Eyes Turning Toward Downtown As a Chargers Stadium Solution

After months of a standoff over a new Chargers stadium proposal in Mission Valley, the ground beneath that narrative may be shifting toward downtown.

It's the so-called "East Village" alternative -- the one the Chargers prefer to Mission Valley.

So does JMI Realty, the major development firm that built Petco Park nearby.

And now, other influential parties are buying in to the concept.

"I think the push for the Qualcomm site as the Chargers' new and continuing home is kind of the wrong push,” says State Sen. Marty Block (D-39th District). “The Chargers have made it clear they're not interested in staying on that footprint. I think a downtown site would be great.”

Otherwise, Block said in an interview Thursday with NBC 7: “The Number Two scenario, according to the Chargers, is Carson."

JMI Realty, meantime, has sent the NFL a letter touting its concept for a Chargers stadium and hybrid convention facility in East Village -- as a way to go that also would free up the Qualcomm site for San Diego State, UC San Diego and open parkland.

Those prospects are of great interest to Block, given that Qualcomm Stadium sits in the state senate district that he represents.

But Mission Valley backers see East Village as a pipe dream – unworkable both financially, and time-wise.

And, considering the many moving parts involved in the downtown proposal, there's a huge political reality check to consider.

"Even if all those things fall in line, passing a vote to pass a stadium in downtown or Mission Valley is hardly guaranteed,” says Voice of San Diego editor Scott Lewis. “It's not even just hardly guaranteed, it’s something that I think the Chargers and others are rightfully worried wouldn't happen."

This perspective was offered by Mayor Faulconer’s office: “The successful completion of a Downtown stadium would take many years and Chargers fans deserve to know that the team will stay here during that long process … construction on a stadium can only begin after the (MTS) bus yard has been relocated.”

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani declined comment on all this, and NBC 7 got no response from Mayor Faulconer's office.

But whatever anybody might think or say, the stadium narrative ultimately is controlled by the NFL.

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