SAN DIEGO -- Reporters had an opportunity to talk with NFL executive Eric Grubman, point person for the league on the stadium relocation issue, after the public hearing here on Wednesday.
Several of the questions did not make it into my story on the meeting, which you can check out here, so I thought we’d empty out the notebook Q & A style with the hope that if you didn’t get the opportunity to ask a question, perhaps it’s answered below.
The Chargers have said publicly that one of the reasons the team pursued a stadium deal in Carson with the Oakland Raiders is because no progress has been made on a stadium proposal in San Diego that meets their needs. With that in mind, I asked Grubman about the city’s proposal.
Q: You mention that there’s been progress with what’s happening in San Diego. Is that according to the league or the team?
Grubman: That’s according to the league. But again I measure these things very simple. This is not complicated. There was nothing on the table for anyone to discuss a year ago. There is something on the table the political leadership of the city and the county are discussing. And they’re trying to prove out their case, with their case being that you can build a stadium in Mission Valley, that you can get it financed and it will be attractive and that any environmental permitting or challenges will be dealt with. They are working on that, and that is forward progress compared to a year ago.
Q: How will the information culled from the meetings be used by the league moving forward?
Grubman: There’s three things that we’re doing, and maybe more. The first thing is we will report themes that come from this, and also the written comments. The second is it’s streamed live, so club personnel and owners can look at it. Third, it’s archived for them to do that. We’re considering whether there’s a way for us to take what will be nine hours of testimonials and questions, and see if we can create something that’s easy for owners to view. I know many of our L.A. committee members are looking at parts of it, and they may want us to do that.
Q: Are there degrees of meeting the relocation guidelines, or is it a black and white thing?
Grubman: I think it’s a judgment call, and therefore it’s not ‘The light switch is on, the light switch is off.’ There are a lot of factors that are supposed to be taken into account, and that the commissioner and the committees will take into account. The relocation guidelines provide for a report to come from either the commissioner or the committees designated by the commissioner. So that report will contain points of view on all of those different measures, some of which apply to a club and some of which apply to the league itself. But the ultimate result is if a relocation proposal is filed, then when the owners vote on whether to permit that, they are voting also on whether or not they think the relocation guidelines have been met.
Q: You met with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer during your time here, how did that meeting go?
Grubman: We talked about their EIR [environmental report] process and they’re thinking on when that might be certified. We talked about AB-900 and their view on what it does in terms of lowering the risk by managing the time frame and things of that nature. They gave us a sense of their timing. We gave them a sense of our timing. We talked a little bit about tonight and expectations, but that was it. We were just checking in, which we should do when we’re in town.
Q: What’s the focal point of the December NFL owners meeting in Dallas?
Grubman: It will be to bring them fully up to speed on what we’ve seen in the home markets, not just in these evenings but in any negotiations which might occur. We have term sheets from St. Louis and from San Diego. We have to fully understand those term sheets, which we will do shortly. We need to spend a little bit more time on those. And then we’re going to talk about those term sheets with the cities, so there may be information that comes out of that that gets presented.
Q: Is it possible the window to apply for relocation will be moved up from January to December?
Grubman: I do not believe that’s possible. The current directive by the commissioner, which is in writing and has been in place for a couple of years, is that the window is open from January 1 to February 15 in an given year as it relates to Los Angeles. It’s in his authority to change them, but he’s shown no inclination to change it, to speed it up. And I don’t think that’s going to be even discussed in December.