A New Pitch to Solve an Old Problem

By R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 AM PDT
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A New Pitch to Solve an Old Problem

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Chargers v. Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium in November 2009.

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In an attempt to answer the question, "Why aren't we doing more to keep the Chargers in San Diego?", three of the region's leaders met to work out a proposal together.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts met Monday to discuss a possible plan to build a new stadium downtown.

They met for an hour and said in a statement said this was the first of many meetings to to come.

"Today we met to discuss regional strategies for assisting the San Diego Chargers in locating a football stadium downtown," the group said in a news release. "We are confident that the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego will be able to work together to explore methods to help the Chargers remain a regional asset. "

Escondido had been lobbying the team to consider the area southeast of where Interstate 15 intersects with Highway 78. In early November, five North County cities agreed to work together to help Escondido biuld a new stadium to keep the team in San Diego County. Then, Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler said she would hold off while San Diego discussed options with the team.

Two weeks later, the mayor decided to fly to Denver to see the Chargers play the Broncos and told the North County Times that she would use the trip to discuss the Escondido option with Chargers owner Dean Spanos.

The Chargers have been looking for a new site for their stadium for years.

In October, Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President Dean Spanos met privately for the first time since the two sides began talks at the beginning of the year.

Right now, the old Wonder Bread factory in the 100 block of 14th Street in the East Village is a possible spot for relocation. Redeveloping the Qualcomm stadium site was scrapped in June. Then, again in August when the Chargers sent a letter to a developer saying they really meant no.

Here's another reason San Diego may be revisiting the idea of a downtown stadium. Voters in the City of Industry approved selling $500 million in bonds that includes money for a planned $800-million NFL stadium. While the Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars all have been linked to Los Angeles -- a market that the NFL wants to reclaim -- the Chargers could also be a viable candidate should their local stadium search turn sour.

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