LOS ANGELES — City and county officials in San Diego have joined forces to explore stadium options to retain the National Football League's San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers announced a plan last month with the Oakland Raiders to look at jointly building a joint stadium in Carson, near Los Angeles.
San Diego city leaders have had discussions about building a new stadium for the Chargers for more than a decade.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer formed a nine-member taskforce last month to look at location and funding for a new stadium. That taskforce selected Mission Valley, where the team's current stadium is located, as a likely site, a few weeks ago. The group plans to release a proposed financing plan in May.
The mayor, City Council, and San Diego County supervisors announced on Thursday an agreement had been struck to work collaboratively and share consulting costs.
"Clearly, having our own experts on board to evaluate a potential new stadium is critical to protecting the interests of county taxpayers," San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts said. "Should the Board of Supervisors ultimately decide to participate in building a new stadium, it is imperative we understand all of our options as well as potential risks. I'm confident my colleagues will agree that hiring top-notch outside assistance is the right way, and the smart way, to build that crucial understanding."
The city and county will each pay half the costs for the retention of consultants, attorneys and other experts in stadium financing and development matters. The city and the county shall each not contribute a total of more than $250,000.
"While I'm a longtime fan of the Chargers, I look at this as a business decision first," San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. "I've said it for years and I'll say it again today: If county government puts skin in this game, we must make sure that any agreement with the Chargers is a good deal for taxpayers. That's my bottom line."
The county's Board of Supervisors and the City Council are expected to vote on the agreement in early April.
"The San Diego Chargers are an important asset for the entire County, not just the City," said City Councilmember Scott Sherman, who represents Mission Valley. "In order to keep our team in the region, it is important that the City and County come together to find the best deal for taxpayers and the NFL. This MOU is an important step in the right direction."
In addition, the City also issued a request-for-proposals for an investment banker to validate any financing options included in a stadium plan. Five firms responded and the city is expected to select one in April. The selected firm won't receive any compensation unless a stadium deal is successful.