In February, the Chargers revealed they were planning a new football stadium that would cost more than $1 billion to share with the Oakland Raiders in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson. Team officials said they’d been secretly negotiating with Carson leaders for at least a month prior to the announcement.
What did those negotiations consist of? Not a single email, text message, memo or anything on paper at all between the teams or the NFL and any elected official in Carson, according to city officials.
Less than a week after the Carson stadium news broke, we asked the city for any communications between Carson’s mayor or City Council members and the Chargers, Raiders or the league. We asked again after the city approved the new stadium at a Council meeting. Both times Carson’s attorneys requested multiple extensions of the state’s public records law before telling us twice that no records existed.
Carson is not saying that written communications between its elected officials and the Chargers, Raiders and league should be shielded from public view because they are part of real estate negotiations or other legitimate exemptions from the state’s records laws. No, they’re saying that there are literally zero electronic or paper communications between Carson’s elected officials and the NFL.