Edward Roski, Jr., the developer who today proposed an $800 million professional football stadium in the Los Angeles area, has long ties with the owners of the Chargers and has spoken with team President Dean Spanos about the endeavor, a team spokesman told me this evening.
“The Roski family and Spanos family have a long history together,” said team special counsel Mark Fabiani. He said the families have long been friends in the development community.
Roski had told Dean Spanos what he was doing, but they “haven’t gotten to the point of talking about relocating,” Fabiani said.
The team has been pushing for a new stadium in San Diego for more than five years. In that time, Los Angeles has come and gone as a tangible threat to lure the team north should it not complete a deal here. That prospect has been dormant until today’s announcement by Roski.
The team can negotiate with groups outside of San Diego County by the terms of its contract, but has so far pledged not to do so as long as it sees progress locally. I asked if that pledge still stood.
“We’d have to think long and hard about that if they came to us more formally,” Fabiani said.
Fabiani said the team plans to continue studying its opportunities in Chula Vista. The team is currently conducting a financing study to see if a stadium deal can pencil out there. But Fabiani said the project has been clouded by the uncertainty surrounding Chula Vista’s drawn-out negotiations with convention center builder Gaylord Entertainment and questions of when the South Bay Power Plant could be removed from the waterfront.
“We should have this conversation again in the summer if Gaylord is still stuck in limbo and the Sunrise Powerlink isn’t approved and the power plant is still there,” Fabiani said.