Task force proposes stadium financing plan


Chargers stadium

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SAN DIEGO -- A financing plan to build a football stadium in San Diego that likely will cost about $1 billion will rely on a mix of revenue streams, the chairman of an advisory group tasked with implementing how to pay for the project said Thursday.

In a presentation to the City Council's Economic Development Committee, Adam Day said the city of San Diego and Chargers would make investments, and income would be used from naming rights, personal seat licenses, parking and concessions.

Revenue from a mixed-use development at the Mission Valley site adjacent to aging Qualcomm Stadium would also be included in a financing package, Day said.

He said everything will be on the table except for a tax increase that requires approval by a two-thirds majority in a public vote.

That threshold has been widely viewed as unattainable.

“The Chargers plan in 2005 and 2006 relied entirely on maximizing development of the existing Qualcomm site to pay for a new stadium,'' Day told the committee members. “Our plan will not do that."

Day's update came one week after his task force recommended Mission Valley over downtown as a location for a new stadium for San Diego's National Football League franchise, which has been seeking a new playing facility for well over a decade.

He said the cost estimate of a stadium ranges between $700 million and $1.5 billion.

“I think it's safe to say it's going to be somewhere in-between there,'' Day said. “That doesn't mean it will be a facility that will have all the bells and whistles because I don't think that's the San Diego style.''

He said the nine-member task force will hold further meetings with the Chargers and representatives of the NFL commissioner's office, and provide a final report to Mayor Kevin Faulconer on or before May 20.

Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said earlier this week he will wait and see how the financing plan looks.

Spanos already has acquired land adjacent to the 405 freeway in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson in case an acceptable deal can't be reached in San Diego.

The Chargers contend that 25 percent of their business comes from the L.A.-area and recent moves by the owner of the St. Louis Rams to build a stadium in Inglewood -- near the Los Angeles International Airport -- forced their hand.

“The pressure of Los Angeles is very real,'' said task force member Aimee Faucett, the chief operating officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. "We have to take that into consideration when we're coming up with what is doable in making sure we come up with a solution that will keep the Chargers here as part of our community.”

The Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday that Anschutz Entertainment Group, owner of Carson's StubHub Center, warned Carson Mayor Jim Dear in a letter that fast-tracking a “deeply flawed'' 72,000-seat NFL stadium proposal to avoid an extensive environmental analysis “is an open invitation to litigation.''

The six-page-letter outlined "numerous environmental and operational impacts'' between the StubHub Center -- home to the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer -- and the proposed football stadium site two miles away.

Backers of the stadium development in Carson are collecting signatures for a petition that would bring the project before the City Council faster.

"In my opinion, we all share the same goal -- that is to arrive at a fiscally responsible and expedient solution that keeps the Chargers in San Diego for generations to come,'' committee Chairwoman Myrtle Cole said.

No representative from the Chargers spoke at the meeting.

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