Who will pay for the billion dollar price tag on a potential new Chargers Stadium in San Diego? Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Citizen’s Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) began addressing this issue Thursday.
The group presented a financial report to the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations (ED&IR) Committee at San Diego City Hall regarding its stadium site selection process.
Though the stadium task force publicly presented its suggestion to build a new Chargers stadium in Mission Valley last week, the group still has many hurdles to overcome in its fight to keep the Bolts playing in San Diego.
For starters, the group must still iron out where the money to build the new stadium would come from. The group says it wants to find private investors with private money.
Adam Day, chair of the CSAG, addressed the committee. He said the task force will look at the San Diego Chargers as funding sources as well as seat licenses, naming rights and private investors. Day said that at this point, every possible funding idea is on the table.
“Now that we have selected the site, we’re not looking in the rear view mirror. We are focused like a laser on developing a financing plan that is fair for everyone and works for San Diego,” Day said to the council.
The committee will also have to find a resolution to what's happening with plans to expand the convention center.
Last week, the CSAG said building a new stadium at the site of Qualcomm Stadium would save the city approximately $250 million. The ultimate goal of the group is to avoid costs to taxpayers when it comes to financing the construction of the stadium.
But JMI Realty Inc., which is studying both sites, believes the Chargers’ hybrid stadium-convention facility proposal in East Village would cost $400 million less than the combined cost of a Mission Valley stadium and separate expansion of the 25-year-old bayfront Convention Center.
San Diego City Councilmember Myrtle Cole, chair of the ED&IR Committee was set to oversee Thursday’s hearing.
"I support keeping the Chargers in San Diego and understand the economic benefit to do so. We want a stadium that residents can be proud of and can successfully compete for world-class sporting and entertainment events,” Cole said in a media release.
"We want to continue to be a destination place for visitors and San Diego's robust convention and tourism industry," Cole added.
Negotiations to build a multi-use sports arena in San Diego intensified last month when the city learned the team was considering building a stadium in the Los Angeles area to be shared with the Oakland Raiders.
Though the Chargers have been very vocal about a downtown stadium rather than a Mission Valley stadium, Day said Thursday that a downtown site for the stadium is no longer an option.
He said the advisory group wants a facility that's not just good for the Chargers, but a good site for San Diego to host hundreds of events each year, and Mission Valley meets that criteria.
Day said he plans to meet with Eric Grubman, a representative from the NFL, tentatively on April 7 and April 14. He said the advisory group also plans to meet again with the Chargers “to work cooperatively with them to develop a plan that meets their objections but is fair for the city and the taxpayers.”
The CSAG will present official financial report to Mayor Faulconer by May 20.