At the same time civic leaders in Los Angeles applauded and patted themselves on their backs, fans in San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego also cheered emphatically.
Yes, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 292 into law—a bill that expedites any legal challenges to AEG’s proposed downtown Los Angeles stadium.
But, also in the shadow of L.A. Live, Staples Center and the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center—the same facility that is planned to be torn down in order to build Farmers Field—Governor Brown signed AB 900 into law.
So, why should 49ers, Raiders and Chargers fans in their respective cities be celebrating? Because AB 900 essentially affords the same protections to any new stadium project that are given to AEG’s downtown L.A. project by SB 292.
“I’m gratified that San Diego’s stadium project will be given the same consideration as L.A.’s project,” San Diego mayoral spokesperson Darren Pudgil told the Union-Tribune. “Not only will AB 900 help our efforts to build a new stadium here, but it will accelerate other public works efforts in the San Diego region, which will provide much needed jobs.”
The protections are as followed:
- Any legal challenge to any project that will cost more than $100 million must be ruled upon in 175 days.
- These challenges will bypass the California Supreme Court; instead, the California Court of Appeals will take the hearing.
Essentially, AB 900 was based on SB 292.
When SB 292 was proposed in the California legislature about a month ago, civic leaders in San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area screamed fouled.
They wanted the same protections for their stadium projects as well
They got it.
“The precedent has now clearly been set to expedite major, job-creating projects, and we hope to take full advantage of that precedent with our downtown stadium here in San Diego,” Chargers special counsel Fabiani told the UT.
AB 900 would also apply to a proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. Currently, the estimated cost of the Convention Center expansion is about $550 million.
Last week, Fabiani said that he hopes to combine both the Chargers East Village stadium project and the Convention Center expansion.
The bill would also apply to the major renovation project proposed by a team of San Diego architects to preserve Qualcomm Stadium. According to those architects, that project would cost between $250 million and $350 million.
Regardless of where the Chargers choose to play, if they do finally get their act together with the City of San Diego, they will have the same protections given to Farmers Field in Los Angeles.
The irony is that many have seen San Diego competing with Los Angeles to keep the Chargers, even if the team says it is planning on staying.
AEG has raced out of the gates since proposing a NFL-ready facility last fall.
It has jumped over hoops and hurdles and seems more shovel ready than any project the Chargers have proposed in the last 10 years.
But now, San Diego might be able to keep the Chargers because of AEG’s doing.
Hopefully for Chargers fans in San Diego, that will be enough to keep the team in America’s Finest City.
For more info: Visit the San Diego Stadium Coalition website. Visit our San Diego Chargers Examiner, Dave Thomas. For more on the NFL, visit our NFL Examiner Danny Cox. Follow me on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.