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Mayor Remains In Contact With NFL Executives Over San Diego Stadium Idea

Photo caption: A rendering of a proposed NFL stadium in San Diego.

Photo credit: City of San Diego

A rendering of a proposed NFL stadium in San Diego.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke to National Football League executives by telephone in separate conversations Thursday and they plan to remain in touch over the next several weeks, the mayor's office said Friday.

Faulconer spoke to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Eric Grubman, the league's executive vice president tasked with relocating one or more franchises to Los Angeles.

The talks came just days after representatives of the city and county of San Diego made a presentation to team owners on plans to build a stadium in Mission Valley, with the aim of keeping the Chargers in town.

The Chargers have been calling for a replacement for Qualcomm Stadium for almost 15 years and have purchased land to build a facility in Carson, in Los Angeles County, possibly in concert with the Oakland Raiders.

The move was prompted by steps taken by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke to erect a stadium in nearby Inglewood.

The city and county of San Diego propose to build a $1.1 billion stadium on the Qualcomm site in Mission Valley and contribute one-third of the cost with public money. The plan calls for the team to chip in $362.5 million and the NFL $200 million. Another $187.5 million would be raised by selling personal seat licenses.

At a Tuesday news conference, Grubman said San Diego has made significant progress.

Meanwhile, a San Diego pollster released the basic results of a survey of San Diegans and their feelings on the proposal.

Among the findings by John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge Research and Communication:

— about 62 percent of respondents have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Faulconer, while 11 percent have a favorable impression of Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani — and results regarding team Chairman Dean Spanos were redacted

— 51 percent said they would definitely or probably vote for the stadium proposal, while about 41 percent would definitely or probably not

— 39 percent said they would vote for the project because it would keep the team in San Diego, and 15 percent because it would be an economic boost

— 59 percent of those who would vote against the project said it was because taxpayers shouldn't have to flip the bill

— 62 percent said they would be more inclined to favor the proposal when they heard it would not raise their taxes

Since tax hikes aren't envisioned as part of the financial package to pay for a new stadium, a public vote is not required. However, both government and team officials have said they want any agreement they reach to be validated in an election.

The city, county and team have about one month to reach a deal in order to hold a special election in January, around the time NFL owners are expected to make relocation decisions.

Citing a recent report that operating Qualcomm Stadium over the next 20 years would cost the city more than $280 million, city officials say a major renovation or a new stadium still will be required if the Chargers leave.

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