Pro-Chargers stadium newspaper lashes out at Chargers for not being pro-stadium enough

Well, this is interesting. U-T San Diego, the newspaper run by a crazed millionaire who thinks journalists should be “cheerleaders” for stadiums, published an editorial yesterday afternoon that tears into the Chargers ownership for its position on a stadium. It tears into them for not being eager enough to commit to one in San Diego, mind you, but still, that’s definitely breaking with the program:

Mark Fabiani, the team’s special counsel for stadium issues … has continued to undermine the task force effort by pushing for a downtown stadium that would be more costly, would require two-thirds voter approval of a tax increase, would take much longer to develop and which includes a bus company yard that would definitely require significant environmental cleanup. And meanwhile, of course, the team has continued to push forward with a fly-by-night joint proposal with the Oakland Raiders to win approval for a new stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.

Clearly, something has shifted here, whether it’s Fabiani pissing off the U-T editorial board somehow, or the board being tighter with San Diego city officials than with Chargers execs, or just annoyance that they’ve carried water for a San Diego stadium for this long and now Chargers owner Dean Spanos seems more interested in playing footsie with Carson. But this stuff matters, and it’s certainly significant that for whatever reason, the Chargers ownership seems to have alienated one of its most powerful friends. It’s a reminder that in playing cities off against each other, sports team owners risk burning bridges — though I guarantee that if the Chargers do choose to remain in San Diego, all will be forgiven, and the U-T editorial page will be full of talk about how Spanos needs to be rewarded for his loyalty.

3 comments on “Pro-Chargers stadium newspaper lashes out at Chargers for not being pro-stadium enough

  1. It’s not just the paper, all the local talking heads are also turning on the Chargers. Specifically point man Mark Fabiani. The reason being is that the city is finally coming together, has selected a site, is putting a financing plan together that will be more acceptable to taxpayers by their May 20th due date (which was moved up from the fall), and despite all of that Fabiani is doing nothing but stirring the pot (largely at Dean Spanos request). He’s continuing to pooh-pooh the location they chose at the existing stadium site, and their financing plan (which I’d reitterate hasn’t even been formulated yet and won’t be given to the Chargers for 2 months), and all this despite the team publicly saying they’d support building at the Qualcomm site. Instead Fabiani and Spanos are continuing to make noise about the abandoned downtown site. The press have dubbed it their “divide and conquer” strategy on the radio. The thinking is they’re trying to keep the downtown site alive to keep San Diegans divided and derail any chance SD has of putting together a workable plan so they can leave town for LA saying “see they didn’t do anything.”

    Nevermind polls have shown tepid support for downtown, the downtown site has a 5-7 delay in start date built into it (not to mention a $120 million public funded cleanup required), and is opposed by all the major hoteliers other than the paper’s owner. Which is what makes the UT’s attack on Fabiani even more amazing since the paper had been one of the downtown site’s biggest backers. But even they realize that at this point that ship has sailed and the Chargers are simply being obstructionist because ultimately they don’t want to stay.

    Tenor around town among fans isn’t good either as they’re seeing right through the Chargers BS. Attendances at Qualcomm are going to be pitiful this coming season and that’s assuming they DON’T announce they’re moving before the season. If they do… well you’ll have seen busier libraries on Sunday than the stadium will be.

  2. The Chargers have no interest in staying in San Diego and San Diego has no interest in helping the Spanos family get a new stadium. A stadium proposal wont get a simple majority approval let alone a possibly required 2/3rds majority.

    Hopefully we will be rid of the Spanos leeches by new years day.

  3. The dumb newspaper owner guy finally woke up and realized he’s a tool? Well, we’ll just find some other tool–it’s what we do best!