City agrees to explore creation of downtown stadium


The city’s redevelopment arm agreed Wednesday to pay a New York consultant $160,000 to study ways to finance the construction of a downtown football stadium to house the San Diego Chargers.

The Centre City Development Corp. board voted 6-0 to approve the contract with sports finance consultant Mitchell Ziets and Evolution Media Capital LLC.

CCDC board member Robert McNeely abstained.

The study will take 4-6 months, according to CCDC spokesman Derek Danziger, who said the money will come from the agency’s administrative budget and not the general fund. The Chargers did not contribute to the expenditure, he said.

The proposed site is east of Petco Park and includes Tailgate Park and 10 acres of property bounded by 14th, K and 16th streets and Imperial Avenue. About eight acres of the site house a bus yard owned by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders recently met with Chargers owner Dean Spanos to discuss the potential for a new stadium downtown.

When asked about the proposed location for a new downtown stadium following a news conference earlier Wednesday, Sanders said, “Just on the surface it looks like a good site.”

“It’s in a redevelopment area,” Sanders added. “It’s in a part of downtown that could still use redevelopment. It could complete downtown in a very real way.”

Prior to last month, there was no real discussion about developing a new stadium for the Chargers in San Diego. Instead, negotiations were under way with Escondido and Chula Vista to possibly build a stadium there.

Sanders said the city had agreed not to interrupt while the Chargers were negotiating with Chula Vista.

“That search is over now, and we want to make sure that we are working as aggressive as we can to keep the Chargers,” the mayor said.