The Chula Vista City Council approved a three-party consulting agreement to help city officials evaluate a site analysis for a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 23.
While the city will oversee the work of New York consultant Cooper, Robertson & Partners, the Chargers have agreed to pay the nearly $200,000 contract.
“The three-party agreement is a strong indication of the Chargers’ genuine interest in Chula Vista as a possible site for the stadium,” said Mayor Cheryl Cox.
The Chargers have been looking at three potential sites in the county for a new football-only stadium that could cost about $500 million. The other sites are in National City and Oceanside.
Team officials gave up trying to strike a deal on a combined stadium and residential/commercial project at the Qualcomm Stadium site last year, citing the lack of a development partner, the city of San Diego’s financial crisis and opposition from City Attorney Michael Aguirre.
Since Jan. 1, the Chargers have had the legal right to talk to other cities outside the county interested in hosting the team. Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said the team has resolved not to talk to any other city while it is looking at possible sites within the county, but has not put any deadline on when the team would complete its search locally.
The team’s lease at Qualcomm Stadium expires after the 2008 season.
Should the Chargers leave then, the organization would have to pay off the remainder on about $60 million in bond debt issued by the city in 1997 to expand and improve the stadium.
, Mike Allen