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Report: Qualcomm Stadium requires nearly $80 million in fixes

The San Diego Chargers' stadium needs a costly facelift, a finding that further clouds the team's future in the city.

Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers' home field since 1967, needs $79.8 million in maintenance, repairs and improvements over the next seven years, according to a new report obtained Friday by *The San Diego Union-Tribune*.

The two-part study, conducted for the city of San Diego, says the city will continue to lose more than $10 million per year operating the stadium through 2020 regardless of whether the Chargers stay, move to a new site in San Diego or leave the county.

Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani believes the city has some tough decisions to make.

"We believe we've presented some better alternatives," Fabiani said after reviewing the report Friday. "If people don't want to pursue those alternatives, then obviously the city has to make decisions about what to do with the building, and the decisions will only get more difficult as the building gets older."

The report concluded that the stadium needs repairs including $18 million in mechanical issues, $17 million in site repairs and $12 million in plumbing. A new video display board would come with a $9.6 million price tag.

The Chargers' lease runs through 2020, but the team can break it at any time by paying an early termination fee, which presently sits at approximately $24 million. The Chargers have been on the hunt for a new home for years, and they continue to be in talks with Mayor Jerry Sanders to build a new downtown stadium near Petco Park, home of baseball's San Diego Padres since 2004.

Sanders released a statement on the study highlighting the difficult position in which the city finds itself.

"It's certainly no secret that Qualcomm Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums in the country and will consume an ever-increasing amount of taxpayer dollars to maintain it," the statement reads. "That's just one of the reasons we're working with the Chargers to develop a multiuse sports complex proposal that we can present to the voters. ... The proposal will, of course, take into account the financial implications of leaving Qualcomm Stadium and converting the site to other uses."

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