A San Diego citywide election related to a new Chargers stadium could occur this year, possibly by Dec. 15, city and county officials said in a joint statement. The comments followed a second negotiating session involving government and team officials, with a third slated to take place within the next few days.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said a public vote could be held before the NFL allows teams to begin seeking relocation starting in January 2016. “We have all the ingredients for success in San Diego if the Chargers work with us,” Faulconer said, noting that the city and county are both on board. “We can get this done this year if the Chargers want to get it done.”
Chargers officials were not commenting on ongoing talks or the possibility of a public vote. The team is currently pursuing a joint stadium project in Carson with the Oakland Raiders, as it continues to negotiate with local officials.
To allow for a Dec. 15 citywide vote, officials said the City Council would have until Sept. 18 to approve ballot measures for a special election and file them with the county Registrar of Voters. If the Chargers opt to remain in San Diego for another year, a vote could take place during one of the regularly scheduled elections in June or November of 2016.
Officials said a public vote is crucial, in order to remove the possibility of a “costly and lengthy referendum challenge” if a project is authorized solely through the City Council.
“The parties have a narrow window of opportunity to negotiate a fair agreement to present to voters by December,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “This can be accomplished as long as both sides are motivated.”