Updated at 5:45 p.m. Aug. 11, 2015
The former football executive spearheading efforts by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to jointly build a stadium in Carson said today he’s “absolutely certain” the teams will be based in the Los Angeles area by 2019, but National Football League executives were more cautious.
Carmen Policy, a lawyer who was president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s and ’90s, told reporters outside a meeting of National Football League team owners in Chicago that the Carson project would be “shovel-ready” as soon as approval is given for the teams to move from their respective cities.
He said the proposed Carson stadium would be ready in time for the 2019 season.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which is covering the meetings because that city’s Rams are also eyeing a move to the lucrative Los Angeles market, reported that Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis also made brief remarks to their colleagues.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke was also scheduled to discuss his planned stadium project at the former Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood.
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.
Following the meetings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that all possibilities remained on the table, and the league could still keep teams in their home markets.
NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman, who is in charge of relocation, said a team representing the city and county of San Diego made “a very thorough” presentation Monday to a committee of owners.
“The city of San Diego evidenced a significant amount of progress in terms of putting together something which is beginning to be defined,” Grubman said.
“They also went through their strategy for dealing with various risks and threats — it could be a litigation threat over environmental permitting and certifications, there could be threats from the standpoint of obtaining the necessary public support that the mayor has called for, and so forth and so on,” Grubman said.
He said the NFL’s goal is to create a scenario that brings about certainty.
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 and city making a combined $350 million contribution. 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.
— City News Service
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