The San Diego Chargers announced in a joint statement with San Diego’s mayor on Monday that they would be staying in the city for another season.
For several months, officials have been discussing plans for an expanded convention center and a separate stadium project for the National Football League team.
In the statement, the Chargers and Mayor Jerry Sanders said they will continue to work on building the stadium, ruling out relocation to Los Angeles in 2012. The Chargers have been floated as a possible team for AEG’s proposed stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
“The city of San Diego and the Chargers continue to work closely together to explore publicly acceptable ways to build a Super Bowl-quality stadium on the bus-maintenance yard site in the East Village of downtown San Diego,” the statement said. “To give this ongoing process every chance to succeed, the Chargers have announced that the team will not trigger the lease’s termination clause in 2012.”
The Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium lease has a three-month window during which the team can negotiate each year with other cities and relocate without the threat of a lawsuit from San Diego, as long as the team pays off the stadium’s existing bonds. If the team had broken the lease in 2012, they would have owed $24 million on the bonds. If they terminate in 2013, they will owe $22 million.
The City Council passed a resolution in December to take the next step in forming a special taxing district using hotel taxes to pay for a $575 million plan to expand the city’s convention center. But the city, the San Diego Unified Port District and the San Diego Community Redevelopment Agency would contribute several million dollars a year.
Though the team has been pushing for a joint convention center-stadium project, Darren Pudgil, the mayor’s spokesman, said the stadium would be a separate project. “We were going to use redevelopment funds for the expansion if they were available,” he said. “But we will be able to do the project without them.”
California lawmakers passed legislation last year eliminating the state’s redevelopment agencies.