Clearing up some questions about Carson stadium project

There seems to be some confusion about the Carson stadium site regarding the remaining environmental work that needs to be done, who will pay for it and when the San Diego Chargers – who are partnering with the Oakland Raiders to build a stadium on the 152 acres at the intersection of the 405 Freeway and Del Amo Boulevard -will officially purchase the land.

The project was approved last week by the Carson City Council, but there seems to be a few lingering questions among fans and some observers.

Hopefully I can clear some of that up.

It’also important to note that the National Football League is comfortable with the environmental aspect of the site based on it being deemed nearly shovel ready for a stadium by state regulators. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control says construction of a stadium on the site of the former landfill is good to go, pending some additional work that will commence when/if the NFL approves a move by the Chargers and Raiders to Carson.

In fact, I’ve been told by an NFL source the league has tried multiple times in the past to purchase the same exact land, potentially as a site for a league-supported stadium.

And keep in mind NFL is considering two Los Angeles-area stadium sites, the other being St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood project on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track.

Just like Carson’s proposed stadium, the Inglewood project has been approved by local leaders.

A final decision on who will relocate to Los Angeles – if anyone – could come within the next six months. And with the NFL presently comfortable with both sites, the decision now has more to do with what happens in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland than Inglewood or Carson.

All three cities are preparing stadium proposals they hope will keep their teams right where they are, and the viability of those proposals are vital to determining who stays and who goes.

The NFL has long insisted it will financially support just one Los Angeles stadium through it’s G-4 loan program – roughly $200 million to the team or teams building a new stadium  – a fact Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated in an interview with Charlie Rose of “CBS This Morning.”

Unless the NFL changes course, it’s unlikely they’ll approve both stadiums.

Still, while it’s understandable fans and observers are focusing on the merits of an Inglewood or Carson stadium, it’s much more important to monitor what’s going on in St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego at this point.

But back to Carson.

Here are some questions I’ve been getting:


Yes, there is. Over the years, more than $150 million has been spent on clean up, both by the various land owners controlling the 152 acres and the Carson Redevelopment Agency. Still to be completed is installing extraction wells to remove methane and other gases – a process that will take about six months – the cost of which will be shared by the developer and the Carson Redevelopment Agency, which has contributed financially to the clean up over the years and will continue to do so.

An important point to note: That money is going to be spent on the site
no matter what. Football, no football, mall, no mall. Whatever that land is eventually used for, money has already been set aside by Carson Redevelopment Agency to assist in the remaining clean up.

It’s important to note there is no connection between the clean-up funds and the City of Carson’s general fund.

Meanwhile, all of the extra costs necessitated by a football stadium will be paid for privately from revenues generated by the team or teams at the stadium. Such a large contribution by the teams is made possible by the enormous size of the Los Angeles and Orange County markets.


Yes, and it’s incorrect to say the Chargers have an “option” to buy the land. They are
subject to a binding purchase and sale agreement, and they have to buy the land.


I’m hearing very, very soon. Perhaps within days. When it does, the land on which the stadium will be built will be transferred to the stadium authority LLC, which is called Cardinal Cavalry.

The process was originally slated to run 90 days or so – with all sorts of vendors and contractors attached to the project all of those contracts have to be transferred over to the new entities. And that takes time.

But it looks like the sale will be completed very soon. Perhaps within days.

Hopefully that clears some questions up. You can always hit me up on Twitter @dailynewsvinny with additional questions.