Advisory group chooses Qualcomm site for new stadium - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Advisory group chooses Qualcomm site for new stadium

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego's football stadium advisory group confirmed Wednesday it has chosen Mission Valley as the site for a proposed $1.049 billion stadium.

The decision to build a new playing home for the Chargers, San Diego State, the two college bowl games and various special events at the site of Qualcomm Stadium was reached unanimously at a meeting Tuesday night.

Tony Manolatos, a spokesman for the Citizens Stadium Advisory Group that was appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said a formal announcement will be made at 11 a.m. Thursday.

"CSAG has selected the Mission Valley site for a new multi-use stadium for a series of reasons, including cost savings, developable land and transportation options," Manolatos said.

"Recent events in Los Angeles, including the Chargers' plans to build a joint stadium with the Oakland Raiders in Carson, mean any plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego needs to be developed expeditiously," Manolatos said.

Siting the new stadium was expected to be the easier of the two decisions the task force needs to make. The alternative was a location east of Petco Park that wouldn't have been available for at least five years because it's the site of a bus maintenance yard.

Much harder will be the group's other task, which is coming up with a way to pay for construction of a facility that will cost more than $1 billion just for the stadium itself, and not including expenses like the demolition of Qualcomm Stadium, according to a report to the mayor's office from consultant Rider Levett Buchnall.

The group -- made up of real estate, land use and financial experts -- is said to be considering a variety of monetary sources that can be packaged together. The financing plan is expected to be announced sometime in May.

The consultant report found that a joint-use facility -- a football stadium in the East Village that could double as a convention center overflow area -- would cost $1.365 billion.

Mark Fabiani, the Chargers special counsel on stadium issues, declined to comment.

Faulconer issued a statement thanking the committee for moving so quickly to select a site.

"The Mission Valley site has been home to the Chargers for nearly 50 years and I know we can make it work for decades to come," Faulconer said. "Now that they've recommended a site, I look forward to the group continuing to move expeditiously on developing a fair and responsible financing plan for a new stadium."

Chargers officials said last month that they're looking at jointly building a stadium with the Oakland Raiders in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, in case the two teams can't get new homes in their respective cities.

Backers of the proposed 72,000-seat stadium near the San Diego (405) Freeway in Carson will begin a petition drive Thursday in hopes of expediting the project by putting it on the ballot or getting immediate approval from the City Council.

With enough petition signatures, the project will go directly to the Carson City Council, which can either approve the project outright or place the issue on the ballot. The initiative process allows the project to avoid lengthy and expensive environmental reviews.

The group needs to collect 8,041 valid signatures from registered voters in the city to get the project before the council.

Wednesday,  Faulconer released the following statement on the decision by the Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group to select Mission Valley as the preferred site for a new stadium for the Chargers:

Mayor Faulconer's Statement on Stadium Advisory Group's Decision for Location of New Stadium

"I want to thank the volunteers on the Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group for moving quickly to recommend the best location for a new Chargers stadium. The Mission Valley site has been home to the Chargers for nearly 50 years and I know we can make it work for decades to come. Now that they've recommended a site, I look forward to the group continuing to move expeditiously on developing a fair and responsible financing plan for a new stadium."


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