Chargers Open Stadium Talks With San Diego Mayor's Office, Eyeing Shared Funding
The Chargers and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer "have started the process of establishing a dialogue that both sides hope will ultimately lead to a new stadium project that keeps the team in the city," according to Eric Williams of ESPN.com. Faulconer reaffirmed that he "remains committed to keeping the Chargers in San Diego," but said that he "will not do so at the taxpayers' expense." Although he "has not had formal talks with the team, preliminary conversations involving the Chargers' stadium proposal have taken place between the mayor's office and representatives of the team." The Chargers have proposed a $800-$900M, football-only facility downtown and to the east of Petco Park that "could seat as many as 70,000 for Super Bowls." Funding "would include contributions" from the Spanos family, which owns the team, and the NFL. Funds also would come from "selling and developing 166 acres of city-owned property that Qualcomm Stadium sits on, and another 100 acres of city-owned property that houses the San Diego Sports Arena, for the city's contribution." The team "could seek a city-wide special election as early as June 2015 for approval of a replacement" for Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers "are keeping a watchful eye on what happens in L.A.," with 30% of the team's premium sales -- including advertising, sponsorships, club seats and suites -- originating in the L.A. market. Faulconer said, "When you look at the success that Petco Park has had in the community, the opportunity for a new stadium has to be an entire package that makes sense for San Diego." The mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Jaymie Bradford will "serve as a point person for his office on the stadium project." Bradford "worked on the stadium issue in the past on the city's behalf" (ESPN.com, 3/28).