Chargers to launch initiative for stadium in downtown San Diego

[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] The colorful Gaslamp Quarter in the historic heart of San Diego.

[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] The colorful Gaslamp Quarter in the historic heart of San Diego.

Those of you who have been to San Diego know the magic of the downtown area.

The Gaslamp Quarter, Petco Park, the Convention Center and the countless bars and restaurants can make even one day and night down there a memorable experience. And the San Diego Chargers know this.

Now, they want to cash in. The Chargers released a statement on Tuesday announcing their intentions to pursue a ballot initiative for a downtown multi-use facility, while still making use of their current stadium property in Mission Valley.

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Here is the statement:

We have spent the last month evaluating the leading San Diego stadium sites and financing proposals. During that time, led by Chargers Special Advisor Fred Maas, we have engaged in regular discussions with Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts, City Attorney Goldsmith, and City and County negotiators. And we have carefully evaluated the arguments made by the Mayor and others regarding the merits of the Mission Valley site. We agree that, in many respects, the arguments for Mission Valley are compelling.

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.

For these reasons, the Chargers will begin collaborating immediately with the existing diverse citizens' coalition led by Donna Frye and JMI Realty that has already been formed in favor of a downtown convention center expansion and educational and recreational uses in Mission Valley. Our goal is to win voter approval in November 2016 for a downtown multi-use stadium/convention center facility and to facilitate the best possible community uses for the existing Mission Valley site. We will deliver regular reports to our fans and to the community about the progress we are making.

We believe that a downtown multi-use facility will attract broad support from throughout our entire community. And we hope that, as our downtown proposal is developed and as the campaign for passage begins, those who have supported the Mission Valley site will keep an open mind and consider supporting what we believe is the best way to secure a permanent home for the Chargers in San Diego.

We are very grateful for all of the hard work that Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts and City Attorney Goldsmith have done on behalf of the City and County over the past few weeks and look forward to maintaining a dialogue as our plans move forward.

Now, the team can make as many statements as they want. Whether a deal will actually get done that will allow the Chargers to remain in San Diego is still very much up in the air.

However, one can imagine the possibilities. Can you imagine a September Sunday with the Padres playing a 1:05 p.m. start at Petco Park with the Chargers kicking off at the same time just a matter of blocks away? Can you imagine how many packed the pubs and eating establishments would be at that time?

Seems like it would be quite the spectacle. Here's hoping it happens.