The architect was running late and you know what that means?
“Hey, where’s the Elmer’s Glue?”
Before the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group unveiled its model and financing plan for a new Chargers stadium, a key player was tardy. But eventually Dan Meis appeared and displayed his version of San Diego’s NFL Shangri-La. Dude was good, too, as he didn’t pluck the parts the wrong way, minus directions.
“I’ve never had to rush in and unpack in front of everybody,” he said.
What was laid out was not only a venue rendition, but also a vision, a foundation, a framework to keep the Chargers in San Diego.
“We are in the end zone,” CSAG’s Adam Day said, and he couldn’t be more wrong.
In CSAG’s world, maybe? We’ll let these fine, community leaders spike the football. But in reality, this tussle is lining up for the kickoff in a quest to build a $1.1 billion, 65,00-seat stadium in Mission Valley.
The take-away from Monday’s press conference? CSAG is good at spending other people’s money.
Taxpayers? Between a city and county contribution, we’ll put you folks down for $242 million.
Then there’s $225 million from the sale of 75 acres of city owned land at the Qualcomm site.
There’s also $300 million from the Chargers, $200 million from the NFL and $100 million from fans through personal-seat licenses, ticket and parking surcharges.
After reading those paragraphs, did you reach for your wallet, too, checking if it’s still there?
“There is no silver bullet,” Day said and we believe him.
Is it enough to keep the Chargers from taking the next train to Carson? Where they could, in their words, play in a state-of-the-art stadium with not nearly the level of financial contribution.
We know, it means sharing digs with the Raiders and we’ve heard, too, if you hang with dogs you get fleas. But the Chargers, on a short time leash with Rams owner Stan Kroenke racing them to Los Angeles, didn’t say much on Monday.
Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ spokesman released this statement: “We are grateful to the CSAG members who volunteered their time, and we will now ask our stadium development team — including our financing, legal and land use experts — to thoroughly review the CSAG results.”
Translation? Let’s see how many holes we can poke in this baby and we’ll be in touch. Which is fine. Which is expected. Which is the way these things work.
Again, Monday was more than the start of the week. It was beginning of the serious conversation between the Chargers, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and various county officials.
“This is our recommendation,” Day added. “Not the team’s.”
Until the Chargers tip their hand, we don’t know if Monday was dog-and-pony or big-and-special.
“Hopefully we can look back and say this was a monumental day for the city of San Diego,” ex-Chargers center Nick Hardwick said.
But it won’t be a snap for the parties to find common ground for an endeavor which Day said could be “shovel-ready” by 2017.
We’re not here to throw dirt on CSAG’s proposal. We just stress it’s one side’s offering and until hearing from the Chargers, we’ll reserve judgment.
Will the Chargers — despite avenues in which they can earn the money back — want to scratch a $300 million check, as well as pay rent going forward?
Will the NFL — which wants teams in L. A. — donate $200 million?
Will the sale of city land hold up, minus a vote?
Will the public swallow spending some $467 million in funds that could utilized for cops, teachers and roads without blowback?
There were winds of Chargers changes in Monday’s air. Chargers president Dean Spanos said he’s relinquishing the team’s day-to-day operations to his sons, AG and John. Instead the elder Spanos will concentrate on the stadium issue and we’ll see where that leads.
Many think the Chargers are the glue of San Diego, a core part of what makes this American’s Finest City. And if that’s the case, maybe Dan Meis has an extra bottle of Elmer’s.
Because despite Monday’s optimism, this promises to be one sticky set of negotiations.