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News on Chargers downtown stadium is that there isn't much news

The anticipation builds.

Rumors (and reports) had pegged the Chargers to formally announce their plans last Thursday for a citizens initiative to build a downtown stadium/convention center. 

Thursday came and went, with only leaked information and nothing formal.

Rumors -- and reports -- then projected Monday to be the release date.

Monday came. And went.

No news.

This much we know for sure: It has to happen in the next day or two, because time is running out. The Chargers still need to launch a campaign and get the necessary votes to ensure that this initiative is placed on the November ballot.

Here's a few things to think about while we wait:

Andrew Keatts, a journalist over at Voice of San Diego, says that moving the Metropolitan Transit System bus yard -- once considered a huge obstacle to getting a new stadium built downtown -- might not be such a big deal after all, especially since MTS has been open to the possibility of moving for years (even going so far as to contact the Chargers to give them the heads up).

Keatts writes:

"For instance, the Metropolitan Transit System recently sent a letter to Chargers owner Dean Spanos signaling its leaders are now ready to talk about selling the largest piece of land needed to make the project possible. And almost two years ago, according to emails we obtained through a public records request, MTS’s general counsel tipped the Chargers off to potential locations where it might be able to move its East Village bus yard. The lawyer encouraged the Chargers to jump on it."

My take: If they haven't yet, they still need to secure a new place to put the bus yard (close to the old location) and it isn't certain yet how those transactions will unfold. It's also unknown as to whether the Chargers did indeed purchase land to "hold" for MTS in case this occurred.

Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes that this might get tied up in litigation for awhile even IF it passes, and the vote might even be reversed. As in: Don't celebrate if a simple majority wins this thing. The Chargers won't necessarily be out of the woods.

Acee writes:

"Brace for this: In November, as much as 66.5 percent of the electorate could approve a tourism tax hike to fund a stadium and convention center annex, and yet neither side could know whether they should make a toast or if their effort is toast.

"It’s a good thing the NFL gave the Chargers until 2018 to decide whether to take that option in Inglewood. It appears to be a very real possibility that they’ll need the extra time to rule out a move."

My take: I've been saying this too, and it's a very real possibility. The Chargers are banking on the fact that the law is fuzzy in this area. In some ways, it's brilliant, and in other ways, it's fool's gold. What Acee also writes is that if the Chargers can get a 2/3 vote to begin with, we won't need to argue legalities. It's a big "if" though, especially in San Diego's climate, and citizens also have to ask themselves whether they want to subsidize --- and be strapped with -- a stadium.


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