SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s mayor Sunday fast-tracked the deadline for a local committee to come up with viable plans for a new NFL stadium, lest the San Diego Chargers move-in with the Oakland Raiders in a new stadium in Carson.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with the Chargers’ chairman Sunday, and emerged to announce that the timeline for finding a San Diego stadium location and a plan to finance it had been shortened to just three months.
Following a meeting with Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos to defuse recent tensions over stadium plans, Faulconer said the team and the city should work together to find a solution.
The Chargers said in a statement that Spanos supported the tightened timeline and would work with the advisory group to find a publicly acceptable stadium solution in San Diego.
“We are pleased that the task force decided on Friday to accelerate its work and deliver a report within the next three months,” the statement said. “This is good news for the process, and Dean joined the Mayor in supporting this expedited schedule.”
However, Spanos told Faulconer the franchise “must create other options for itself in the event that an agreement is not reached.”
As for the San Diego mayor, he said “the best chance San Diego has for developing a viable stadium plan is for the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group to complete its work in an expedited timetable so that a final recommendation can be presented to the Chargers and San Diegans within the next three months.
“Mr. Spanos agreed and pledged to work collaboratively with the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group as they complete their analysis and recommend a stadium location and financing plan,” Faulconer said.
The meeting between Faulconer and Spanos came three days after the Chargers and Raiders announced they were working together on a 72,000-seat Carson stadium proposal on an 168-acre parcel, in conjunction with a coalition of business and labor leaders known as “Carson2gether.”
“We have both been working in our home markets to find a stadium solution for many years, so far unsuccessfully,” according to a joint statement issued by the teams. “We remain committed to continuing to work in our home markets throughout 2015 to try to find publicly acceptable solutions to the long-term stadium issue.
“… We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.”
Faulconer said he told Spanos he would work to keep the Chargers in San Diego, but would never support a deal the city could not afford. The eventual plan the nine-member stadium advisory group comes up with will have to be “fair for San Diegans, protects taxpayers and can be approved by the voters.”
“The stadium advisory group has agreed to speed up its efforts and will release a work product in the next 90 days,” Faulconer said. “I look forward to sharing the plan with the public and the Chargers at that time.”
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