SAN DIEGO -- As expected, the San Diego Chargers delivered 83 boxes containing 110,786 signatures to be filed with the San Diego city clerk’s office by the team’s Friday deadline.
The Chargers plan to build a $1.8 billion stadium and convention center expansion downtown using a citizens’ initiative effort, next to the San Diego Padres' Petco Park.
The Chargers have to qualify the measure for the November ballot, which requires 66,447 valid signatures certified by the office of the registrar by mid-June, before ultimately having it approved by the city council.
"Most signature-gathering efforts of this kind take six full months," Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said in a prepared statement. "We had just six weeks to complete our work. The fact that we were able to collect more than 110,000 signatures in that short period of time demonstrates tremendous support in our community for a new, combined stadium-convention center expansion downtown."
However, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has yet to show that he’s enthusiastic about the Chargers’ plan to build a stadium in downtown San Diego.
This week, Faulconer cruised to a reelection bid to be San Diego’s mayor for 4 1/2 more years, avoiding a November runoff. But he has declined to make more of a definitive stance on the team’s proposal.
As of Friday, Faulconer’s camp continues to state that the mayor needs more information before he makes a decision. The mayor’s office has yet to respond to an email from ESPN.com requesting his opinion on the Chargers’ stadium plan.
"This initiative, if approved by voters, calls for the largest public bond offering in San Diego’s history -- so it’s only fair that the public knows all the facts," Faulconer said in an email to ESPN.com two weeks ago. "The Chargers are making their consultants available to the city’s financial staff to scrub the numbers and assumptions that make up the financial model behind the proposed stadium-convention facility.
"We must continue to peel back the onion on this plan so the public has a chance to see all the layers. We’re going to be fair, but we’re also going to continue asking tough questions."
One political figure that did speak out this week was Congressman Scott Peters. The area he represents in the U.S. House of Representatives includes downtown San Diego.
Peters said he supported the construction of Petco Park when it was unpopular in the 1990s, and now supports the Chargers’ stadium project.
"We just have to really appreciate that there’s an opportunity here," Peters told The Mighty 1090 AM Radio. "All the questions aren’t answered. But we really ought to be about answering those questions, and making the absolutely best proposal that we can out of this to put in front of voters in November."