San Diego group eager to speak with NFL’s LA point man

BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
NFL Los Angeles Football

A teleconference with the NFL’s point man for Los Angeles will give Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s stadium advisory group the chance to express how serious it is about solving the long-running, contentious issue of building the Chargers a new stadium, chairman Adam Day said Monday.

Day also said the entire community — the Chargers included — need to support the group’s effort or it will strengthen the chance the team will bolt to Los Angeles.

The nine-member advisory group is scheduled to hold a conference call with NFL executive Eric Grubman on Tuesday. Grubman will then meet in San Diego with a handful of group members the following Tuesday.

“They’ve been very open and candid with us, wanting to kick the tires and find out what we’re like as a committee,” Day said Monday. “We’re a serious group committed to solving this problem and we’re working hard to develop a fair and workable financing plan.”

Day said the conference call will allow Grubman to explain the NFL’s perspective and expectations, and what it needs to hear from the advisory group.

Day said he’s read Grubman’s comments that the NFL wants the Chargers and other teams considering moving to Los Angeles to try to find a solution in their home markets first.

“Our emphasis aligns closely with that sentiment. We want to find a way to make it work,” Day said. “We hope the NFL will be an honest broker in making sure that the city and team can negotiate a good deal.”

The Chargers and the Oakland Raiders are threating to bolt to a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson if they don’t get new stadiums in their current hometowns.

Day said he and other advisory group members have heard suggestions that Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ stadium point man, will reject whatever financing plan the panel recommends to Faulconer.

“I sincerely hope that that’s not the case,” Day said. “We’re doing our due diligence, working very hard to come up with a plan that will present a very strong framework for the mayor and Chargers to negotiate for the construction of a new, multi-use stadium. We’re focusing on that like a laser. We think it’s doable.”

The group’s recommendation is due by May 20. Last month, the group recommended that a new stadium be built at the site of the current stadium in Mission Valley rather than downtown.

“We’ve got to absolutely be unified as a region on site selection and financing,” Day said. “If there’s any dissention in the community and the NFL catches wind of that, it gives strength to the efforts for L.A.”

Fabiani, who represents Chargers chairman Dean Spanos, criticized Faulconer for forming the advisory group. Fabiani then warned the panel not to come up with any “half-baked” stadium schemes and said the team has “no intention of quietly participating in any effort to provide political cover for elected officials.”

While telling the advisory group that the team would support a stadium either downtown or at the current site, Fabiani has suggested that Mission Valley is a “complicated site.”

Fabiani said in an email that neither he nor Spanos have been telling people the Chargers will oppose the advisory group’s financing plan.

“We are eager to review whatever information the task force makes public,” Fabiani said.

Day said he wanted to stress two points about the financing plan.

“There’s nothing new under the sun that’s going to be in our financing plan,” he said. “The magic of our recommendation will not be what the actual components are, but rather the balance among and between the different components. Second, it requires good-faith negotiations by both parties. If one party is not interested in negotiating in good faith, nothing is going to happen.”

Day said he doesn’t expect the group’s financing plan “to be adopted without any modifications. I expect it become the framework for the ultimate negotiations. If we’ve done our job right, we’ve narrowed the issues and potential disagreements on key aspects. … Anything that is ultimately adopted will be above and beyond what we present.”

Day said there’s been more progress in the last two months than ever before on the stadium issue. Chargers owner Alex Spanos said in 2000 that the team needed a new stadium. That pronouncement came just three years after the stadium was expanded.

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