Bolts Supporters Impatient with Faulconer, Want Him to Decide on Stadium Plan - NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego Chargers launch a hurry-up offense to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium

Bolts Supporters Impatient with Faulconer, Want Him to Decide on Stadium Plan

Chargers fans want some action from Mayor Kevin Faulconer on the team's stadium plan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chargers' supporters and the city's tourism industry are facing off over the team's new stadium plan. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison breaks it down for us. (Published Thursday, May 5, 2016)

    Chargers fans groups are thinking it’s time for bold action on the part of Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

    They'd like to see him take a stance on the team's initiative for a downtown stadium and convention facility.

    "If he would just say something even tepidly supporting it, it would be a lot easier to get signatures for it. We're at a point now where we're encouraging others who care about this issue to get involved, and potentially look at the other candidates in the race, potentially look at the hoteliers who are backing the mayor, and consider whether or not you want to patronize those businesses," says Jason Riggs, chairman of the San Diego Stadium Coalition.

    Fan group activists say the mayor is under election-year pressure from the hotel and tourism industries to hold fast on a bayside expansion of the Convention Center.

    Tourism Authority leaders, at their annual meeting Thursday, took a swipe at the Chargers' initiative and a parallel Citizens Plan ballot measure.

    “These initiatives either cut funding for tourism market and sales in half or fail to provide guaranteed funding -- or any funding, for that matter,” board chairman Ted Molter told the gathering in a Sea World conference center.

    "Our citywide customers have clearly expressed their need for an expansion of the existing building. They're not asking for existing meeting space to be build several blocks away."

    The group is seeking another consulting study to establish their argument that a waterfront expansion is preferable to an annex a few blocks away.

    This pushback, from attorney Cory Briggs, author of the Citizens Plan.

    “The public shouldn't have to take things into their own hands. It's good they have the right to do it, and that's what we're doing right now. But we elect these people to do the public's business, and instead they're doing special interest business. That's not okay," said Briggs.

    Faulconer's deputy chief of staff, Matt Awbrey, responded to Riggs' comments.

    "This initiative, if approved by voters, calls for the largest public bond offering in San Diego's history, so it's only fair that the public knows all the facts," he said.

    Chargers deals that two previous mayors made with the team have cost the city upwards of $50 million dollars since 1997.

    Faulconer's re-election campaign rivals, Ed Harris and Lori Saldana, are on record opposing the Chargers' plan.