Mayor expedites S.D. stadium plan

ByEric D. Williams ESPN logo
Monday, February 23, 2015

SAN DIEGO -- For the first time since the team's announcement that it will pursue a joint venture with the Oakland Raiders to build a new stadium in Carson, California, Chargers owner Dean Spanos met with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Sunday.

"We are pleased that the task force decided on Friday to accelerate its work and deliver a report within the next three months," the team said in a prepared statement. "This is good news for the process, and Dean joined the Mayor in supporting this expedited schedule.

"We pledged to continue to work cooperatively with the task force. Dean emphasized that we remain committed to finding a publicly acceptable stadium solution here in San Diego, but Dean also explained in detail to the Mayor the reasons that the franchise must create other options for itself in the event that an agreement is not reached."

Faulconer confirmed that he met with Spanos, agreeing to an expedited timetable for the stadium advisory group to return a recommendation on a location and finance plan for a new stadium to house the Chargers.

"I explained to Mr. Spanos that we are going to work to keep the team here but I will never support a deal that San Diego can't afford," Faulconer said in a prepared statement. "We will continue to work to produce a viable stadium plan that is fair for San Diegans, protects taxpayers and can be approved by voters.

"The stadium advisory group has agreed to speed up its efforts and will release a work product in the next 90 days. I look forward to sharing the plan with the public and the Chargers at that time."

Faulconer originally asked the stadium advisory group to make a recommendation by September when he appointed the group in January. However, the Chargers did not agree with the timeline for fear of losing business in the Los Angeles and Orange County market -- where the teams says a quarter of its revenue originates from -- with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke's pursuit of a new stadium there.

One of the reasons the Chargers also pursued a stadium deal in Los Angeles was to put pressure on Faulconer to put together a stadium plan sooner in order to make a decision by the end of 2015, and it appears the team's efforts paid off.

The Chargers and the Raiders announced on Friday a proposal to build a privately financed, $1.7 billion stadium in Carson that the two teams would share if they relocate to the Los Angeles market.

The proposal comes a month and a half after an announcement in which a developer and a company operated by Kroenke unveiled plans to build a stadium on land he owns near Hollywood Park.

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