Report: Chargers believe downtown stadium in S.D. could open by '22

Chargers officials believe they can build a new football stadium in downtown San Diego to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium by 2022, according to a report by ABC 10 News in San Diego.

The stadium would be municipally owned by a new Joint Powers Authority, which would be created to run the stadium and all non-football entertainment events, including concerts, the report said.

ABC 10 News, citing a source with knowledge of the team's plans, said the proposed 65,000-seat downtown stadium would call for the Chargers to apply $650 million in private funding toward the new venue, which would include a $300 million contribution from the NFL.

The team's proposal to build a football stadium downtown with an expanded bayfront convention center would clash with mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who back a stadium in Mission Valley, site of the Chargers' current home.

The Chargers previously said the downtown venue would "create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district" to host Super Bowls and provide a home for Comic-Con, the annual entertainment and comic extravaganza that has outgrown the convention center.

The Chargers said they plan to seek voter approval in November for the downtown stadium and convention center expansion, which would be financed partly by an increase in hotel room taxes from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent -- among the highest on the West Coast.

The team needs 66,447 signatures from registered voters by mid-June to place the initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Faulconer and Roberts said their competing plan to build a new stadium on the city-owned Mission Valley site could be done faster and without raising taxes.

"After more than a decade, the Chargers are putting forward a plan of their own and San Diegans may finally have the ultimate say on a new stadium in November," Faulconer said in a statement. "The convention center element makes this proposal more than a stadium and the long term future of San Diego's tourism economy is now intertwined in this plan. As always, my top priorities are to protect jobs, protect taxpayers and do what's right for all San Diegans. I will evaluate the proposal's details through that lens."

Earlier this year, Comic-Con expressed doubts about the Chargers' plan to build a non-contiguous expansion as part of a stadium deal.

April Boling, a board member of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, said in a statement that the Chargers' proposal "is not a good deal for San Diegans. It is only a good deal for the Chargers and the team's development partner, which wants to build a hotel on property it owns next to the new facility."

Backers of the downtown plan say the hotel tax increase would require approval of a majority of voters, but Faulconer and Roberts said it was "abundantly clear" it would need two-thirds' approval.

If the ballot measure for a new stadium fails, the Chargers could join the Los Angeles Rams in a stadium in Inglewood scheduled to open in 2019.

In January, NFL owners rejected the Chargers' proposal to move with division rival Oakland Raiders to a new stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson but gave the Chargers a one-year option to join the Rams in Inglewood.

Although the Chargers agreed in principle to join the Rams, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said after the setback that the team would remain in San Diego at least through 2016 in an attempt to get a new stadium. The NFL will give the Chargers and Raiders each an extra $100 million to go toward new stadiums in their home markets. That's on top of a $200 million loan available to each team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.