Negotiators To Aim For December San Diego Election On Chargers Stadium
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
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A city and county negotiating team will attempt to conclude stadium negotiations with the Chargers in time for a citywide special election this winter. Let us know whether you would vote to fund a new stadium.
A city/county negotiating team will attempt to conclude stadium negotiations with the Chargers in time for a citywide special election to be held by Dec. 15, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Supervisor Ron Roberts announced Monday.
The election would be called only "if we can reach an agreement," Faulconer said.
As the early stages of planning for a stadium that would keep the Chargers in town began earlier this year, there was talk that an election for the public to ratify an agreement with the NFL franchise could also involve residents in other parts of the county.
Faulconer said an "aggressive timeline" laid out at a 90-minute meeting with Chargers representatives Monday necessitated a city-only vote. He said the City Council would have to approve any ballot measures by Sept. 18, in order to refer them to the county Registrar of Voters office in time for a vote before the end of the year.
"The city/county negotiating team, as you see us here, is prepared to meet as often as necessary with the Chargers to reach an agreement by that time," Faulconer said. "We can get a new stadium approved this year if we work together to get it done."
The Chargers have been pushing for a new stadium for nearly 15 years, and put heat on San Diego officials by purchasing property in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, where it would build a playing facility jointly with the Oakland Raiders — if negotiations in their current cities fail.
Faulconer convened a nine-member task force earlier this year that recommended locating a new San Diego facility in Mission Valley, adjacent to the aging Qualcomm Stadium. They also suggested a variety of funding mechanisms that they said could raise $1.4 billion, and estimated a $1.1 billion price tag to build a new stadium.
Faulconer, Roberts, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and experts hired by the city and county met with Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and special counsel Mark Fabiani last weekend to begin negotiations. They met again Monday and are planning a third get-together a few days from now, according to the mayor.
"We've had two very well-thought out and structured business discussions with the Chargers and their legal representatives," said Chris Melvin, of the legal firm Nixon Peabody, one of the experts hired by the city and county. "We have gone through a myriad of issues — we are working through them," Melvin said. "We have committed to them, and I think they have committed to us, to try to get this done."
The city and county officials said a lot of hard work was still ahead, and they might have to meet with the Chargers at least weekly to successfully conclude negotiations on time.
Fabiani declined to comment.
If a stadium is built, the project would include a park along the San Diego River. Qualcomm Stadium would be razed to make way for development.
The facility would also be used for San Diego State University football contests, the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, high school championships and special events.
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