Faulconer makes case for keeping NFL in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO — A dialogue between representatives of San Diego and a group of National Football League owners Wednesday in New York was open and provided a chance for the city to demonstrate steps being taken to try to keep the Chargers in town, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

Faulconer and county Supervisor Ron Roberts met with owners belonging to the league’s stadium, finance and Los Angeles relocation committees hours after the Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced that Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Robert Iger was appointed to head their joint stadium efforts in Carson in Los Angeles County.

Iger will serve as the non-executive chairman of Carson Holdings LLC, the joint venture between the two football teams formed in February to work with the city of Carson to build a stadium there.

His position will go into effect if the proposed site in Carson is approved by NFL team owners, who are expected to vote on the proposed move early next year.

“Should owners approve the move, Los Angeles will proudly welcome two incredible teams to our community and build a stadium worthy of their fans,” Iger said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Faulconer and Roberts went before about half of the NFL’s team owners in an effort to prevent such a move.

“I talked about the passion of San Diego fans,” Faulconer told reporters after the meeting. “It’s part of the fabric of who we are in San Diego.”

“I think today’s session allowed them to hear directly from us… all of the steps that we have taken and to hear directly from me, as mayor, our commitment to get this done,” Faulconer said.

The city and county have pinned their hopes on a proposed 67,500-seat facility that would be located adjacent to aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. The Chargers broke off discussions about the project in a dispute over whether the environmental impact report would pass legal scrutiny, prompting Faulconer and Roberts to take their case directly to league officials and owners.

Today’s presentation was just the latest of several meetings local representatives have had with NFL owners and executives.

“It was very clear to me, all of the owners in the room today are very engaged in this process, have given it a lot of thought,” Faulconer said.

“I think today was a very important part of this ongoing (process) to hear directly from San Diego,” the mayor said. “There was some very positive comments about the design of the stadium, which, I’m biased, but I think is a pretty spectacular building that we have the ability to build.”

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani, who attended the meeting along with team Chairman Dean Spanos, declined to comment on the proceedings.

Iger, who was in Florida and did not attend the NFL meeting, will be responsible for hiring a president and will lead the project on the teams’ involvement with the Carson plan, the fans’ experience at the stadium, how they will get in and out of the venue, marketing and more.

The owners at the meeting also heard presentations from Oakland and St. Louis, cities also in danger of losing their teams to Los Angeles. A decision on which, if any, teams relocate is expected late this year or early next year.


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  • Frickn' waste!

    If the mayor spent less time on is waste and more time keeping Comicon, expediting developing wasted NTC space, Filling ginormous potholes on Harbor drive, cutting waste, training police how not to shoot everything, and lowering our taxes San Diego would be a model city!

  • Jeff Madruga

    Thank You San Diego Mayor Faulconer! I sincerely appreciate your diligent, forthright, lunch-pail campaign to jump through every craven Spanos/Fibiani/NFL-owner rotisserie in what we ALL knew already was a gamed match. Seriously, to watch honest men do honest work, be dignified, and try their very best to do what’s best for the public (in stark contrast to the nabobs you’re dealing with); that is *great*! I suspect we all know how this will eventually turn out; but Thank You nonetheless. You San Diego reps will always have my respect. The NFL, Spani, Disney, Fibber…, no.

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