San Diego

Chargers, Raiders to Announce $1.7B Stadium Plan in Carson

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are expected to formally announce a plan on Friday morning to build a shared, $1.7 billion NFL stadium in Los Angeles County, even as negotiations for new local venues fall through.

Football fans eagerly anticipated the news when word of the Carson stadium, near the 405 Freeway, began to leak out Thursday.

"Everybody is rooting for a football team to come here," said Althea Friday. "It would be so delightful to have one. We could root like we see other states and cities doing for their teams."

The Carson stadium is the third concrete proposal for a venue to house an NFL team, following a city of Los Angeles-endorsed plan for a field next to Staples Center in downtown LA and a more recent proposal, from a group that includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, to build a stadium and housing complex in Inglewood.

Like the other proposals, the plans for Carson say building the stadium wouldn't use public funding.

"It would be privately financed, 100 percent privately financed," said Carson City Councilman Albert Robles. "It would be paid for by the naming rights. It would be paid for by the sale of the luxury suites and it would be paid for by ticket luxury tax."

Jim Dear, the Carson mayor, said it's a long way from a done deal, but "we're ready to do the work."

Both teams plan to continue seeking public subsidies for new stadiums in their respective home markets, but they are pursuing the Carson proposal in case they are unable to finalize any deals.

"We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises," according to a statement from the teams.

The teams are working with a business group known as Carson2gether, which plans to offer details of the proposal Friday at the proposed 168-acre site near Del Amo Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway.

The group plans to begin a petition drive to either place the proposal on the ballot or have the project approved by the Carson City Council.

Mark Fabiani, the Chargers executive who has been spearheading efforts for a new stadium, could not be reached late Thursday for comment.

The city of San Diego has created a task force charged with finding a stadium site and developing a financing plan.

Architect David Manica, who is working with the teams on the Carson proposal, told The Times the stadium would have a capacity of about 68,000, expandable to more than 72,000.

It would also include more than 18,000 parking spaces.

"We want it to be the ultimate outdoor event experience, which includes both sports and entertainment," Manica said. "And we want it to be uniquely L.A."

Manica, while working for HOK Sport, led the design of the Texans' stadium in Houston and the renovation of the Miami Dolphins' stadium.

News of the proposal comes about a month after St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke joined with the developers of the former Hollywood Park site in Inglewood to announce plans for an 80,000-seat stadium at the location.

The Rams are also pushing for a new stadium in St. Louis. The Hollywood Park developers have already collected enough signatures to have the stadium issue placed on the city ballot.

The City Council is expected to certify the signatures during its meeting on Tuesday.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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