As I reported Friday, the Chargers are bringing some key players to their meeting with San Diego officials on Monday about the Mission Valley stadium plan.
In case you missed it, the Chargers are expected to bring a Goldman Sachs banker and attorneys from the law firm of Latham & Watkins to Monday’s meeting with City of San Diego representatives, the second stadium meeting within the last week.
The Chargers experts from Goldman and Latham are part of the same
group that helped structure the team’s proposal for an LA stadium in
Latham’s lead lawyer, George Mihlsten, is a prominent expert on
California land use and ballot initiative law.
The question is, why the need for this type of expertise at this point in negotiations?
Keep in mind, this is all about timing.
If I’m the Chargers and San Diego leaders, it’s incumbent I get this wrapped up before the end of 2015. The NFL is on a fast track back to Los Angeles, and with momentum growing for the Chargers-Raiders stadium in Carson and Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke pushing his Inglewood stadium plan, time is running out on San Diego getting a viable stadium plan done before the NFL will decide between Carson or Inglewood, or the Chargers, Raiders and Rams work out an amicable solution in which all their needs and wants are satisfied.
That means the Chargers need assurances San Diego’s plan can be delivered in time.
Which beings us back to Mihlsten, who is an expert on California land use and ballot initiative law.
It doesn’t take a law degree to figure out the Chargers are likely trying to figure out whether any kind of deal can be placed before the voters in 2015 – rather than 2016, as expected – given the requirements of California’s Environmental Quality Act and the state Elections Code.
In other words, there is no point negotiating a comprehensive
financial package – if one could even be negotiated – if there is no
way to get it on the ballot in time for the NFL to make a decision
That is why Monday’s meeting might be so critical to the process.
It shouldn’t take long to figure out if this can get to a vote by the end of 2015. If so, it’s full steam ahead hammering out a deal. If not, what’s the point?