SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers organization is calling foul against a San Diego-based business association that has publicly questioned the integrity and intentions of the team in negotiations to build a new stadium in the city.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos met last week regarding new San Diego stadium plans, and met again on Monday to discuss the team’s financing and land use, among other issues, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
On Saturday, The Lincoln Club of San Diego County (LCSDC) posted a Facebook message asking: “Do the #Chargers even want a deal, or do they want LA?”. The message linked to a negative news story about the team from a local CBS News affiliate, entitled “Chargers accused of sabotaging new stadium negotiations.”
LCSDC strongly backed Faulconer in his 2014 bid for mayor.
Chargers counsel Mark Fabiani stated, “This new negative advertising campaign against the Chargers–launched just as the team began negotiations with the city–speaks volumes about what the Mayor and his political operatives have really been up to on this issue from the start: They have always seemed more concerned with political cover than with actually building a stadium,” the Daily News reported.
The LCSDC’s Ryan Clumpner fired back, saying, “So he wants to blow up a billion-dollar deal over a $200 Facebook post by a private organization? lol,” in a message to the Voice of San Diego. “The question we asked on Facebook was whether the Chargers want a new stadium or would rather move to L.A. If Mr. Fabiani was so threatened by that question that he is complaining about it to the NFL, then I think we all know the answer.”
Back on March 25 LCSDC posted a critical article from the Union-Tribune along with the phrase, “Is San Diego getting played by Spanos and Fabiani?”
The fight between Faulconer and Spanos has been going on for a while, and became heated in a February battle of letters between the two that went public.
Spanos holds significant bargaining power in negotiations with San Diego. The Chargers have two stadium options in the mix: a $1.7 billion joint Chargers-Raiders facility in Carson, and the $1.1 billion San Diego stadium. Both are would be hopefuls for a future Super Bowl.
Local Chargers fans have put the pressure on to see their team and its nearly lifelong history–over 50 years–continue in San Diego. A March Chargers Stadium Task Force Public Forum had fans rocking the current Chargers stadium with the electrified chant, “Save Our Bolts, Save Our Bolts!”
The St. Louis Rams are considering a return to Los Angeles with plans for a $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood.
The Raiders and Rams teams have each spent many years in the Los Angeles area–the Raiders 14, and the Rams 49. Both teams left for other cities in 1994.
A public referendum on the stadium could happen on Dec. 15, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana