City Council OKs funding for stadium environmental impact report

Politics
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SAN DIEGO — The City Council Tuesday approved $2.1 million in funding to pay for an environmental review and consultants for a proposed football stadium in Mission Valley.

The 6-3 vote in favor of pushing forward with a study of a stadium’s environmental impact despite a negative response from the Chargers, who have been wanting a new facility for nearly 15 years and have taken steps toward moving to the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.

An advisory group formed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer earlier this year recommended construction of a 65,000-seat facility adjacent to the current Qualcomm Stadium, which would be leveled to make way for development. The task force also came up with ways to generate $1.4 billion to fund the project.

The Chargers rejected the mayor’s plan for an expedited environmental review, contending that it would not be legally defensible.

However, according to city documents, National Football League officials indicated in recent meetings that San Diego should continue with its study so it could make a strong presentation at a meeting of team owners next month.

No major decisions are expected at the meeting, but with the NFL putting a priority on moving a team to Los Angeles, the Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams are expected to report on progress — or lack thereof — with their respective cities. The city of San Diego will also make their presentation.

If the Chargers do move, a new stadium would still be necessary for San Diego State University, the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, and special events like international soccer matches.

The council will be asked to establish the proposed stadium as a capital improvement project with $2.1 million in initial funding, with $1.2 million designated for consultant AECOM Technical Services Inc.

Another $200,000 would pay for conceptual design, $380,000 would be split by the Development Services and Public Works departments. The remainder would be held for contingencies, according to city documents.

A state $2.1 million reimbursement to the city that was received in July, but not budgeted, will cover the expenses.

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