Chargers, San Diego Officials Exploring Joint Convention Center, Football Stadium
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Chargers President Dean Spanos and Chargers Special Counsel to the President Mark Fabiani "secretly met for more than an hour" last Tuesday to discuss "a new football stadium/San Diego Convention Center expansion," according to Nick Canepa of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The city "needs further enlargement" of the original convention center to "accommodate major conventions." But a state appellate court Aug.1 rejected a proposal for a "contiguous expansion of the center." The Chargers have "proposed building a new stadium with a retractable, soft roof across the railroad tracks from the center that could house the Chargers, convention activities and other large events, such as the NCAA’s Final Four." But San Diego-based JMI Realty, which built Petco Park and "dominates the downtown building resurgence, has a plan for more space, including a new stadium, that would cost less than if built independently." There is "interest now in the proposal, and it won’t get done without the mayor behind it." Fabiani said, "It was a very positive meeting. Very positive. … I can’t say anything more than that right now.” Meanwhile, Canepa cites sources that said that the Raiders put together a document signed by Owner Mark Davis and two other potential partners, soliciting $200M in funds to "build a new stadium on the vacated, 600-acre Hollywood Park site" in Inglewood, Calif. This is "interesting, because the site itself is said to be valued" at a minimum of $600M. Where "all this money is going to come from is anyone’s guess." Canepa: "Where would the Raiders play at first if they decided to move to L.A.?" Pasadena "doesn’t want any part of L.A. Raiders fans hanging around the Rose Bowl." USC now "controls the Coliseum and can deny a lease to anyone," and "popular thinking is that the Trojans don’t want the Raiders in their house, either" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/18).
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: ESPN's J.A. Adande said of the Raiders, "They should stay in Oakland, although the NFL needs a team in L.A. eventually. I'm not sure the Raiders are the ones." Adande said there is "still a tremendous amount of support for the Raiders" in L.A. Columnist Kevin Blackistone said the Raiders "belong" in Oakland. Blackistone: "I do not believe this story about having a team in L.A. We've heard that before. I don't think owners want a team in L.A. I think they want that to be their bargaining chip." The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan: "As a rule, I hate to advocate moving franchises from cities because obviously some cities are very deserving … They should stay in Oakland, although the stadium situation is almost untenable" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/15).