The way I see it, Dean Spanos and the San Diego Chargers have three potential paths in front of them. I'm here to lay out what those paths are (or were?).
OPTION A: Inglewood Mega-Stadium
If the Chargers want to partner up with the Los Angeles Rams, they can either be the tenant of Stan Kroenke or a partner in the stadium project (but not the overall site project). Their choice will decide their investment, and their investment will decide how much cash they can make from the deal.
Call me a fool if you want, but I don't think the Chargers want any part of this partnership. It's not my "Option A" because it is the team's top option, I just decided to write about it first.
As I said on this podcast earlier this week, there is a lot of risk associated with the team leaving San Diego because they have to bet on the fact that the NFL will never decrease in popularity/value. We already know the Spanos family is risk-averse, so I think they want to avoid this one.
OPTION B: Downtown Convadium
After months of smart people saying so, the Chargers themselves came out and said it: They want a downtown stadium. They want to build something big and important and special. They don't want another Qualcomm Stadium, they want something that stands out even while being next door to one of the nicest baseball stadiums in the country.
We'll see in a little less than a month how the team plans on paying for this plan. Until then, we should probably reserve judgement.
Oh, and yes....the traffic would be terrible and the parking would suck for a while. Then downtown would grow and adjust, public transportation would expand, and parking garages would spurt up all around the stadium (because of capitalism). It's not as if traffic in Mission Valley is fantastic before/after a Chargers game.
OPTION C: Mission Valley
As Jeff pointed out earlier today, the Chargers ran the numbers and figured that they needed an extra $200m on top of what the City and County had offered to make this plan financially-viable. What they would pay with the extra money is roughly the equivalent to what they paid towards PETCO Park when you factor in inflation.
The Mayor turned down the Chargers offer, leading to the team to focus their efforts on the Downtown Convadium. That leaves the Mission Valley project dead in the water.
Obviously, if the only choices left are downtown San Diego or Inglewood, the local politicians should be trying to find a solution that works in downtown San Diego....right?
Well, yes, but that's not what they're doing.
Instead, Mayor Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts have made their intentions clear. They intend to stand in the way of a downtown convadium, and will actually be working to kill the project with a vote in May for contiguous expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.
Spanos accepted the Mayor's Mission Valley offer, with terms renegotiated to one that was more fair to the team. The Mayor said no.
Spanos turned his attention towards the last viable plan for a stadium in San Diego. The Mayor stood in his way, working to kill the project.
When Inglewood is the team's only remaining option, will it be possible to blame anyone except San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer?