Mayor Kevin Faulconer, obviously frustrated over news that the San Diego Chargers were actively working on a deal to share a stadium with the Oakland Raiders, said he’s committed more than ever to putting together a plan to keep the team in town.
“Just like you we found out about it last night,” the mayor said in an impromptu news conference before 7 a.m. in downtown San Diego.
A Chargers spokesperson confirmed late Thursday that the team had been researching the possibility of sharing a stadium with the Raiders in Carson.
If approved, the $1.7 billion NFL stadium would be built in Carson just south of Los Angeles, more than 100 miles north of San Diego.
Both teams will still seek new stadiums in San Diego and Oakland, but if the deals fall through, they want a backup, Chargers’ special counsel Mark Fabiani said.
The National Football League has long wanted to have a football team in Los Angeles, a huge market for television viewers, where it now has none.
And sports observers point out that both the Chargers and the Raiders are perfect teams to move, because both play in outdated stadiums in their hometowns.
Mayor Faulconer said negotiations were moving slowly over the last nine months because the team wasn’t committed to finding a resolution.
“That explains a lot, that explains the animosity toward the group that we were trying to put together here in San Diego,” Faulconer said. “That’s not being upfront. That’s not how you do business.”
“They weren’t interested in moving forward. They were trying to work with the Raiders,” he added before ending the briefing saying “More to come today.”
Faulconer's Chief of Communications Matt Awbry used Twitter to share that Faulconer was not told about the Carson plan by Chargers officials but rather by the Los Angeles Times.
As for the upcoming meeting planned between the mayor and team owner Dean Spanos, Faulconer said he's looking forward to it.
“We need to have a very upfront and direct conversation with Dean Spanos, get his true intent,” Faulconer said.