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San Diego makes stadium pledge to keep Chargers in town

By Matthew Campelli    05 Jan 2016
The US$1.1bn stadium will have a capacity of 67,500 and the largest end zone in the NFL / City of San Diego/Populous

The city of San Diego has put forward plans for a US$1.1bn (£749.6m, €1bn) “Super Bowl-ready” stadium in a bid keep National Football League (NFL) franchise the Chargers in the city.

A 41-page document was sent to the NFL Committee to put forward the case for the team remaining in the Californian city, despite efforts by Carson City Council to move the Chargers to Los Angeles, also in California.

The 32-strong NFL Committee will meet in Houston, Texas on 12 and 13 January to decide whether the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders or the St Louis Rams will make the move to LA. All three have submitted relocation requests for the start of the 2016 season.

Three-quarters (24) of the board, which comprises NFL franchise owners, must vote in favour of the respective plans for the proposals to go through.

The document, titled San Diego: A Premier Home for the NFL, revealed concrete details of the Populous-designed arena, which would be ready in time for the start of the 2019 season.

Billed as a “sports entertainment complex” in the Mission Valley district of San Diego, the stadium would have a seating capacity of 67,500, extended to 73,000 for Super Bowl and special events. The 1.8m sq ft (162,580sq m) arena would house 65,000sq ft (6,781sq m) of video boards and 70,000sq ft (6,503sq m) of outdoor party decks.

New renderings of the project were also prominent within the document, revealing colour-changing LED lighting on the stadium’s “maritime-influenced” fabric canopy, as well as the largest end zone in the NFL.

Funding for the project has been split into five segments: US$200m (£136.3m, €185.9m) will come from the city; US$150m (£102.2m, €139.4m) will be put forward by the county; US$200m (£136.3m, €185.9m) of G-4 loans from the NFL; US$187m (£127.4m, €173.8m) of personal seat licenses; US$363m (£247.4m, €337.3m) from corporate sponsors and naming rights.

However, the plans will only come to light if the NFL Committee decides that San Diego is the best home for the franchise. A joint venture – backed by Disney chief Bob Iger – to bring the Oakland Raiders and the Chargers to LA was unanimously approved by Carson City Council last April.

“For more than 50 years San Diego has proven to have the hallmarks of a great NFL city,” said mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer. “Its strong market, growing economy and natural beauty continue to make it one of the most desirable destinations for NFL fans across the country.

“With the world-class stadium venue we propose, San Diego – with a fanbase distinct from Los Angeles and a regional market that has proven to bring economic prosperity to franchises – will continue to offer the opportunities to enhance the economic success of the Chargers and the NFL.”

The interior seating bowl draws on the city's valleys, with fractures in the corners to allow views in and out of the stadium / City of San Diego/Populous
New renderings of the project have been released, revealing colour-changing LED lighting on the stadium’s maritime-influenced fabric canopy / City of San Diego/Populous
Multiple 360-degree concourses would create informal gathering spaces for spectators / City of San Diego/Populous
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