Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego - With NFL officials looking for progress toward a new stadium in San Diego, City leaders took a key step forward today by authorizing environmental work for a stadium replacement project in Mission Valley.
"San Diego's stadium plan continues to move forward, and today's vote demonstrates that we are committed to keeping professional football in our region," said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. "Regardless of what ultimately happens with the team, this environmental impact report is valuable to taxpayers. Whether a new stadium is built or Qualcomm Stadium is simply demolished, this environmental analysis can be used."
The City Council approved the allocation of $2.1 million to continue preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the stadium project. Funds will pay for City staff time and professional services from planning firm AECOM to complete the EIR. Funding comes from state funds that were previously owed to the City, meaning there will be no reduction to City services.
Since the Chargers walked away from negotiations last month, the City/County negotiating team has had direct discussions with NFL officials who have said time is of the essence as the franchise relocation window opens in January. Three teams - the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers and the St. Louis Rams - are exploring a move to the Los Angeles market.
The NFL has said it will be looking for progress on the environmental analysis when league representatives visit San Diego later this month. San Diego officials are also expected to present to NFL owners in August. Today's vote keeps the City on the path toward a possible public vote on a new stadium in January, if an agreement can be reached with the Chargers.
The current stadium is an aging public asset that potentially faces tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and facility costs. Even if an agreement with the Chargers doesn't materialize, the environmental planning underway can be used to demolish Qualcomm Stadium or build a stadium for other uses.
The City initiated work on a full and thorough EIR on June 22. The report can be prepared on an expedited schedule because it is a reconstruction of an existing facility of a smaller capacity on the same site. Planning firm AECOM has assembled an expert team to make this project a priority.
CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]