The Chargers want a new stadium. They finally could be moving toward getting one. Without having to move.
“The Chargers are incredibly important to the city and the region,” new San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer told ESPN.com. “I firmly believe that it’s incumbent for everyone to work together. My main priority is going to be ensuring that any proposal that moves forward protects us as taxpayers here in San Diego. That will be my guiding principle. But I’m confident that we can achieve that.”
Those were Faulconer’s first comments regarding the Chargers since winning the office on March 3. He expects talks with the team to start in the near future.
“We’re certainly going to be beginning the dialogue soon,” Faulconer said. “Ultimately, it’s one that I’m convinced that has to involve the greater San Diego community. And I look forward to playing a role in that.”
“We’ve been in close contact already with the mayor’s office and are encouraged by the working relationship that has already been established,” said Mark Fabiani, the team’s long-time special counsel for stadium construction.
The team wants a downtown stadium. The public contribution would come from selling and developing the 166 acres that holds the team’s current home, Qualcomm Stadium, and another 100 acres of city-owned property that hosts the San Diego Sports Arena. The team and the league would also help fund the effort.
The goal would be to generate public money for a stadium without raising taxes. That may be easier said than done.
Then again, nothing has been easy when it comes to the Chargers’ stadium effort. The team has been trying patiently for years to replace a venue that no longer can attract Super Bowls. If/when the NFL returns to L.A., it makes sense for the Chargers to be the team to move — unless the Chargers can get the powers-that-be in San Diego to finally find a way to get a stadium built.