National Football League owners are set to meet Tuesday regarding possibly relocating one or more teams to Los Angeles, just one day after local negotiators pitched a stadium proposal designed to keep the Chargers in San Diego.
Although no decisions will be made at today’s meeting in Chicago, the group is expected to hear presentations on St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s planned stadium project at the former Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, and a proposal for a Carson stadium that could be shared by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. The presentations are expected to cover each proposal’s design, cost and financing plans.
Returning a team to Los Angeles is a major priority for the NFL. The Los Angeles area has not had an NFL team since 1995, when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland.
The NFL owners are also set to hear updates on efforts being made in San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis to keep their teams from moving.
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On Monday, city and county of San Diego stadium negotiators met with a small group of team owners to discuss a proposal to replace Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. They unveiled renderings of a design concept by the firm Populous and a proposed financing package, under which the city and county would pay about one-third of the total construction cost.
The financing proposal calls for the Chargers to contribute $362.5 million and the NFL $200 million, and for $187.5 million in personal seat licenses to be sold, with the county contributing its share in cash and the city taking out bonds. The proposal does not rely on income from other development on the site, like shops and office buildings.
Also made public on Monday was a 6,000-page environmental impact report, which is now available for public comment. Chargers officials have objected to the study’s expedited time line.
Team special counsel Mark Fabiani said that never in California’s history had a controversial billion-dollar project relied on environmental review documents prepared in just three weeks. Environmental studies usually take 12-18 months.
City officials maintain that the EIR will hold up to scrutiny because the project is merely replacing one stadium with a similar and smaller, facility, so the impacts are already largely known.
The efforts to keep the Chargers in San Diego come years after the local NFL franchise began asking for a replacement for aging Qualcomm Stadium, where, long before it acquired its current name, the first game was played in August 1967. The team has purchased land in Carson in Los Angeles County to build its own stadium if no deal is struck to stay in its San Diego.
— City News Service