Representatives of the San Diego Chargers met with staff members from San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office on Wednesday in an introductory, face-to-face meeting to discuss the team’s efforts to build a new stadium in this waterfront city.
In a prepared statement, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office emphasized that the meeting was not the beginning of any formal negotiation on building and financing a new stadium, but more of an information-gathering exercise to learn more about the issue.
“The Mayor’s staff had an introductory meeting today with a Chargers’ representative,” said Matthew Awbrey, chief of communications for Faulconer. “It was an opportunity for both sides to meet each other in person, not the start of any formal negotiation. Mayor Faulconer looks forward to continuing a dialogue with the Chargers, but his top priority remains protecting San Diego taxpayers.”
Mark Fabiani, special counsel to San Diego Chargers president Dean Spanos, and the point person for the team’s effort to secure a new stadium, said the Chargers will rely on the mayor’s statement to describe the meeting between the two sides, and declined to comment further.
The Chargers propose to build a football-only facility downtown, to the east of Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres), that could seat as many as 70,000 for Super Bowls. The cost is projected to be from $800 million to $900 million.
Funding for the stadium would include contributions from the Spanos family and the NFL, along with selling and developing 166 acres of city-owned property that Qualcomm Stadium sits on, and another 100 acres of city-owned property that houses the San Diego Sports Arena, for the city's contribution.
Selling off the parcels of land could generate the city's financial contribution to the project without raising taxes, while creating new tax revenue from the development of the land.
Although a downtown location is preferred, Fabiani indicated the team is open to considering other locations for the project, including the Qualcomm Stadium site.