I just talked to Chris Neils, a partner with Sheppard Mullin, who is leading the Chamber of Commerce’s ad hoc committee addressing the Chargers’ desire for a new stadium.
I, of course, picked on the chamber a little today.
Remember, I asked Nikki Clay the chamber’s chairwoman what kind of a solution for a new football stadium the business group supported. She said the chamber wouldn’t support using public money for the new stadium.
“The Chargers have made it clear that they are not expecting that there will be public funds provided to finance a new stadium deal,” he said.
What about handing over public land to the Chargers or the team’s development partner? Isn’t that a public subsidy?
Neils said that would be different. A government, whether it be San Diego, Chula Vista or National City, has to look at the value of certain parcels of land, Neils said. If allowing the team to develop one of them had economic benefits for the city concerned, it might be reasonable to consider it.
“The term ‘gift of land’ has been used in a pejorative sense,” he said. “It’s a little simplistic. Governments have to look at all sources of revenue. I’m not sure anyone is suggesting that the Chargers should be just gifted public land.”