San Diego’s Citizens Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) formally announced the recommendation of Mission Valley as a potential site for a stadium Thursday, saying the Chargers are also open to the idea.
This marks the first time the advisory group created by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has revealed its suggestions for a proposed stadium that would replace the aging Q.
Adam Day, chair of the Citizen’s Stadium Advisory Group, said the Mission Valley site where Qualcomm Stadium is currently located is a better choice for the Chargers than a downtown San Diego location.
“We made sure to ask the Chargers for their honest answer,” Day said. “They made it very clear to us on numerous occasions that they would be open to partnering in the construction of a new stadium in either downtown or Mission Valley.”
The CSAG said the team "described its position as agnostic" when it came to the location of the site.
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.
According to Day, the CSAG spent several weeks meeting with dozens of groups including San Diego State University, the San Diego Chargers, the San Diego Convention Center, hotels, architects, College Bowl representatives, developers, labor groups, land planners and Chargers alums and fans.
In the end, they decided Mission Valley makes more sense as the site of a new stadium.
“No site is perfect and without issues. This location is the best choice for the creation of a multi-use stadium that will serve as an economic catalyst,” said Day. “Some have recently argued that downtown is cheaper, faster and easier. Our research suggests the exact opposite.”
Day said both downtown and Mission Valley would require entitlements including “environmental studies, community engagement, mitigation and legal review.”
However, Day said a stadium is not in a downtown community plan.
“Mission Valley is zoned for stadium uses and has operated as such for many years,” he explained. “The only site to be considered is right here in Mission Valley.”
Day said the proposed Mission Valley stadium could become a hub for San Diego sports fans, residents and visitors to gather, calling it a potential “village within a city.”
He also touted Mission Valley’s closeness to freeways and the trolley system as additional reasons why the site would work so well.
He said the CSAG has developed their plan quickly in an effort to keep the Chargers from leaving San Diego.
“If everyone unites, there is no reason for the Chargers to leave.”
Meanwhile, the Chargers have not been shy in sharing their preference of a downtown multi-use sports stadium.
When asked for a comment before the panel's news conference, team special counsel Mark Fabiani told NBC 7: "We've really tried to make our point of view clear on this issue repeatedly over the last couple of years and there isn't anything new to add today."
As of Thursday afternoon, the team had not made any comments on the proposed Mission Valley stadium location.
Former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman spoke at Thursday’s media briefing.
"Today’s a great day to show that this can happen and should happen,” Merriman said. “We wouldn’t want to share a stadium with that other team.”