When NFL Vice President Eric Grubman visited last week with the San Diego task force in charge of coming up with a stadium plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego, the message was clear: With Los Angeles beckoning, time isn’t just of the essence to get something done, it’s rapidly running out.
Grubman met with Oakland officials later in the week, and while he didn’t offer a comment on the meeting when I reached out to him, some details are beginning to emerge.
Not surprisingly, essentially the same message was delivered to Oakland that was given to San Diego.
Los Angeles is a real option. And right now we have serious issues with the plans you are promoting.
In other words, where we stand today, things aren’t looking good in either city to keep their teams.
“I think the thing will come to a head in the next couple of weeks,” Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said in a story the San Francisco Chronicle.
Haggerty made the comment after a meeting Wednesday with Grubman that included Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Raiders owner Mark Davis and team President Marc Badain, and developer Floyd Kephart.
“The NFL is pushing extremely hard to get some answers,” Haggerty said.
The biggest question is money, according to the Chronicle.
Davis says he wants to stay in Oakland but doesn’t have the deep pockets to pay for what is likely to be a $1 billion replacement for the Coliseum, even with help from the league.
At the same time, city and county officials have made it clear that they won’t dip into their general fund to pay for a new stadium.
That leaves Kephart, the developer behind the proposed Coliseum City development in which a stadium will be built for the Raiders.
Much like the San Diego plan to build a Chargers stadium as part of a bigger development on the site of Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, the NFL has serious misgivings about putting projects in the hands of developers who rely on revenue from other aspects of the project to finance the stadium.
That creates too many timing issues and raises questions about the validity of financing.
And with the Raiders and Chargers nearing entitlement on their joint stadium in Carson – full approval is expected Tuesday – Oakland and San Diego are running out of time solving issues the NFL and the Raiders and Chargers have deep concerns about.
“At this point, the league seems to be giving Los Angeles a better shake than they are giving us,” Haggerty told the Chronicle.