San Diego has hired a legal consultant, Paul Jacobs, as part of a negotiating team to talk with the San Diego Chargers regarding the football team’s proposal for a new stadium in Mission Valley.
Jacobs is a Denver attorney and sports consultant. The other appointed members of the city’s negotiating team are Councilwoman Donna Frye and Councilman Scott Peters, City Attorney Michael Aguirre and City Auditor John Torell.
However, the current cloud of uncertainty surrounding City Hall doesn’t bode well for any agreement being struck in the near future, said Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ special counsel.
“Certainly the vacancy in the mayor’s office is part of that, but so are the two City Council vacancies (in districts 2 and 8, caused by resignations of two former councilmen convicted on felony corruption charges), which won’t be filled until mid-January; the inability of the city to complete its audits; the specter of bankruptcy; the possibility of significant tax increases; and the severe unpredictability of Aguirre, who seems determined to make one erroneous statement after another about the Chargers and our proposal,” Fabiani wrote in an e-mail.
The Chargers desire to build a new $450 million stadium in tandem with about 6,000 housing units, a hotel, office and retail space at the Qualcomm Stadium site, all of which would be its responsibility. In return the team wants the city to give it 66 acres for the new development.
Absent any movement on the city’s part to discuss the plan, the team plans to put the issue before voters on the November 2006 ballot.
Yet to qualify the measure for a public vote, the Chargers need to line up a private development partner, something that it has yet to do.
Without such a development partner, Fabiani said it is unlikely the issue would be ready by the Feb. 8 deadline to allow the team to begin collecting signatures to qualify for a public referendum.
Fabiani said he hasn’t heard from Jacobs or anyone else from the city to schedule talks, but is available to meet on short notice.
, Mike Allen