National City Stops Trying to Court San Diego Chargers With Stadium

Mon June 11, 2007 - West Edition

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (AP) National City is no longer seeking to build the San Diego Chargers a new stadium, city officials said.

Mayor Ron Morrison said May 11 there was not enough financial support from around the region for his city’s stadium bid, which might have cost $1 billion after the construction of parking garages, new freeway off-ramps and realigned trolley tracks.

“From day one, I knew it would be an uphill battle because I’ve worked with local governments for a very long time,” Morrison said. “This is a very fast process, and local government isn’t used to moving very fast.”

The city had been the first to offer the team a stadium proposal after San Diego officials said they would not build the Chargers a new home last year. Fifty-seven percent of National City residents said they would like to see a sports facility built in a survey taken in December.

Chargers officials liked the location, but studies showed it would be a pricey spot for a new home.

National City did not own the proposed site just a few miles south of downtown San Diego. Most of it was owned by the San Diego Unified Port District and was home to maritime-industrial businesses, many of whom strongly opposed the stadium idea.

Morrison had hoped National City might get some financial support from San Diego city and county, but decided that was unlikely.

The Chargers also are still considering sites in Chula Vista and Oceanside, and have been approached by mayors in Las Vegas and San Antonio.

The team wants to choose a site by the end of the year, and to put it before voters in November 2008.