Mayor’s staff to meet with Chargers for stadium talks

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SAN DIEGO — The first staff-level meeting between the Chargers and San Diego mayor’s office over the National Football League team’s decade-long hunt for a new stadium is scheduled for next week, a mayoral spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Awbrey described the gathering set for Wednesday “an initial meeting to discuss with the Chargers Mayor (Kevin) Faulconer’s priorities on this issue, which are keeping the Chargers in San Diego while protecting San Diego taxpayers.”

Qualcomm-StadiumIt doesn’t appear that Faulconer himself will take part in the get- together.

It was learned last week that a member of the mayor’s staff had spoken with Chargers executives by phone, but the substance of the conversation was not revealed.

The team conducted an extensive, countywide search for a site for a new facility to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium. The effort was derailed for years by the city’s fiscal meltdown and the recession.

A couple of years ago, Chargers officials settled on an East Village location near Petco Park, but the site presents a tight squeeze for an NFL stadium and would require environmental mitigation.

More recently, the team proposed building a new stadium in conjunction with an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which at the time was facing a skeptical California Coastal Commission. The commissioners eventually approved the expansion project as is.

The Chargers met with then-Interim Mayor Todd Gloria last September.

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