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Interim Mayor, Chargers Meet Over Stadium, Convention Center Plans

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday he had a positive 30-minute meeting this week with the Chargers executive who is spearheading the NFL team's efforts to build a new stadium.


The deck on the San Diego Convention Center.

"I thought we actually had a positive conversation about what we could do collaboratively to make sure to make sure that we keep the Chargers in San Diego,'' Gloria said at his weekly media briefing. "I'm certainly committed to doing that. The city is committed to that.''

The Monday meeting with Mark Fabiani came a couple of weeks after the Chargers proposed to the California Coastal Commission an alternative to the city's plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center.

The city plan would have all of the expansion on the current site and give the center the largest amount of contiguous floor space on the West Coast.

The Chargers' proposal would limit the expansion at the convention center location but would add a new stadium a few blocks away that could also provide space for major gatherings.

The city's plan goes before the Coastal Commission next month for its final regulatory hurdle. The financing mechanism is being challenged in court.

Fabiani told City News Service that the team's alternative will come in handy if the city plan is rejected by the commission or loses in court.

'We put our idea out there,'' Fabiani said. "It's an alternative that hopefully the city will consider if needed.''

He also characterized the meeting as positive.

"Given everything on the interim mayor's plate, we felt lucky to get 30 minutes of his time,'' Fabiani said. "He gave his side and we gave ours.''

Fabiani said the bayfront location of the convention center could create problems before the Coastal Commission, and the current proposed stadium site — at an old bus yard near Petco Park — is outside the coastal zone.

He also said the Chargers were willing to put up $400 million toward the project.

Team officials are still deciding whether it is appropriate to formally present their plan at the Coastal Commission meeting, Fabiani said. He said the timing conflicts with the fall NFL owners meeting in Washington, D.C., which he is required to attend.

The Chargers have been looking for a home to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium for a decade.

With large available spaces in short supply around the region, several potential sites have been rejected over the years. The proposed East Village location presents a tight squeeze for an NFL stadium and would require environmental mitigation.

Gloria said the city's convention center plan has been publicly vetted and is ready for construction, while the Chargers' plan doesn't have specifics.

With the expansion representing the third phase of building on the convention center, the team's proposals could be a "Phase Four,'' Gloria said.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | September 19, 2013 at 2:46 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

The viability of the current convention center expansion proposal and the Chargers alternative expansion proposal should be debated during the current mayoral race. The Coastal Commission should defer consideration of the current proposal until after San Diego voters have elected a new mayor, who may have a different take on this issue than the interim mayor has. There is no need to rush this proposal through, since the financing plan for the current proposal will be tied in in lawsuits for years.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | September 19, 2013 at 3:10 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

let the tax payers vote on it, not easily influenced ( dare I say bribed ) politicians

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Avatar for user 'dshanske'

dshanske | September 19, 2013 at 7:06 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

This is amazing. Filner's body isn't cold yet, and the Chargers have jumped up to get in line for taxpayer dollars. Being that Spanos is a billionaire and can "write a check" to pay for his own stadium, this decision needs a city-wide debate, and should get in line behind the approx $300M needed for repairs for Balboa Park - the City's "treasure" that has been loved-to-death and neglected for many years....and then there's all the potholes, sidewalks, neighborhoods, etc., etc. I believe the Chargers play 6 games/year in San Diego. An owner-paid facelift for Qualcomm Stadium sounds fair and equitable to me!

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Avatar for user 'x76'

x76 | September 20, 2013 at 5:49 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Whom are we kidding? For an UNELECTED INTERIM Mayor, Todd Gloria certainly seems to have an agenda which was ready to roll. Which only supports the point of view that removing Filner was a local coup.

If the Chargers want a new stadium, they can pay for it. The NFL is not a charity, they make immense amounts of money. My God, for the obscene parking rates charged at the Murph now they could build a stadium and pay cash for it.

Seriously, whom are we kidding? To hell with the corporate welfare mentality that suggests the City build the Chargers a facility.

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Avatar for user 'steveb'

steveb | September 20, 2013 at 9:02 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

NO PUBLIC FUNDS FOR A NEW STADIUM!!! Sorry for yelling but this just pisses me off. If the Chargers want a new stadium they should buy the land and build it paying 100% of the cost.

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Avatar for user 'JimSD'

JimSD | September 20, 2013 at 9:26 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

To Mr. Spanos: Please stop threatening San Diego with your implied threats to move. You have more than enough money to build your stadium yourself. Oh! San Diego needs more convention space more than they need the Chargers.

To Mr. Gloria: Please remember you are temporarily working in your position. Your job is to respect the citizen's opinions and those opinions are overwhelmingly against any government tax involvement in building the Charger's new stadium. Stop with your corporate welfare, do what's best for San Diego and remember you are only a temp.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | September 20, 2013 at 6:10 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

I hope the chargers leave.

Their greed is insulting, and now they are interfering with our convention business.

Not having contiguous floor space is idiotic and should be a deal breaker.

Like others have pointed out, I find it pretty suspicious and disturbing how quick the cronies jump on this the second Filner is removed.

Save ComicCon and kick the failed Chargers o the curb.

And shame on Gloria, he is proving to be a city hall good 'ol boy on the take like many before him.

This is, I must say, one area where we can clearly see Filner was doing a good job - by putting these special interests in their places!

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | September 21, 2013 at 6:17 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

The Chargers and downtown crowd's plan is to build two separate facilities.

The private Chargers Stadium would be financed by selling off Qualcomm Stadium and the Sports Arena land in a public vote.

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