Members Of San Diego Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group Talk About Their Mission
After Sunday's Super Bowl victory by the New England Patriots, you might feel you've had enough football for a while. But don't settle down just yet.
San Diego is about to embark on what Mayor Kevin Faulconer describes as the definitive search for a new Chargers stadium plan.
Faulconer announced on Friday the appointment of nine civic, business and community leaders to a Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group. By this fall, the group — which will not meet in public — will come up with a location and funding plan for a stadium so the proposal can go before voters in 2016.
Aimee Faucett, chief operating officer for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said she expects the group’s meetings to be long, lively discussions. Faucett, who worked for Faulconer when he was a city councilman, said the group will propose one idea.
"Mayor Faulconer has tasked this group with looking at and evaluating two locations: the Mission Valley site and the downtown site," Faucett told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. "The community, the city and the Chargers have looked at so many different options. It's time to make a recommendation."
The Chargers first came to the city in 2002 to ask for a replacement for Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. The city-owned stadium on 166 acres of land along the San Diego River was built in 1967 and has been renovated twice at taxpayer expense.
So far, several proposals over the years have emerged to replace it, but no commitments have been made and no funding plan has gone before voters. A new stadium is expected to cost in the $1 billion range.
Jim Steeg, a former NFL and Chargers executive who will also serve on the advisory group, said he isn't sure which type of funding model will work for the stadium. He said some stadiums have been privately funded while others were publicly funded.
"Let's look at all these different models and come up with a successful model for San Diego," Steeg told KPBS Midday. "A stadium isn't about 10 games a year,” he said, referring to the number of professional football games that would be played there annually.
“It's about 200 events throughout the year," Steeg said, with the stadium being used for sports, concerts and other events.
The last time a San Diego mayor appointed a task force to look for a stadium solution was 2002, and the mayor was Dick Murphy. His task force met in public and all of its reports were public.
Faulconer did not make this an official city committee and it will receive no public funding, so it’s not subject to California’s open meetings law.
Faucett said documents reviewed by the group will be made public, but she isn't sure whether minutes of the meetings will be recorded.
Faulconer’s news release announcing the committee members said this about the public’s involvement in the process: “The conclusions and recommendations of this group will be presented to the public in the fall for a full and complete vetting.”