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San Diego Chargers Choose Downtown Over Mission Valley

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In a statement, the San Diego Chargers have announced their intention to pursue a stadium in East Village, near Petco Park

The JMI Joint Use Facility
The JMI Joint Use Facility

As has been expected since they announced they were staying in San Diego for 2016, the Chargers have announced their intention to pursue a stadium located in downtown San Diego, in the East Village, at the MTS Bus Yard site.

The entire statement can be read here. Here is the key passage:

At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility downtown. The multi-use facility, when combined with Petco Park, the existing Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and a revitalized East Village, would create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district that will host Super Bowls and will ideally be a permanent home for Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum. All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host. The downtown multi-use facility would also free up the existing Mission Valley site for potential use by educational institutions such as San Diego State and UCSD, as well as for a large riverfront park.

Explicitly, the Chargers have tied themselves to the JMI Joint Use Facility (i.e. Convadium) as well as the potential passage of the Initiative launched by Cory Briggs.

We all know there is substantial opposition to the JMI plan from the San Diego's current elected officials, as well as other interests downtown who prefer to build a contiguous Convention Center expansion. How these sides are able to reconcile their differences will be crucial to seeing how this process plays out.

It is important to note that by using the Citizens Initiative process, the Chargers are able to bypass any direct involvement with City Hall and take their case directly to the voters.

The remaining question is probably the biggest one, which involves how a project estimated to cost $1.67 billion dollars will be financed? We should be finding out within the next few weeks, as the Chargers have targeted the end of March for the completion of their Citizens Initiative, followed by a signature gathering campaign.

For Chargers football in San Diego, it is now Downtown or Bust.