The San Diego Chargers on Tuesday shot down Mayor Kevin Faulconer's trial balloon to hold a citywide election this year on financing for a new stadium, dealing a blow to the city's efforts to stop the team from moving to Los Angeles.
Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said that the Dec. 15 election the mayor suggested wouldn't survive legal scrutiny under state election law and state law for environmental impact reviews.
Negotiators for the city and the Chargers met a third time as the team seriously considers a move to Los Angeles. The Chargers and Oakland Raiders plan to jointly build a $1.7 billion stadium in nearby Carson, one of two proposals to return an NFL team to the nation's second-largest city after a two-decade absence. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is part of a group planning to build a nearly $2 billion stadium in the city of Inglewood.
"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," Fabiani said.
Last week, Faulconer suggested a Dec. 15 election, just a few weeks before the league may start accepting applications for teams to move to Los Angeles. An advisory group to the mayor last month recommended building a $1.3 billion venue in San Diego's Mission Valley, home to the Chargers' current home at Qualcomm Stadium.
Faulconer, in a joint statement with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, said Tuesday that a full review required by the California Environmental Quality Act could be completed by October, addressing the Chargers' legal concerns. Under that scenario, an election could be held in January.
"We have all the ingredients for success in San Diego if the Chargers work with us. We can get this done if the Chargers want to get it done," the statement read.