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Task Force Selects Mission Valley As Site For New Chargers Stadium

Photo caption: An overall view of the San Diego Chargers playing against the Oakland Raiders...

Photo credit: Gregory Bull / Associated Press

An overall view of the San Diego Chargers playing against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium, Nov. 16, 2014.

The Chargers stadium task force has selected Mission Valley as the site for a new facility, a spokesman for the group confirmed Wednesday.

The Chargers stadium task force has selected Mission Valley as the site for a new facility, a spokesman for the group confirmed Wednesday.

In a statement, Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group spokesman Tony Manolatos said the group chose the location over another proposed location downtown "for a series of reasons, including cost savings, developable land, and transportation options. Recent events in Los Angeles, including the Chargers plans to build a joint stadium with the Oakland Raiders in Carson, mean any plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego needs to be developed expeditiously."

The advisory group will hold an 11 a.m. news conference Thursday at Qualcomm Stadium.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who appointed the nine-member group earlier this year, said he appreciated its swift work and looked forward to its decision on how to pay for the new facility.

“I want to thank the volunteers on the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group for moving quickly to recommend the best location for a new Chargers stadium," he said in a statement. "The Mission Valley site has been home to the Chargers for nearly 50 years and I know we can make it work for decades to come. Now that they’ve recommended a site, I look forward to the group continuing to move expeditiously on developing a fair and responsible financing plan for a new stadium.”

The statements by Manolatos and Faulconer came after U-T San Diego reported Wednesday the task force unanimously selected the location the night before.

Recent developments indicated the task force was leaning against a downtown stadium, although Manolatos had insisted both options were being weighed. In the last month, county supervisors have spoken about loaning funds for a new stadium to be built at the 166-acre Qualcomm site.

At a public forum last week, Chargers fans overwhelmingly supported Mission Valley. A memo also showed vacating the proposed downtown site could take years because it's currently occupied by the Metropolitan Transit System.

The Chargers would not comment on the announcement. The team has been skeptical — to say the least — about the task force and has made its preference for a downtown stadium well known.

Faulconer unveiled the task force's mission and its members in January, declaring that a solution to the 13-year debate over a new stadium would happen on his watch. He faces re-election next year — when a stadium plan is expected to go before voters.

The mayor originally gave the group a fall deadline, but the Bolts upped the pressure when it proposed a joint-facility with the Raiders near Los Angeles.

The Bolts are charging ahead with their proposal to build a joint-stadium with the Raiders in Carson, south of Los Angeles. Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said the teams are beginning to collect signatures for the Carson City Council to approve construction of a stadium there.

"That process is moving ahead very quickly," Fabiani told KPBS on Monday. "Signatures will start to be gathered late this week and we hope to have a fully entitled site within a short time period after that, certainly by mid-year."

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