Chargers, Faulconer tight-lipped about stadium talks


Chargers stadium

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SAN DIEGO -- Negotiations between the Chargers and city and county officials over a new stadium in San Diego began Tuesday, but participants on both sides were tight-lipped about what took place.

"Today we and our negotiating team met with Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and his advisor Mark Fabiani for more than an hour,'' Mayor Kevin Faulconer and county Supervisor Ron Roberts said in a joint statement. "It was a productive discussion on a variety of issues, and both parties agreed to meet again within the next several days.''

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani told City News Service that he had no comment. The group met at the city attorney's office for roughly 1.5 hours.

The talks come about two weeks after an advisory group appointed by Faulconer issued the framework of a financing plan that would raise $1.4 billion toward stadium construction costs. The nine-member task force estimated a price tag of around $1.1 billion, leaving some wiggle room for discussions among the officials.

The Chargers have been pushing for a new playing facility for nearly 15 years to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium. The team recently purchased 157 acres in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson jointly with the Oakland Raiders, where they've proposed building a $1.7 billion, 72,000-seat stadium in case the National Football League franchises fail to achieve acceptable deals in their current cities.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday that the two teams, rivals on the field, also jointly purchased an 11-acre lot across Del Amo Boulevard from the main Carson property for $22 million. The land could be used for parking, or possibly a hotel or other development.

The Chargers Stadium Advisory Group recommended building a 65,000-seat facility in Mission Valley adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium, which would eventually be razed to make the land available to a developer. The new stadium would also be the home of San Diego State University's football team and be used for the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, high school championships and special events.

The project would also include creation of a park running along the San Diego River.

The city and county of San Diego have each set aside $250,000 to pay experts -- the legal firm Nixon Peabody, which has consulted on 25 stadium projects, and Citigroup, which has been involved in raising money to build stadiums recently in Atlanta, New York and Orlando.

Their goal is an agreement that would pass muster with voters in an election. The CSAG framework does not include a tax increase that triggers a requirement for a vote, but both the mayor and team officials have said they want the public to validate their plans if a deal is reached.

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