An interesting detail popped out at me in Nick Canepa’s column today in the Union-Tribune on the Chargers’ stadium search:

The Spanos family has spent more than $10 million trying to find a way to keep its team in this area, and $10 million, no matter how silver your spoon, isn’t stuff used to nourish poultry.

I’m still trying to figure out that little word play. But let’s not get distracted. It’s the number that stuck out to me.

Mark Fabiani is one of many outside advisors the Chargers say have cost them $10 million since the new stadium search began.

I’ve been wondering about this for a while. The Chargers have been at it now for nearly six years. They’ve had lawyers from one of the more prominent law firms in the country, Skadden Arps, working with them. They’ve had Mark Fabiani, who helped run Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, as their special counsel — a hybrid communications director, spokesman and I suppose attorney as well — nonstop in that period.

I didn’t figure any of that was cheap.

So I wrote Fabiani today and asked him what that $10 million comprises. Here’s what he said:

(1) Legal fees
(2) Financial advice, analysis and studies on multiple sites, including the sites in Mission Valley, National City, Oceanside and Chula Vista.
(3) Stadium design and planning
(4) Urban design and planning
(5) Traffic and infrastructure advice, planning and studies
(6) Other infrastructure studies and advice

I’m sure I am leaving some categories out, but these would be most of the major ones.

Fabiani also had this to say:

We have not gone out of our way to talk about our costs, because we don’t want anyone to think that we are complaining about having to spend those resources. Costs like these are par for the course for a major project such as this.


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