Chargers Refused Downtown Stadium Offer: Ex-CSAG Spokesman

CSAG offered to consider the downtown location but only if the Chargers would extend the timeline, a former rep for the advisory group said.

New details revealed Wednesday suggest San Diego officials were willing to consider a downtown stadium location but only in exchange for more time.

While San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and city officials are touting a completed draft EIR for a proposed Mission Valley stadium, the San Diego Chargers have said they are not impressed.

“They’re not going to come back to the negotiating table because the Chargers are not interested in a San Diego solution,” said Tony Manolatos who recently worked as the spokesperson for the Citizen’s Stadium Advisory Group.

Manolatos said CSAG offered to consider the downtown location but only if the Chargers would extend the timeline. He said the team refused.

“If we had more time, let’s explore downtown but we need them to be honest, we need them at the table and we need them negotiating in good faith,” he added.

The Chargers may have said no to a one-year extension because it falls outside deadlines set by the NFL. The team must file an application for relocation by February 15, 2016.

San Diego Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani sent a statement that said being offered downtown means nothing if the hotel industry opposes the plan.

"There is not a scintilla of evidence that the hotel industry was ever willing to 'offer' the Chargers anything," Fabiani wrote. "This is just more rhetoric from the same people who told you CSAG was going to produce a 'real' financing plan."

The team was not represented when legal, tax and city experts showed up to debate the issue at a panel event in Mission Valley Wednesday hosted by the San Diego Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Other topics included: whether it’s worth taxpayer money to build a new stadium, the environmental impact report surrounding the stadium, and the NFL owners meeting in Chicago.

Earlier this week, the league praised the city’s work and all the effort it’s put in to the updated stadium proposal.

However, the man brought in by the Chargers to help the Chargers and Raiders sell the NFL on their plan to build an NFL facility in Carson told NBC 7 the team is committed to Los Angeles.

At Wednesday night's forum, there were different opinions on whether moving to Los Angeles is a real possibility for the Chargers.

However, the panel seemed to agree Chargers officials aren't showing any interest in staying. 

“The primary obstacle is the Chargers need to want to be here,” said attorney Bob Gaglione. “Right now it doesn't look like the Chargers want to stay in San Diego.”

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