”

It’s unclear whether San Diegans would have supported a financing plan that involved public money for an NFL stadium, but the Chargers’ statement likely makes that a moot point as they’re not pursuing that option for a new stadium. It would seem to push the team closer to a bid to move to Los Angeles and, as Fabiani points out, this summer’s meetings should shed more light on the developments on that front.

46 responses to “Chargers say election on new stadium “not possible”

  1. Even the Mayor’s own task force proposal doesn’t require a public vote. San Diego is going to need a stadium for a variety of other reasons, not just the Chargers. Makes sense to make a push to build a stadium and keep the NFL in SD.

  2. I think the Chargers meant to say “not necessary”, as in “Don’t bother putting up a new stadium, we’ve already made up our minds to move.”

  3. Since when does a pro sports franchise give a damn about environmental impact studies? Just another excuse/reason for leaving town.
    The irony is they are pushing for a stadium in Carson, which is a toxic dump.

    If team wants to go to LA, that is fine with me. I get it, there is a lot of money involve and it is good for the franchises long-term future. But don’t sell me some nonsense about being concerned about environmental studies.

  4. The Chargers are obviously working towards moving to either Carson or to share the stadium Stan Kroenke is building for the Rams in Englewood. The thing that will doom the Chargers in either scenario is that Los Angeles doesn’t want the the Chargers. They would rather see the Rams or Raiders come back to town. L.A. ain’t a Chargers fan.

  5. Too late to vote on it in San Diego, but we will gladly move somewhere else to go through the same motions without a vote. Where some other city will bend over backwards for us millionaires.

    Thank you for all you’ve done,
    Mr. Fabiani

  6. Ron Burgundy urges all San Diegans to vote for the Chargers. However the billionaire owners should finance a new stadium not the taxpayers.

  7. People may not like Fabiani, but he has been the ONLY person to tell it like it is and be right nearly 100% of the time.

    Some Examples:
    When proposing the downtown project to include a center expansion that was vetoed by the city and hoteliers, Fabiani said the city expansion plan was illegal, court wasted no time in declaring it illegal.

    Said the Chargers shouldn’t waste valuable time with another task force, city went ahead and wasted 3 critical months on something that ended up being not really crucial to the negotiations. City ended up hiring experts that the Chargers had suggested from the beggining.

    Fabiani has said for months that there would be too many issues (mainly legal challenges) with the environmental concerns on the Mission Valley site to secure it in a timely manner for a vote. Guess what, no vote coming to a poll near you any time soon thanks to the Cory Briggs of the world waiting in the wings.

    I am not a fan of Fabiani personally as he is certainly orchestrating the Spanos plan in perfect fashion (to either leave for LA or get what they really want here), but generally what the guys has said in the past has come to fruition, so perhaps we need to take a look at the poor decisions of our city government for once.

  8. The Chargers are obviously working towards moving to either Carson or to share the stadium Stan Kroenke is building for the Rams in Englewood. The thing that will doom the Chargers in either scenario is that Los Angeles doesn’t want the the Chargers. They would rather see the Rams or Raiders come back to town. L.A. ain’t a Chargers fan.


    Chargers don’t care about fan support. This all about PSLs, which they get more in LA then they would in SD.

  9. How is the NFL any less corrupt than FIFA for their (often successful) attempts at blackmailing cities into bribing them by handing over public taxpayer money, often without the voted consent of the constituents? For the right to host the Super Bowl, hosting the draft, providing hundreds of millions of taxpayer money for stadium construction under threat of relocation, etc.

    When the NFL does it, conservatives say it’s just business as usual and teams have a right to accept whatever is offered to them. But when FIFA engages in literally the exact same practices, it’s somehow some huge scandal.

  10. No so Yank, you also need to consider they are trying to heard the City of SD into giving them what they want, a downtown stadium, unfortunately only they know at this point what thier intentions are.

  11. The city has had years, more than a decade, to make this happen. They’ve never been serious. San Diego ran out the clock and has run off their football team.

  12. “Dear Chargers,

    We’ll each pay $1000 out of our own pockets if you stay in San Diego. Of course, by `stay’, we mean the uniforms, equipment, and some of the players can stay. Other players, and every single person in or associated with Chargers management, can go to Carson and start what will undoubtedly be a lousy Arena League team.

    Charger fans.”

  13. With what’s going on in New Orleans courts you may get the San Diego Saints. Drew Bree’s coming back….

  14. A couple of posters here seem to be misconstruing Fabiani’s reference to the Environmental Quality Act. He’s not attempting to claim that the Chargers are now suddenly concerned with the effect a new stadium might have on the environment.

