By Ken Williams | Editor
San Diego’s mayor has called for a special election at year’s end so that residents can vote on whether to approve building a new stadium in Mission Valley for the Chargers and other sports tenants.
For years, the Chargers have threatened to bolt to the Los Angeles region because their home at Qualcomm Stadium is one of the oldest facilities in the National Football League.
The L.A. suburb of Carson is trying to woo the Chargers and their rival the Oakland Raiders into relocating to a proposed new stadium there. Each January, teams must declare to the NFL if they wish to relocate in the following year.
After years of largely empty talk about building a new stadium — which would be home to the Chargers, San Diego State University Aztecs and two college football bowl games — city and county officials united earlier this year in an effort to keep the Chargers from fleeing.
“San Diegans deserve a vote on the stadium, and we can have a special election this year,” Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said in a statement. “We have all the ingredients for success in San Diego if the Chargers work with us. We have the city and county working together, a publicly released financial framework, and world-class experts to negotiate a fair stadium agreement. We can get this done this year if the Chargers want to get it done.”
The mayor said a special citywide election could be held by Dec. 15 and it would be by mail-in ballot, which is cheaper than setting up polling sites. The City Council has until Sept. 18 to approve ballot measures for a special election and send them to the Registrar of Voters, according to the city.
In May, the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group released its recommendations for a $1.1 billion stadium project in Mission Valley and identified funding sources of $1.4 billion as a financing framework.
Since then, the city and county negotiating team has met twice with the Chargers to discuss the stadium financing plan proposed by the advisory group.
—Ken Williams is editor of Mission Valley News and San Diego Uptown News and can be reached at email@example.com or at 619-961-1952.