SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An agreement between the city and county of San Diego to split the cost of retaining lawyers and other consultants necessary for a stadium project was approved unanimously on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors and the City Council.
The deal calls for each governmental body to evenly share expenses for the experts who will be needed to pound out the details of a stadium construction project with the Chargers. City and county expenses will be capped at $250,000 each, for a total of $500,000, according to a memorandum of understanding.
The MOU also designates the city as the lead agency for any environmental reports required under the California Environmental Quality Act.
"This is a step to start to define what is it that the city and county can do jointly to bring forward an agreement that could possibly result in a new stadium for San Diego," Supervisor Ron Roberts said.
He noted that a city-county partnership helped build what is now Qualcomm Stadium in the 1960s.
A nine-member task force appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer has recommended siting a facility adjacent to the aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission
Valley. "The Q" would be cleared away to make room for a park along the San Diego River and a development that includes housing, shops and office space.
The new stadium would provide a playing home for the Chargers, San Diego State University, the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, high school championship contests and special events.
The advisory group is currently working on a financing plan, which is due to be delivered to Faulconer next month.
"I do know that we need a very professional team of consultants to assist us in deciding how can we put a deal together -- how can an agreement be structured," Roberts said.
He and the other supervisors said they were interested to see how the county could help, but they weren't willing to put the county's credit rating at risk.
Faulconer told City Council members that "San Diego has a long history of negotiations with businesses and corporations, and the track record has been mixed. When San Diego begins complex discussions on a new stadium, taxpayers will benefit from having nationally recognized experts at the table."
Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents Mission Valley, said the agreement will bring the city and county the "best and brightest to give us some good advice" on stadium development plans.
"This sends a very important message to taxpayers, the Chargers and the (National Football League) that this city, once and for all, is showing that it is committed to keeping the NFL here in San Diego and the Chargers being that representative," Sherman said.
The Chargers, which have wanted a new stadium for years, have taken steps to acquire land in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson where, if the San
Diego plan ends up not being to their liking, they would build a playing facility they would share with the Oakland Raiders.
The owner of the St. Louis Rams is also eyeing the huge Los Angeles market, having proposed a stadium project in the suburb of Inglewood.