Speculation recently has emerged in San Diego that if the Chargers’ preferred downtown “convadium” plan becomes impractical or otherwise unworkable, the Chargers would accept a stadium at the Mission Valley site as a fallback. The Chargers are making it known that this is not the case.
By way of background, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that some of those opposing the team have been pushing the idea that the Chargers would be forced to accept a stadium in Mission Valley — and that if the Chargers leave San Diego could get another NFL team to play in Mission Valley. But the Chargers have made their choice, and they won’t be going back.
The team’s decision arose from a belief that the best chance to win an election comes from a downtown stadium, that the downtown site allows the Mission Valley location to be used for other purposes, and the failure of the currently planned stadium vote in November and a “pivot” to Mission Valley could push the final decision into 2020, or later.
On Friday, Chargers owner Dean Spanos sent a letter to Donna Frye, a former San Diego city council member from the Mission Valley area. In the letter, a copy of which PFT has obtained, Spanos says that there will be not “pivoting” back to the Mission Valley site.
“We want to be as clear as we can possibly be about this issue,” Spanos writes. “We did not choose downtown over Mission Valley casually. Downtown is a plan that can work for the community and our fans. We have tried to make it clear that Mission Valley will not work for the NFL or for the community. The Mayor asked us to make a choice. We made the rational business choice, and the rational choice for the community-at-large. That choice is downtown. Mission Valley is not an option for us, now or in the future.”
So it’s downtown or nothing for the Chargers in San Diego.