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Chula Vista council accepts Chargers stadium report

Officials to begin community outreach, review of economic benefits

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Four City Council voted members unanimously Tuesday night to approve a site feasibility report for a potential new home for the San Diego Chargers.

Cooper Robertson & Partners, a New York-based planning firm, carried out the report to analyze four potential sites for a new stadium, if the Chargers decided to make the county's second largest city its new home.

The analysis touched on site potential based on operational issues, physical constraints and policy.

"The vote was unanimous and shows strong support from council in moving forward and keeping the San Diego Chargers in the region," said Councilman John McCann, the driving official in the campaign to bring the football team to Chula Vista.

Councilman Jerry Rindone, on vacation, was absent from the meeting.

Two of the four studied sites were considered viable -- a 139-acre bayside site, and a 500-acre parcel in east Chula Vista's university site.

The bayside site is currently occupied by LS Power's South Bay Power Plant. In February, council voted unanimously to demolish the plant and prevent a new plant from being built, in order to keep the bayfront open for future revitalization projects.

The university site was targeted because of its location near state Route 125 as its possible proximity to a university campus, an entity the city has been courting for more than two decades.

The possibility of a site at the university complex would be an enticing factor for a future learning institution on the site, McCann said.

"The stadium would be a magnet for bringing a four-year university for the city," he said. "It would be attractive to any athletic program."

McCann plans to follow up the official city approval with community outreach, a financing plan for the stadium and an economic analysis on the potential benefits and shortcomings to the city and region.

Chula Vista's top local competitor in garnering the affections of the Chargers has been Oceanside, a city that hopes its proximity to Orange County and Los Angeles will bring in fans from the north. McCann said he would be willing to talk to representatives in any other city willing to house a stadium.

"The goal is to keep them in the region," he said, adding the city had held talks with National City when they were considering providing a site for a stadium. "We need to work together to keep the Chargers in the county."

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