They will meet for a couple of hours today.
The Mayor, his Stadium negotiating team, and his financial people. Across the table will be the NFL’s lead Vice President on franchise moves, and other assorted league officials. And then the Chargers representative is going to be there too.
Kevin Faulconer is not quitting on efforts to keep the NFL team in town, despite the mistreatment that comes from the direction of owner Dean Spanos, thru Mark Fabiani, his point-man, hatchet man.
In middle of all this is NFL-VP Eric Grubman, trying to sort and sift thru proposals, beliefs, philosophies and agendas.
They will meet for probably four hours today, the league and the city, to review what is fact-vs-fiction on the true financing plan for the new NFL Stadium. They will ask for specifics of why the city believes it can fast-track an Environmental Impact Study by October, so there can be a vote on a financing plan in January.
Of course there is no final financing plan, because Fabiani walked away from the negotiations about six weeks ago, six weeks of valuable time they could have used to come up with the blueprint specifics of how to actually pay for the stadium, if the EIR deal got done..
The elephant in the room will be potential lawsuits, by people who have a history of being obstructionists, who think they are smarter than anyone else.
The stadium drive has stalled. An awful lot of pollution coming from Murphy Canyon Road as to why the team no longer wants to move forward in San Diego. Probably hiding behind rhetoric and past law.
At the briefest glance, everything the Chargers asked for has been done. A fast forward proposal; a financing plan; an EIR solution. And now they won’t come to the table and are giving us an image that this won’t work, will wind up in litigation, and anything done in San Diego will kill their hopes of being a player in Los Angeles.
And that’s the issue. Spanos, who gets 262M a year from the NFL in shared revenue for San Diego, wants more, alot more, with the potential move to Los Angeles. He wants in on the bigger pie, along with his imagined friend “Stan Kroenke of the Rams, or the incompetent friend, Mark Davis in Oakland.
This isn’t so much about financing in San Diego, or EIR reports out of Sacramento, or oil plumes in Mission Valley or toxic land in the East Village. It’s about a money grab and that’s all it is.
Grubman will likely play the role of referee today in the question and answer session. The Spanos-Fabiani team will refute most everything said by Faulconer and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. The NFL exec will have to work thru what now appears to be some real-ill-will from both sides.
But let me remind you, who does Grubman work for? Roger Goodell. Who does Goodell work for? The NFL owners, and that includes Spanos. This is not so much as finding a solution to the problem, as it is getting the best deal done, for the NFL and for its team. Grubman may say one thing about host cities retaining their teams, but at the end of the day, it’s about the money and who gets what share.
Sadly, probably not from the San Diego market, but rather Los Angeles.
So they will gather information today, adjust their agendas tomorrow, and likely continue to be at odds going forward the day after.
It’s about leverage and profit. Always has been, always will be in the NFL.
San Diego loves the team, but likely no longer the owner. But with all these failed meetings, and caustic comments, you feel like the town, its mayor and its leaders, are wasting their time dealing with the league VP and the team owner.
Expect statements later today, but likely no solutions.