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San Diego County, City Join Forces On Chargers Stadium Effort

Photo caption: Mayor Kevin Faulconer stands amid local officials and announces a partnership...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Mayor Kevin Faulconer stands amid local officials and announces a partnership between San Diego County and the city to hire consultants to help develop a funding plan for a new Chargers stadium, March 26, 2015. (From left: San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole and City Councilman Scott Sherman.)

The county and city of San Diego will explore financing options for a new Chargers stadium. Initially they plan to share costs to bring in consultants and attorneys.

San Diego city and county officials Thursday unveiled a proposal for each to contribute up to $250,000 to retain consultants, attorneys and other experts to prepare for upcoming negotiations with the Chargers over a new stadium.

"Through this partnership, we will bring on the experts to make sure that San Diego taxpayers are getting a good and a fair deal with a proposed new stadium," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

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Memorandum Of Understanding Between The City Of San Diego And County Of San Diego

Memorandum Of Understanding Between The City Of...

The document details the agreement between the city of San Diego and the county of San Diego for the joint retention of expert consultants to advise on stadium financing options.

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"These expert consultants will assist us in developing possible stadium financing options, advise us on related developments and legal matters, and improvement in financial issues," he said.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said he will choose nationally recognized legal consultants known for their work on stadiums and with the NFL to help advise the city.

The deal unveiled at the County Administration Center calls for the city and county to split the consulting costs 50-50. The proposal will go before the City Council and county Board of Supervisors next month for approval.

Supervisor Ron Roberts said "negotiations are clearly coming" with the Chargers.

"We want to have a positive result, but we also want to have a fair result," Roberts said. "We want something that the residents of our communities will feel comfortable (with) and have some pride in."

Roberts previously suggested the idea of the county floating a "bridge loan" to assist with financing a stadium, which would provide a playing home for the Chargers, San Diego State University, the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, high school championships and special events.

In response to the announcement by city and county officials, Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani said in an email, "We welcome the involvement of the City Attorney and the County and look forward to working with the law and investment banking firms that the City Attorney will hire."

The Chargers have been looking to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium for years and have made moves to acquire land near the 405 Freeway in the Los Angeles County suburb of Carson. On Wednesday, Carson officials who support a stadium project in their city delivered signed petitions to Carson City Hall. The group needs 8,041 valid signatures to put the issue before its City Council, which can either place the proposal on the ballot or approve it outright.

Photo caption: Fans walk into Qualcomm Stadium.

Photo by bradjward

Photo credit: Flickr

Fans walk into Qualcomm Stadium.

An advisory group in San Diego appointed by Faulconer has determined that a new stadium should be built next to the existing facility in Mission Valley. The nine-member committee is now working on developing a financing strategy, which is likely to include a mix of funding sources.

Faulconer said he still plans to take any final stadium proposal to voters next year, though it's now unlikely that a ballot measure would require two-thirds approval. Roberts said it still hasn't been decided whether such a vote would go before all county voters, or just those within the city of San Diego.

The city and the county partnered in 1964 to build the San Diego/Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium, according to the U-T.

KPBS staff writer Tarryn Mento contributed to this report.

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