    California law requires that environmental studies be done to ascertain the impact of a project of this magnitude. Studies that take time to complete. What Fabiani is saying is that the team does not believe that a comprehensive report can be produced before the December public vote proposed by the city.

    I’m not in any way defending the guy, but in this case he’s right. If it’s going to go to a public vote, then there has to be a completed EIR for the public to review.

    One of the issues that killed the proposed stadium in downtown L.A. was the delay and debate over the Environmental Impact Report — and AEG had one in hand.

  15. If anyone is derailing this its mayor Faulkner himself.

    He’s determined to put this on the ballot even tho the task force layed out a plan that doesn’t require it..

    The Chargers said they can’t wait a couple years for it to get on the ballot…and they just came out saying they can’t get behind the city trying to circumvent some laws to force it on the ballot this year

    I appreciate the city trying to appease the Chargers and get it voted on sooner..but the mayor needs to suck it up and get it done without a public vote.

  16. If you can build a privately funded stadium in Los Angeles then you can build a privately funded stadium in San Diego – except cheaper. ’cause you know you aren’t getting a dime from Los Angeles county or city for your palace. Ask Stan.

  17. If the chargers move to L.A. next year, do us all a favor. Don’t call them the chargers anymore. Like the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Titans. Erase everything about that team and maybe L.A. can cheer for them.

  18. Goodbye to these perennial losers — “Wait Til Next Year Xs 54 Chargers!” Hello resurfaced — rutted — potholed — Third-World-like-city-streets. Hello other infrastructure improvements that would have been neglected to divert $$ to building a new stadium like the City did to build the Padres a new ballpark. Many voters who I know were willing to commit voter fraud to vote NO! multiple times on building a new Charger stadium.

  19. Chargers want to go to LA and San Diego doesn’t really care if they stay. Anyone think San Antonio is going to have a football team is nuts. Jerry Jones will never allow it.

  20. I’m really hopeful that this circus will end up as follows…

    Raiders and Chargers move to Los Angeles, St. Louis comes up with a stadium plan to keep the Rams in Missouri.

    Chargers and Rams swap Conferences and Divisions.

    This puts teams in the 3 worst stadiums in the league into new stadiums, it gives the NFL a SF/LA rivalry, it keeps the Raiders/Chiefs/Broncos rivalries intact, it creates a good regional rivalry for the Rams with the cross-state Chiefs and the Broncos, and it provides the Rams a yearly trip to Los Angeles to take on the Raiders, providing LA based Rams fans a yearly chance to see them.

  21. Ahhh the environmentalists. The ultimate job creators this country needs more of! I mean, it’s not like they are drilling for oil here, just building a revenue generating building that I’m guessing will be much more environmentally friendly then the current one. Win Win.

  22. the610limited says:
    Jun 16, 2015 7:24 PM
    Since when does a pro sports franchise give a damn about environmental impact studies? Just another excuse/reason for leaving town.

    Ummm……because by state law you can’t even get a permit to build a stadium until they are completed?

  23. “Both groups have spent many hours examining possible options” = looking for a loop hole.

  24. Maybe LA will go from none to three NFL teams. It would be just like our Captains of Industry to pull something like that off.

  25. I really hope the Chargers and the City of SD find a way to get a new stadium done (without using public funds).

    The Chargers are San Diego. Here’s hoping that they can make it work.


    A L.A. Football Fan

  26. Thing about all these stadiums they want to build in California, how much water (as in the stuff Cali is running out of) does it take for a construction project for a facility like that let alone daily operations and upkeep?

  27. There really is no way around the Chargers moving. The current stadium is substandard and neither the owner nor the city and state have the where with all to finance a new stadium in San Diego. Spanos’ best option is to go to Kroenke and be the other team in that stadium.

  28. I was in Baltimore when the Colts snuck out. It is a somewhat lingering, bereft feeling.

    There is some solace, San Diego, if they do leave. Despite your love for them, you won’t be losing any championship history. And they can’t take your glorious weather with them either.

  29. They’re gone. However there should a rule that if you change cities, you must also start over the fan base by changing mascot names, logos and colors. (Think Titans, Chiefs, Ravens, not Raiders, Rams, Chargers et al)

  30. Its more of a case not likely than impossible. Like Dogsweat getting a GED.

    Regardless of the EPA, a new stadium wouldn’t pass a vote in this city of transplants and trust fund babies.

  31. Life Long Charger fan. If they move, good riddance. I am over billionaires hanging city’s, tax payers, and fans over the fire to build them a new kingdom.

    I will save my money on more meaningful things, family, travel, and the Sunday ticket where I can watch any game and drink my own $1.50 beers.

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