Assembly speaker promises state support to keep Chargers in San Diego


A Chargers Task Force stadium rendering.

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SAN DIEGO -- Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, Tuesday promised state legislative support for keeping the Chargers in San Diego, if the team and city reach an agreement to build a new stadium.

She called financing recommendations released by Mayor Kevin Faulconer's stadium advisory group "a good tool for moving the discussion forward.''

"I look forward to continuing to be part of the discussion with the mayor, the City Council and the community to see if the right agreement can be reached,'' Atkins said. "As I have stated previously, if an agreement can be reached, I am committed to making sure San Diego can benefit from state legislation that is consistent with what other cities have received for their sports facilities.''

Four years ago, the Legislature passed a bill that limited the time a stadium and convention center project proposed for downtown Los Angeles could be legally challenged.

The measure put a 175-day time limit on legal challenges to the so far unbuilt $1.5 billion proposed Farmers Field by Anschutz Entertainment Group. Lawsuits would also go straight to the state Court of Appeal.

When he signed the bill, Gov. Jerry Brown said projects like Farmers Field can create thousands of jobs, making it "imperative for the state to cut the red tape that could delay projects like this for years.''

The law still required AEG to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act and added new environmental requirements on the project.

Two years ago, the Legislature approved and the governor signed a bill extending an exception on a ban on advertising alcoholic beverages to Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, where the San Francisco 49ers now play.

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