Chargers' downtown stadium plan meets resistance

Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 22:24:12-05

The Chargers have made it known that they are focused on building a new stadium in downtown San Diego, but pushback against the idea has picked up.

"It becomes longer, more expensive and difficult, particularly when you don’t own the piece of property that you're talking about for the stadium," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

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Faulconer said his plan to replace Qualcomm Stadium with a new one in Mission Valley was the better one.

The Chargers essentially said they want to dream bigger, with a larger project that could be used year-round.

"We really focus more on the opportunities, or do we really want to replicate another Qualcomm or do we want to do something special downtown," said Fred Maas, Chargers special advisor to a new stadium.

The team is joining an initiative by environmental attorney Cory Briggs, and if the measure can get enough signatures for the November ballot, it would use tourist taxes to build a new convention center east of Petco Park.

Briggs said the Chargers would fund the additional $700 million for the stadium because the plan bans public money from going to a new stadium.

Faulconer said he hasn't seen any specifics as to how the Chargers would do that.

Meanwhile, former City Councilman Carl DeMaio said he's skeptical. He helped defeat a citywide sales tax increase in 2010, and emailed supporters Wednesday asking for help stopping a tax increase for a stadium.

Faulconer said he's going to continue his push to expand the current convention center on the waterfront.

The venue's board released a statement Wednesday saying its own expansion is the better choice for San Diego’s economy and attracting the most events.

There's also a debate on whether the Chargers plan would require a two-thirds vote or simple majority.

Briggs said it would only need 50 percent plus one to pass, but the mayor said it would need two-thirds support.