Mayor, NFL commissioner meet on Chargers stadium issues

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Mayor Jerry Sanders and National Football League
Commissioner Roger Goodell met Thursday on the Chargers search for a new stadium.

Both said the meeting went well, but they refused to touch on specifics.

“The mayor had a very productive meeting with Mr. Goodell,” Sanders
spokesman Darren Pudgil said. “Everyone is committed to keeping the Chargers
in San Diego and are working together to create a proposal that works for all —
most importantly, the people of San Diego.”

Mark Fabiani, the Chargers point man on stadium issues, said the team
has been in regular contact with the commissioner — including a meeting this
week while he was in San Diego.

“Commissioner Goodell told (team President) Dean Spanos that he had a
good conversation with the mayor and that everyone is committed to the goal of
finding the right stadium solution for the Chargers in San Diego,” Fabiani
said.

The Chargers, who have been trying to find a new home for more than a
decade, have run into a sticking point with the city over the expansion of the
Convention Center, which is about six blocks away from the proposed downtown
site of a new football stadium.

Sanders wants to raise funds for the project by taxing hoteliers who
stand to benefit from having larger trade shows in town. The Chargers, on the
other hand, say a new stadium can provide the needed convention space.

Convention Center officials side with the city, saying prospective
conventioneers want meeting space all in one location. However, the hotel tax
proposal is drawing some opposition.

The city's financing plan faces obstacles that have nothing to do with
the Chargers, Fabiani said.

“These include the potential illegality of the funding mechanism,
opposition from hoteliers from outside the immediate downtown area, likely
opposition from the (California) Coastal Commission and likely opposition from
organized labor,” Fabiani said. “So, if the existing expansion project falls
of its own weight, we want to be prepared with our alternative, which we think
has great merit and which has worked extremely well in other cities.”

Fabiani said the Chargers hope to use $150 million from the NFL's
reconstituted stadium building fund to pay for the roughly $800 million
project, but plans need to move forward quickly because there will be
competition from other teams for that money.

Goodell was in town with other NFL luminaries for the San Diego chapter
of the Huntington's Disease Society of America's annual “Celebration of Hope”
gala.

Categories: KUSI