Mayor talks downtown stadium with Chargers, tourism officials
SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with Chargers and tourism officials Friday in an effort to sort out plans to build a stadium and convention center annex in downtown San Diego.
The meetings ended with participants agreeing to meet again and continue to keep the lines of communication open, according to mayoral spokesman Matt Awbrey.
Faulconer’s get-togethers were with Fred Maas, the longtime San Diego civic leader who is leading the National Football League franchise’s efforts to develop a stadium project, and the Tourism Marketing District, an organization that takes a fee on visitor hotel room stays and uses it for tourism promotion.
“Mayor Faulconer has an obligation to protect San Diego’s fiscal health and provide facts to the public about proposals that have a direct effect on city finances,” Awbrey said.
“Mayor Faulconer and Fred Maas discussed these topics in their meeting today,” he said. “It was a productive discussion and both agreed to keep an open dialogue and have their respective financial teams meet to review the initiative in further detail.”
The Chargers had no comment on the meeting.
Team Chairman Dean Spanos announced earlier this year he would renew efforts to build a new playing facility in San Diego, after having asked for years for a replacement for aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.
His decision came after fellow NFL owners rejected his bid to move the franchise to Los Angeles County. The owners, however, granted him the option to join the Los Angeles Rams as the second team in a future stadium in Inglewood, should the San Diego effort not pay dividends.
Maas recently unveiled the Chargers’ $1.8 billion “Convadium” plan, which will have to go before voters in November for approval, since it increases hotel room taxes to 16 percent to fund part of the project. The plan envisions a 65,000-seat stadium adjacent to meeting space a few blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center.
For the Tourism Marketing District meeting, Awbrey said officials were joined by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who updated them on the status of litigation over the way the organization is funded, along with other topics.