San Diego City Council pledges support for keeping Chargers in city

Chargers belong in San Diego, City Council proclaims

The San Diego City Council endorsed a resolution Tuesday proclaiming that the city "remains fully committed to working with the Chargers" to keep the team from moving to the Los Angeles area.

Though the resolution has no practical effect, it does show the sense of urgency the issue has assumed since the announcement last week that the Chargers and Oakland Raiders were planning a joint-use stadium in Carson.

While the Chargers have sought a new stadium for 14 years, Tuesday's vote may represent the strongest support ever shown at City Hall, albeit symbolic and accompanied by vows to "protect taxpayers."

Councilman Mark Kersey said that there were ways to finance a new stadium without a tax increase or a two-thirds vote of the public.

"We're not re-inventing the wheel here," Kersey said.

The 8-0 vote came just hours after Councilmen Todd Gloria and David Alvarez called for the council's budget committee at its March 18 meeting to discuss "threshold" financial matters that will help the mayor's stadium committee in finding a preferred location and a financing plan for a replacement for Qualcomm Stadium.

With both the budget committee and the mayor's stadium committee working simultaneously on money issues, "the city will be best positioned to meet the accelerated timelines sought by the Charges for real progress," Gloria and Alvarez said in a joint statement.

When Mayor Kevin Faulconer named nine civic and business leaders to a stadium advisory committee in January, he asked that its recommendations be ready by fall. After the Chargers-Raiders announcement, he has asked that the recommendations be ready within 90 days.

The advisory committee met privately Tuesday with San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman and county Supervisor Ron Roberts.  The San Diego State Aztecs football team plays at Qualcomm.

After that meeting, advisory committee chairman Adam Day said the group remains optimistic that a plan can be found for a new stadium that will enhance local businesses and provide space not just for Charger games but also for other events.

"It can be a venue that hosts regular season college football and premier bowl games," Day said, as well as "concerts, boxing, political and spiritual conventions, Monster Truck jams, high school sports playoffs, and other events."


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