MISSION VALLEY - Mayor Kevin Faulconer halted a plan for a nearly $600,000 upgrade to Qualcomm Stadium less than 30 minutes after 10News brought the project to his attention.
The 50-year-old venue was in store for an update to its high-definition programming technology output. A city spokesman confirmed this week that the project was still a go, even with the Chargers recent departure to Los Angeles and the mayor openly speaking about tearing down the venue.
The upgrades would have installed new fiber-optic cables and conduits for enhanced media coverage, and would have made stadium-wide Wi-Fi a future possibility.
Work was projected to begin in about two months and be completed by the end of the year.
"You always have to evaluate what’s the right way to move forward," Faulconer told 10News reporter Jon Horn, when he brought the plans to the mayor. "Ever since last week you have to look at everything in terms of how you move forward, what’s the right thing to do, not just short term, but for the long term."
In a second interview about half-an-hour later, Faulconer said he decided to shelve the plans now that the stadium is without a major tenant.
"It’s important that we’re making the right financial decisions, and I got the information. I’m going to put this on hold," Faulconer said. "That’s not a good use of dollars to move forward with, particularly as we’re planning the future of Qualcomm and the entire site.
"It’s the right thing to do from a financial standpoint, and it’s just common sense."
In addition to the money being saved on the upgrades to The Q, the Chargers must pay the city a nearly $12.6 million termination penalty in 2017. That money will be placed in the city's general fund as unrestricted revenue. The mayor and City Council will determine its use during its next budget process.
10News first discovered the project in July 2016. At the time, a city spokesperson said about $415,000 had already been allocated for the technology improvements.
"The future of the facility is up in the air depending on so many different variables. Until a decision is made we’re going to continue to do what we can to maintain it," the city spokesperson said last year, adding that the venue attracts a variety of events beyond football.