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Chargers Task Force Planning Stadium Without ‘All The Bells And Whistles’

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Associated Press

Qualcomm Stadium during a game that pitted the San Diego Chargers against the New York Jets, Oct. 5, 2014.

The chairman of the advisory group tasked with recommending a site and financing plan for a new football stadium in San Diego is scheduled to provide an update Thursday to the City Council's Economic Development Committee.

A new football stadium in San Diego will likely cost $700 million to $1.5 billion, the chairman of the advisory group tasked with recommending a site and financing plan told the City Council's Economic Development Committee on Thursday.

Adam Day told the committee that his advisory group has been speaking with representatives from the San Diego Chargers and plans to continue to speak with them to understand what they want.

“We will be taking input from a whole range of individuals and stakeholders and hopefully putting something together that we think is reflective of what works for the Chargers,” Day said.

Photo credit: California State University

Adam Day

“It may not be exactly what they want, but this is something that needs to work for all of San Diego,” he said. “They’re an important tenant of a new stadium, but they’re not the only tenant, and if a new stadium is managed and operated in the right way, we should have hundreds of events every year rather than just 10 or 15 football games a year.”

The nine-member task force has already recommended that a new playing facility for the Chargers, San Diego State University, the two college bowl games and special events should be located adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.

“It doesn’t need to be a facility that has all the bells and whistles, because I don’t think that the San Diego’s style,” Day said. “But it will be something that’s functional, that works and that serves as an economic catalyst.”

Day said the task force will finish its plan by May 20, adding that “everything is on the table except something that requires a two-thirds vote.”

Talk about the financing plan has centered on a package of monetary resources, which could avoid the need for a public vote requiring two-thirds approval to pass. City leaders and the Chargers still plan to seek a public mandate in an election next year, though with a lower threshold.

City Councilman Mark Kersey said he was glad to hear anything requiring two-thirds votes was off the table.

“I believe that you can put a basket of financing options together in a way that makes sense for taxpayers, the question is whether that will be acceptable to the team and that’s what we’re going to find out, that’s the challenge you guys have,” he said.

Day said they are exploring various funding sources, including investment from the Chargers, from the city of San Diego, naming rights, personal seat licenses, parking, concessions, rent and mixed-use development.

Chargers president Dean Spanos said earlier this week he'll wait to see what the financing plan looks like. He's already acquired land adjacent to the 405 freeway in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson in case an acceptable deal can't be reached in San Diego.

The Chargers contend that 25 percent of their business comes from the L.A.-area, and recent moves by the owner of the St. Louis Rams to build a stadium in Inglewood, near the Los Angeles International Airport, forced their hand.

The Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday that Anschutz Entertainment Group, owner of Carson's StubHub Center, warned Carson Mayor Jim Dear in a letter that fast-tracking a "deeply flawed" 72,000-seat NFL stadium proposal to avoid an extensive environmental analysis "is an open invitation to litigation."

The six-page-letter outlined "numerous environmental and operational impacts" between the StubHub Center — home to the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer — and the proposed football stadium site two miles away.

Backers of the stadium development in Carson are collecting signatures for a petition that would bring the project before the City Council faster.

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