NFL pushes Chargers and San Diego further apart

San Diego’s quest of keeping the Chargers took a hit on Tuesday. That’s when Eric Grubman, the NFL’s big cheese of franchise relocation, gave San Diego a laundry list of stadium items to complete.

San Diego thinks it can cross off these issues which raise a red flag on Park Avenue. But it’s a yellow flag which needs to be heaved at the Chargers: Is there a penalty for stiff-arming a city which has supported the NFL since 1961?

While San Diego was painting a pretty picture of the pow-wow the real wow is what wasn’t said: Grubman guaranteeing the Chargers join the movement to stay put.

What Grubman didn’t stress when meeting with city, county and state officials is that the Chargers will negotiate. You know, actually sitting down to hammer out a deal.

The city is always a nail getting pummeled when working with the Chargers. But at least it got them to the table for these dismal deals.

Remember the $35 million ticket guarantee?

Remember the out clause in their Qualcomm lease?

Remember the city writing the Chargers a check for playing in San Diego’s facility instead of the other way around?

With that background, it’s amazing San Diego wants to do business with this bunch. But that’s the lure of having an NFL team to call your own.

We guess.

But whenever something positive was offered during this stadium dance, the Chargers sacked it. If only they could do likewise with rival quarterbacks.

Grubman gave a dour assessment of what San Diego needs to do.

He threw water on the idea San Diego could expedite the proposed venue’s environmental impact report.

He scoffed at voters potentially approving $600 million of public money to pay for the sports palace.

He didn’t like the county skirting the rules to produce its financial share of the costs.

He said San Diego’s weather isn’t good enough — OK, just seeing if you’re paying attention.

But the storm clouds this stadium front has produced grew darker on Tuesday. The hurdles that remain — not to mention the lack of a willing second party in this endeavor — are higher than Mount Soledad.

Cross you heart and hope they’ll fly? That’s the city’s position with Grubman’s concerns. He all but knocked San Diego off that foundation of its promise it can get ‘er done if you believe a letter leaked by our own Dan Sileo.

The NFL is good at many things and aiding its franchises to ensure the highest return is paramount. Grubman made it clear that if the city falls short on any obstacles, the Chargers lose out on Los Angeles.

Please know San Diego is dealing with the devil in preventing the Chargers from returning to the City of the Angels.

If San Diego’s hard work of late at keeping a mediocre team isn’t good enough for the NFL, well guess what? It’s not good enough.

It’s clear the NFL isn’t going to wait for San Diego to get its house in order. Never mind the endeavor is drastically more challenging with the Chargers being an obstructionist at every turn.
We get it: the Chargers sought a downtown location.

But you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you’ll get what you need: which is a new stadium.

Instead, L.A. seems closer than ever as the Chargers’ potential new home.

Still the city hasn’t relinquished hope and maybe that comes from so many years of rooting for the Padres.

Keeping the faith, though, is easier than keeping the Chargers.


+ Contact Jay Paris at Follow him on Twitter jparis_sports.



15 thoughts on “NFL pushes Chargers and San Diego further apart

  1. Cecil Treadwell

    The NFL is peaking out in many markets. In others, it is beginning to decline. San Diego is a market where the NFL has been in decline for a number of years now.
    Soccer is the sport that has inexorably been gaining ground within San Diego at the same time NFL football has been declining.
    The future without the Chargers is now staring us full in the face.

  2. Cecil Treadwell

    A genuine billionaire with genuine vision would have been working on acquiring a MLS team and pushing for a modern stadium both teams could use together amicably and lucratively. The minority stake Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has in the Seattle Sounders MLS team is an example of the way things should continue to go for NFL owners who can afford to also own all or a portion of a MLS team. The most fascinating aspect to the sharing of the Century Link Field in Seattle by the Seahawks and the MLS Sounders is that the stadium would not have been built in the first place had it not been for the votes of Seattle residents who did not like football but voted for the tax burden to build the stadium only because they knew a professional soccer team was going to be sharing it. Those votes were needed for the required majority to authorize the construction of Century Link Field.

  3. Cecil Treadwell

    Soccer is the EXPLODING sport that has the potential to act as a ‘life preserver’ for a NFL franchise and a welcome generator of revenue for a city like San Diego. A new era of synergistic cooperation between both sports is upon us, but only for those paying attention.

  4. Ryan Schulze

    Why is anyone fighting to keep this organization in town? There’s no way anything requiring public funding would get by voters, unless people loved the Chargers’ organization, but though people embrace the team, who is going to be motivated to keep the Spanos’ in town? No one except for the few with a vested financial interest in the team.

  5. Chief

    Soccer will never be as big as the NFL anywhere in the U.S. let alone San Diego. Soccer sucks as a spectator sport!

  6. Jeff Powers

    maybe stop posting Mark Fabiani’s own words. geez guys. really!?! Fabiani….really? Hiring google to push this story higher. Sending out a release to try and scuttle talks. You’re pathetic…not becoming…you ARE there. How’s Lance?

  7. Cecil Treadwell

    Soccer ALREADY is BIGGER than the NFL worldwide. MLS is the third most watched sport in the U.S. market and coming on strong. How can you say soccer sucks as a spectator sport when it is the number one sport in the world watched by BILLIONS?

  8. Cecil Treadwell

    The CHARGERS are SINKING!!! The only ‘life preserver’ that will save them is SOCCER.

  9. Majgendude

    Soccer is absolutely boring. Watching people run around a large field with little or no chance of scoring, I wonder what people in the stands are cheering about. Then to make things ridiculous with scoring being so difficult, penalty shots count as much as a field goal. With their degree of difficulty, a field goal score should count at least 3 points and penalty shot score: 1 point.

  10. Cecil Treadwell

    Can you explain why soccer is the number one spectator sport in the world with billions of people watching it live and on television?
    There is hope for you. You can be reformed.
    You can learn to like soccer.
    You will LOVE soccer if you just invest the time to watch it.

  11. Cecil Treadwell


  12. Jonathan French

    The problem is the spot in LA is a 2 horse race and the Charger/Raiders are far behind the Rams in that regard. The Chargers might want to leave SD for LA but they also might miss out to the Rams who have the inside blocking and no desire to share. So where does that leave the Chargers? San Antonio?

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