Mayor Faulconer speaks out on Chargers stadium - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mayor Faulconer speaks out on Chargers stadium

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/ CNS) - Officials with the city and county of San Diego, along with their negotiating team, will present their proposals for a new stadium directly to the National Football League in the coming weeks, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Monday.

The Chargers said they have no interest in taking the next steps in negotiations, talking finances if the city's strategy is rushed. The city said negotiations must continue if there's any hope of meeting the team's strict deadline. 

[Chargers: December vote not possible]

The mayor said the NFL asked him for an update on stadium planning in San Diego. A mayoral spokesman said the NFL request came Tuesday.

"Throughout this process, the NFL has been very forthright with us, and we intend to discuss our financial framework and timeline with the NFL in the coming days and weeks, so they can hear directly San Diego's ability to approve a stadium plan in a timely manner," Faulconer told reporters.

His announcement came one day after the Chargers rejected city-county proposals that are designed to complete an environmental report by October and lead to a citywide special election in December or January.

Mark Fabiani said the Chargers are not playing with the city because the city is cutting corners. He said they have seen how it ends, citing the failed Convention Center expansion which spent years in court, and ended with a judge throwing out the city's plan. 

"You're saying to the team to come along with us, with our half-baked legal strategy and hope for the best even though you might end up in court for years, and probably lose in the end. Let's give it a shot. No private business is going to go along with that," said Fabiani. 

The Chargers have been demanding a new playing facility for many years, and have acquired land in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, where they would build a stadium jointly with the Oakland Raiders in case things don't work out in their current cities.

After Faulconer, county Supervisor Ron Roberts and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith described a Tuesday negotiating session as positive, the Chargers released a statement that said the team didn't think it would be possible to complete a legally defensible environmental report in time for a December vote. 

"You have new flood rules than the ones that existed in the 1960s, so you have to talk with FEMA at the federal level, the Army Corps of Engineers at the federal level. You have new storm water runoff issues than we had in the 1960s," said Fabiani. 

Goldsmith said at Wednesday's news conference that he was "baffled" by the remarks from Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani, and that no one believes they can guarantee that an environmental report can avoid litigation. Roberts added, "You can be sued no matter what you do."

Roberts went on to say that a "willing partner" is required to be successful in negotiations, and that officials have put forth numerous solutions to the Chargers' demands.

"Right now, it looks like the Chargers are running out the clock on us, and they aren't leaving us a lot of options," Roberts said.

NFL executives have publicly stated that they hope to have a team in Los Angeles as soon as next year, and decisions on whether teams will move there could come this fall.

Representatives of the mayor's office said they believe they can complete an environmental report faster than normal because they're replacing a stadium in the same location, not starting an entirely new project. They also said that they aren't dealing with a developer, eliminating some of the give and take that wastes time.

"It's time for the Chargers ownership to show they want to remain in their hometown," Faulconer said.

In an interview on XTRA 1360 Sports Radio, Fabiani called the city's proposals "half-baked" and "legally dubious," and said the team will no longer negotiate on any plan that cuts corners on the environmental review process. He said such a plan would be defeated in court and leave the city and team with nothing.

"It's the city's fault because the city decided to appoint a task force in January when we said, in January, that if the city did that, we would run out of time," Fabiani said.

The mayor's advisory group recommended the replacement for Qualcomm Stadium go onto the same property in Mission Valley in a project that would be augmented by construction of a park along the San Diego River and private development.

It would serve as the playing home of the Chargers, San Diego State University, Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, high school championships and special events.

The nine-member group also came up with $1.4 billion in funding sources, and estimated construction costs of around $1.1 billion.

City and county officials said the Chargers have refused to discuss financing of the project during the negotiating sessions.

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