Chargers official criticizes San Diego's latest stadium plan

SAN DIEGO -- The Chargers have issued a stinging rebuke to the city and county's plans for a new $1.1 billion stadium in San Diego, making it look increasingly doubtful the long-running, contentious issue can be solved by City Hall's Sept. 11 deadline to have a deal in place to qualify for a January vote.

At a sun-drenched news conference overlooking aging Qualcomm Stadium, Mayor Kevin Faulconer unveiled a financing plan, architectural renderings for a new stadium and a 6,000-page draft of an environmental impact report.

Chargers point man Mark Fabiani criticized the "hastily prepared" EIR, saying, "The Chargers have been clear from the start that the franchise will not be the City's guinea pig for this inevitably ill-fated legal experiment."

"Remember, these are the same politicians who told us, with disastrous results in court, that the convention center expansion could be financed by a vote of the hoteliers rather than a vote of the people," Fabiani, a former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, said in a statement.

San Diego city officials made a presentation to the NFL's Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities in Chicago. The Chargers will update all owners on Tuesday on their joint plan with the archrival Oakland Raiders to build a stadium in Carson. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke will give an update on his competing bid to build a stadium in Inglewood.

Faulconer said the stadium plan would still need to be negotiated with the Chargers and approved in a citywide public vote by Jan. 12 in order for the group to move forward on the project.

"It will be up to the NFL and working with the Chargers here to determine a path forward," Faulconer said. "We are ready. The negotiation table is open. And we'll see in the next couple days."

However, the latest movement by the city puts the Chargers on target to meet the NFL's demands to have a stadium deal in place by the end of the year.

Here's how the deal breaks down:

  • $750 million in private sources

  • $362.5 million by the Chargers

  • $200 million by the NFL

  • $187.5 million in personal seat licenses

  • $350 million public contribution

The public contribution would include $150 million in lease revenue bonds from the city and $200 million from the county's capital improvement fund. Faulconer's proposal puts a cap on how much public money would be spent, with the Chargers responsible for any cost overruns, along with stadium operations and maintenance.

Faulconer said his group has another month to put a deal together so that the city can meet the deadline for a Jan. 12 special election. However, the Chargers appear no closer to returning to the negotiating table.

Fabiani, the point person on the issue for the Chargers, stated the team still has major concerns with San Diego's public contribution for the project, along with the environmental review.

"Both history and current polling show it will be extraordinarily difficult to persuade voters to devote hundreds of millions of General Fund tax dollars to a stadium," Fabiani said. "But in the end any funding plan is going to be dragged down into the quicksand of the City's legally inadequate environmental review process -- a process that will be bogged down in court for years before it is eventually declared illegal."

However, San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith believes the litigation process of the environmental review can be accelerated and completed by September 2016, including the handling of any potential lawsuits.

"Today we've shown that San Diego can meet the time deadline," Goldsmith said. "We have a funding plan. We have a conceptual design. And we have draft environmental impact report.

"We're ready, willing and able to meet the NFL and Chargers' deadline to have an election by January 12. The ball is in their court to determine if they want an NFL franchise in the nation's eighth-largest city."

Information from ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams and The Associated Press was used in this report.