Mayor offers $350M of public funding for new Chargers stadium

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SAN DIEGO — The city and county of San Diego would pay $350 million combined under a financing proposal unveiled Monday for a new football stadium in Mission Valley, or about one-third of the total construction cost.

The financing mechanism came on a busy day in which a 6,000-page environmental impact report was released by the office of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, renderings of a design concept were put on display, and a city/county negotiating team met with a group of National Football League owners in Chicago.

The efforts are being undertaken to try to keep the Chargers in San Diego — nearly 15 years after the local NFL franchise began asking for a replacement for aging Qualcomm Stadium. The team has purchased land in Carson, in Los Angeles County, to build its own stadium if no deal is struck to stay in its current city.

Returning a team to Los Angeles for the first time since the 1994 season is a major NFL priority.

Faulconer told reporters that the city is “on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars” under its current financial arrangement with the team and to operate the stadium in the future. A city report issued last week estimated it would cost $282 million over the next 20 years to operate the facility.

“We can fix that with a financial deal that’s better for the taxpayers,” Faulconer said. “It’s no secret that our current financial agreement with Qualcomm Stadium leaves much to be desired.”

The financing proposal calls for the Chargers to contribute $362.5 million and the NFL $200 million, and for $187.5 million in personal seat licenses to be sold, with the county contributing its share in cash and the city taking out bonds.

“The financing concept is comprised of four main elements — no new taxes on San Diegans, two dollars of private money for every dollar in public funds, and it will require voter approval,” Faulconer said. “And it protects taxpayers — it caps the public contribution to the new stadium, and makes the Chargers responsible for operating and maintaining the stadium, and it ensures that taxpayers are not on the hook for cost overruns.”

Taxpayer protection is missing in the current deal with the Chargers, he said.

The financing proposal differs from one issued in May by a mayoral task force in that it does not rely on income from other development on the site, like shops and office buildings — something that will be dealt with separately and later.

Faulconer, county Supervisor Ron Roberts and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith urged the Chargers to return to the negotiating table and agree to the plan so that it can go before voters in January.

Faulconer says a 6,000-page draft environmental impact report on a proposed Mission Valley football stadium is now available for public comment. It will likely be tweaked in the coming weeks by city staff, according to Goldsmith. The document needs to be approved by the City Council in October in order for the deal to go to voters by Jan. 12.

Opposition by the Chargers to the speed in which the study was performed led the team to break off talks with city and county officials in June. Asked to comment on the day’s events, team special counsel Mark Fabiani focused on the EIR.

“Never before in California history has a controversial, billion-dollar project relied on environmental review documents hastily prepared in three weeks,” Fabiani said.

“The Chargers have been clear from the start that the franchise will not be the city’s guinea pig for this inevitably ill-fated legal experiment,” Fabiani said. “Remember, these are the same politicians who told us, with disastrous results in court, that the convention center expansion could be financed by a vote of the hoteliers rather than a vote of the people.”

The convention center project’s financing mechanism, developed under ex- Mayor Jerry Sanders, was struck down in court.


City officials maintain that the EIR will hold up to scrutiny because the project is merely replacing one stadium with a similar, and smaller, facility, so the impacts are already largely known.

“Essentially this is robbery, it’s extortion, the only thing missing is the gun,”

Dan Jauregui, also known as the Boltman is so fed up with the team, he’s launched an anti-trust lawsuit.

“Ok if we can’t stop em then as fans we file a lawsuit for the intellectual property rights, we keep the SD chargers logo,” said Jauregi.

He said, the team can go to Los Angeles, just not as the Chargers.

“The team has really turned their back on the fans.  This is just a slap in the face,” said Jauregui.

Color renderings by the firm Populous posted on the mayor’s website depict a various areas of the stadium, including the bowl and outside plazas. The drawings also show where on the 166-acre Mission Valley site the new stadium would be located.

“This conceptual design was inspired by San Diego’s iconic sights and our breathtaking beauty — showcasing our region in a new and exciting way,” Faulconer said.

“It shows a multi-purpose sports stadium that would be capable of hosting professional sports, including, of course, NFL games, San Diego State Aztec games, soccer, and of course our two bowl games — the Poinsettia Bowl and the Holiday Bowl, as well as entertainment, cultural and commercial events,” Faulconer said.




  • liam

    Dear Mayor and City Council,
    Please stop wasting millions of dollars trying to keep the Chargers in San Diego. Balboa park has 300 million in deferred maintenance, why don’t you spend the money there.

    • KathyBFisher

      my classmate’s mom makes $89 /hour on the computer . She has been without a job for ten months but last month her pay was $16319 just working on the computer for a few hours. take a look at the site here,,>> Read MOre

  • scott

    I’m over it. Let them go. I would rather have my streets paved and an expanded convention center that actually brings revenue in to the city. If they want to move to Carson send them packing. If they want to build there own stadium great. Zero Superbowls equals zero new stadiums.

  • Stella


  • pj

    I’m not sure what’s going on with external top section–but that looks like a helluva lot of glass to keep clean.

  • Gman

    Carson is actually Long Beach, Long Beach is oil refineries, smell the roses, sic, and vision LA smog. San Diego has Balboa Park, Sea World, Famous Zoo, Gaslamp, beaches, etc.; truly priceless!

  • Chris

    why is this still being thought about? the team obviously wants to move on, so LET THEM! I agree, lets spend the money on improvements around our town and on the convention center. I don’t see a new stadium making the team any better or doing anything to help our economy for very long.

  • Joe Del

    Here’s a novel idea…use the money to fund SDPD……SDFD…and fill the potholes so we don’t have alignment issues with our cars. The Chargers may have been waiting 15 yrs for a new stadium……San Diego has been waiting since 1961 for a Superbowl Victory….Let the Chokers go!

  • Tommy Flanagan

    This is a deal I would vote for, provided a few tweaks are made. First drop the PSLs. Stop bilking the fans. PSLs are a dealbreaker, and any costs associated with this must be absorbed by the team. Period. Second, the Chargers/Spanos family must take all the monies that they have bilked taxpayers for over the years, take that cumulative amount and donate it it our local schools. Every penny of it, nothing less. Full disclosure, I am a teacher in SDUSD. If these two simple, ethical, and reasonable changes are made, I’ll vote yes. If not, bye Chargers!

  • Ann Puckett

    San Diego does not need this expense. We are tired of subsidizing the Chargers. Our city and county need things such as homeless veterans, street repairs, etc. Let the Chargers build their own stadium. BTW – Los Angeles has a great track record for keeping football teams – not.

  • Thiago da Silva


  • Sean M

    The Chargers havent won anything ever, the location is bad compared to petco, San Diegans dont even sell out their own home games, games are blackout out and we still dont go to watch them, and ticket prices will only go UP. Ive always been a football fan rather than baseball but ive been to more baseball games than football because ticket prices are reasonable.

    Good luck with this garbage. San Diego will always remember you as the Mayor that wasted $350 million dollars that could have gone to city employees that Havent had any raises in 10 years, Not even 1%. Hell, while your at it, keep pouring money into Barrio Logan. We can waste more money there by increasing the value of a neighbor hood full of gangs, thugs, and homeless.

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