Now that the city and county have formally agreed to cooperate in seeking a stadium solution, how does the existing Qualcomm Stadium site fit into those discussions? The Chargers appear to have given up on that site, apparently because of political obstacles (opposition by Aguirre and Frye) and the absence of an identifiable development partner.

But the Qualcomm site has a number of advantages over other potential sites in the county. It’s already owned by a public agency. The soil contamination on the site appears to qualify it for redevelopment status, enabling local jurisdictions to capture more of any tax revenues generated on the site. It’s big enough to accommodate several other uses besides a stadium. It’s already served by freeways and the Trolley.

If the cooperative effort initiated by the city and county has any chance of producing results, the best opportunity may be at that site. It would require a political rapprochement of historic proportions and a level of creativity not yet in evidence. But the best way to test the Chargers commitment to staying in San Diego is to present them with a viable deal that protects taxpayers, and one place that appears to offer that possibility is the Qualcomm site.

TOM SHEPARD

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