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.