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Chargers Make Clear Who's Holding the Stadium Cards

The Chargers released a very long statement as their opening salvo with the San Diego Stadium Advisory Group. It was about as optimistic as a jilted spouse whose partner promises never to do this again.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The entire text can be read here. In the meantime, here are some choice selections:

"The Chargers understand firsthand how difficult your job will be over the coming months. And at the outset of your work, we would like to thank you all for volunteering your time to trying to find a solution to this long-running San Diego stadium dilemma."

"Simply put, we have no intention of allowing the Chargers franchise to be manipulated for political cover - and we will call out any elected official who tries to do so."

"In addition, some consultants (maybe including this author) have suggested that the stadium should be financed using revenue streams that, throughout the rest of the NFL, go to the teams. These revenue streams include naming rights, sponsorships, and the like. Of course, if the Chargers were to forego all of these revenues, then the team would be fall (sic) even further behind the rest of the NFL than we are right now."

For additional clarification, you can also hear the excellent interview between XX1090's Darren Smith and Chargers' Special Counsel Mark Fabiani on today's meeting and statement.

Following the meeting, the Stadium Group held a press conference in which they said a whole lot of nothing. Stadium Group Chairperson Adam Day:

"We think we can find a solution that works for everybody, that's fair, that's workable, that's doable, that's legal, and that's much like Petco Park was, be a catalyst for economic growth."

"We don't have any city resources that we're working with, so... but there's a lot of research out there in the last 13 years that's publicly available that we think will help winnow our decision-making down to the best site and to finance a plan that works."

"It's more than what site to we (have to) consider, different constraints, fiscal constraints, environmental constraints, legal constraints. Obviously, cost is an issue. You know, he (Fabiani) indicated that the cost in his mind is between $1.2 and $1.5 (billion dollars). Obviously, San Francisco is the most expensive facility, and that was $1.2. So, we're going to test that assumption that's it maybe up to $1.5; we think that it could be less than $1.2."

"We respect the Chargers' principles, but we may or may not agree with all of them. However, what I can say is we're a group of concerned and committed volunteers who are going to apply our expertise to present, in an honest, doable, and legal plan. We're not going to come forward with some half-baked plan."

Make no mistake, the Chargers are making it clear to the Stadium Group (as well as San Diego as a whole) they they are skeptical (at best) that a deal can get done. In essence, they're greasing the skids for their potential departure to Los Angeles, and making it clear it won't be their fault if they leave San Diego - because they are hoping to retain as much of their San Diego fanbase as possible.

They're making it clear they're only going to accept a deal on their terms, what with having the leverage of sharing a stadium in Los Angeles, or maybe moving into a new stadium in St. Louis without having to contribute hardly anything.

In fairness, the Chargers are also telling San Diego specifically that they're tired of being used as a political football by Mayors and City Councilpersons who are looking to feather their own beds instead of actually getting something done. But the respect knife cuts both ways - why waste San Diego's time if you're only pursuing a proposal doomed to fail?

Your move, San Diego Stadium Advisory Group.