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City Council Unanimous In Commitment To Keep Chargers In San Diego

Empty seats at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the NFL preseason football game between the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers, Sept. 4, 2009.
Associated Press
Empty seats at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the NFL preseason football game between the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers, Sept. 4, 2009.

The City Council Tuesday approved a resolution that states the city is "fully committed'' to keeping the Chargers football team in San Diego.

The resolution — which passed on an 8-0 vote — was introduced five days after the Chargers and Oakland Raiders jointly announced they were working on a plan to build a $1.7 billion stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson in case efforts to create new playing facilities in their home cities didn't bear fruit.

The resolution states that "over the last 54 years the Chargers have been a source of civic pride and inspiration to San Diegans," that "the Chargers have brought home multiple awards, divisional and conference titles to San Diego, and have provided entertainment and enjoyment to generations of San Diegans," and that "the people of San Diego are working in good faith to develop a plan that, if approved by the voters, will provide a home for the Chargers for generations to come."


The document goes on to say that "San Diego remains fully committed to working with the Chargers to keep the team in their rightful home, San Diego."

Mayor Kevin Faulconer told the council members the resolution is important because the commitment and unity of the City Council is stated on the record.

"That's a simple statement, but it's a very powerful one as we move forward as a community to find a stadium solution," Faulconer said. Councilman Todd Gloria called it a "symbolic" vote, "which is a start, but it can't be the end."

A smattering of fans attended the meeting but did not speak. Three members of the public asked the council not to spend any public money or give away public land in a deal with the Chargers.

Faulconer met with Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos on Sunday, and the two agreed to work with a nine-member advisory group tasked with selecting a site and financing plan for a stadium. The task force agreed to issue its recommendations within three months, faster than the original fall deadline.


The panel is scheduled to hold an open meeting on Monday to take public input on the issue. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium, and is scheduled to be preceded by a rally of Chargers fans at 5 p.m.

In related news, Gloria and Councilman David Alvarez said they'll talk about the issues surrounding the creation of a new stadium at next month's Budget Committee meeting.

The councilmen also outlined a series of "threshold issues" that need to be addressed in a memo to Faulconer.

"We are ready and willing to work with you, the Chargers and all stakeholders to develop a stadium plan that makes sense for everyone, and are pleased to see the expedited schedule for the mayor's task force," Gloria and Alvarez wrote. "With the committee working on these issues concurrently, the city will be best positioned to meet the accelerated timeline sought by the Chargers for real progress."

Among the issues the councilmen said needed clarification:

• the funding sources for a stadium that Faulconer would find acceptable;

• the city's capacity to issue future bonds;

• the amount the county of San Diego and other local cities are willing to contribute to the financing plan; • how much money the Chargers will directly contribute to the project;

• the cost of moving the Metropolitan Transit System's bus maintenance yard, which occupies one of the two sites under consideration for a stadium; and

• the price tag of a playing facility on the other possible site, next to Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.

They also said the future of the proposed San Diego Convention Center expansion has to be resolved, because it could have an impact on where the Chargers' stadium is located.

"Taxpayers need answers to key questions about a potential new football stadium," said Gloria, who chairs the Budget Committee. "Recent events make it clear that the public needs this information sooner rather than later."

He said the hearing will take place March 18.