Chargers' updated stadium search focuses on downtown location

Chargers chairman Dean Spanos reiterated last week that in order for the team to stay in San Diego beyond the 2016 season it would need a new stadium. On Tuesday, the Chargers released a statement updating the search for a new stadium site.

Mission Valley, which is about eight miles north of downtown (and where Qualcomm Stadium is located), was in the running, along with a downtown location near Petco Park, home of MLB's San Diego Padres.

"We have carefully evaluated the arguments made by the mayor and others regarding the merits of the Mission Valley site," the statement reads. "We agree that, in many respects, the arguments for Mission Valley are compelling."

But -- there's always a but -- the Chargers are more interested in the downtown location.

"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. ..."

When Spanos announced the Chargers were staying put last month, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer released a statement saying, "We look forward to discussing [Spanos'] vision for a new San Diego home for the Chargers, and will be working with him and our negotiating team on a fair and viable plan to put before the voters."

Whether Faulconer will embrace the Chargers' downtown plan remains to be seen.

Which leads us to this passage from the team's statement: "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."

Meanwhile, the Chargers have until Jan. 15, 2017, to decide if they will relocate to Los Angeles. If no decision is made by then, they will be out of the running altogether and the option to move to L.A. will be given to the Raiders.

The Chargers are hoping for a new stadium to keep them in San Diego. (USATSI)
The Chargers are hoping for a new stadium to keep them in San Diego. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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