The Chargers hope to find a new home in San Diego, and the team is focusing its efforts on building a stadium downtown.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Chargers said they believe a multi-use stadium / convention center in downtown would ultimately have a better chance of gaining voter-approved financing than a new stadium in Mission Valley. The team currently plays in Mission Valley at Qualcomm Stadium.
“All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host,” the statement said.
The team asked fans to have an “open mind” about its efforts as the city and the Chargers continue to negotiate and meet. The Chargers said their goal is to win voter approval for a new downtown multi-use stadium and convention center by November.
In response, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts said in a joint statement that a plan supported by city and county officials to build a new stadium at the existing Mission Valley site would not require a tax increase. Last year, city and county officials unveiled a plan for a $1.1 billion stadium that would be located in Mission Valley.
“Most experts we’ve talked to have concluded that building a stadium downtown — on land not owned by either the city or the Chargers — would increase costs by hundreds of millions of dollars and take years longer to complete,” Faulconer said in a statement. “It remains unclear how the Chargers intend to finance a downtown stadium.”
If the Bolts and San Diego don’t reach a stadium agreement, the Chargers have the option to relocate to Los Angeles to join the Rams. In January, NFL owners gave the Chargers a Jan. 16, 2017 deadline to decide if they want to move to Los Angeles or not. The Chargers already have reached an agreement to play in Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s proposed stadium in Inglewood if the team relocates.
“We believe that a downtown multi-use facility will attract broad support from throughout our entire community,” the Chargers added. “We are very grateful for all of the hard work that mayor Faulconer, supervisor Roberts and city attorney Goldsmith have done on behalf of the City and County over the past few weeks and look forward to maintaining a dialogue as our plans move forward.”
The Chargers played in Los Angeles during their inaugural season in 1960, before moving to San Diego in 1961.