January 13, 2016
San Diego Chargers
4020 Murphy Canyon Road
San Diego, CA 92123
Contact: (Chargers Park) (858) 874-4500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIRST — NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS TO ENTER IMMEDIATE NEGOTIATIONS WITH CITY OF SAN DIEGO TOWARD NEW STADIUM IN SAN DIEGO
SECOND — “CARSON PROJECT” A COMPLETE SUCCESS
SAN DIEGO – Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean A. Spanos has announced he and the Team will enter into immediate negotiations with the City of San Diego and County of San Diego toward a new Stadium resolution in San Diego.
In addition, Spanos announced the completion of the recent “Carson Project” as a complete and total success. The NFL Ownership vote on Jan. 12, 2016, Spanos continued, was the culmination of years of efforts by Spanos and the Chargers Team leadership.
“I’m extremely excited about the result of yesterday’s vote,” Spanos said. “Today is a historic day for the San Diego Chargers Franchise. A day that I believe fans can be proud of and, in fact, one that they will remember for the rest of their lives. … Now we begin the exciting process of building our long-awaited Stadium here in San Diego. But for real this time.”
Spanos intends to enter into negotiations with City and County leaders immediately.
“I have already been in touch with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts,” Spanos said. “While, each was surprised with the tenor of today’s announcement, each sounded pleased at the work we will commence, beginning today. … I believe Myself, our Team leadership, as well as Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Roberts, and their Staff, wish to come together to build San Diego the first-class Sports and Entertainment Complex the fans deserve. And, most importantly, to do so in a way that is fair to all parties.”
Tuesday’s NFL vote was the culmination of the “Carson Project,” a 14-year effort by San Diego Chargers leadership to further unsettle the future of the Oakland Raiders. An effort Spanos deemed a huge success.
“Look, it’s just business, right?” Spanos said. “They’ve been our biggest rival in all of our years in the NFL. They laughed at us after the ‘Holy Roller,’ but who’s laughing now? … I can’t control much that happens on the field, but this I could control. And, it worked perfectly.”
Spanos recruited and hired Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani to head up the “Carson Project,” essentially a “long con” designed to bring the Chargers into a Stadium partnership with the Raiders, but ultimately fall just short. The conclusion of Tuesday’s NFL Ownership vote now leaves the Raiders as the third team in the State of California. Additionally, Spanos pointed out, the Raiders do not have a lease for the upcoming season.
“I’d like to congratulate Mark on the fine he work he did on the Carson Project,” Spanos said. “I knew after what he did with Lance Armstrong, he was the perfect person for this project.”
Spanos said he doesn’t plan to release any of the internal documents associated with the “Carson Plan,” but wished to assure fans and any “skeptics” that this was indeed the intended result of the 14-year “Carson Project” – which included gamesmanship with the City, NFL and, of course, the Raiders.
“Give us some credit. We know what we’re doing here,” Spanos said. “It got a little dicey at times. Mark took some bullets for the Team. I had to withstand some insults and shots to my intellect, questions of my capacity for the job, even jokes about my looks. But it was all worth it. … I mean, did you see the look on Mark Davis’ face? Oh, it was worth it. He was so mad.”
Spanos even consulted with David Fincher, director of the 1997 film, “The Game,” starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn.
“We kept thinking Mark Davis and the Raiders were on to us. We had to bring in Carmen Policy, Bob Iger. But, seriously, who’s going to build a Stadium on a toxic waste dump?” Spanos questioned. “It was just hubris on their part, I guess.”
Spanos also responded to those who would question the ethics of the “Carson Project.”
“The NFL is a competitive League. Our fans have made their feelings known about the Raiders through the years; we’ve just continued in that vein. I think it’s obvious, if it wasn’t before, we don’t like the Raiders,” Spanos said. “Was it mean-spirited? Maybe.”
To those who think the Raiders will be better off as a tenant in Inglewood, Calif., under Rams Owner Stan Kroenke, Spanos responded: “You saw what Kroenke did to St. Louis, right? Would you want to be tenant under that guy? I wouldn’t rent a U-Haul from him. Haha.”