San Diego Mayor Says City Could Still Save Chargers

Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave San Diego Chargers fans a sliver of hope at Thursday’s State of the City address that their team could stay in town.

“Our San Diego family has stood with the Chargers in victory and defeat for more than 50 years. That ought to count for something,” Faulconer said to San Diegans gathered at the Balboa Theater. “This franchise has prospered because of generations of loyal fans. The passion, the heart, the energy that has powered the Bolts for fifty-five years – You can’t get that in L.A.”

The NFL offered the Chargers (and Raiders) $100 million to stay in their current cities instead of moving to the Los Angeles market with the Rams. A proposed joint Raiders-Chargers stadium in Carson was rejected at Tuesday’s NFL owner’s meeting. The Chargers were left with the offer to exercise a one-year option to play in L.A. and join the Rams in the approved Inglewood stadium once it is built.

“It’s not too late to do what’s right for this team, our fans and our home!” Faulconer told the San Diego crowd on Thursday. He asserted that financing for a new stadium would not cost San Diegans any new taxes.

One of the questions looming over a San Diego stadium has been a public vote on funding. The special purpose Chargers stadium task force last March recommended no new taxes in funding the new San Diego stadium project, but rather a mix of revenue streams.

However the new stadium would require voter approval of two sources of public financing. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that these two would include “raising the hotel tax for a convention center, and then moving general funds into “lease revenue” bonds to fund part of the Chargers stadium.”

Voters surveyed in a U-T/SurveyUSA poll last July indicate a 65 per cent rejection of public stadium funding.

In last year’s State of the City — Faulconer’s first as mayor — the mayor pledged to put out a Chargers stadium proposal by fall. After public forums, public discourse between a Chargers representative and the mayor and many meetings, various versions of a new stadium were released.

The determination was essentially made to put aside thoughts of a new stadium on the water in downtown San Diego as Faulconer had pushed for and instead take on a new $1.1 billion stadium project in the same Mission Valley location as the current stadium. 10 News reported that the Chargers halted talks with both the city and county of San Diego in June.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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