It wasn’t long ago that there was very little movement between the City of San Diego and the Chargers in talks for a new football stadium in town. There is still work to be done to approve plans for a new stadium that would be home to the Chargers, San Diego State football, the Holiday Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl, possible future Super Bowls, the CIF San Diego Section football championships and other events that can be brought to San Diego. But now there is hope where once the prospect of finding a solution appeared bleak. The Chargers hope to have approved a plan that will build a new stadium complex to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium structure that is a financial drain on the city. There has been major movement in getting the two sides together in the past year and a half, thanks to the efforts of San Diego businessman Dan Shea. The San Diego Hall of Champions has named Shea as its Community Champion. The Community Champion Award began in 1990. Shea said he’s not much of a football fan, but as a businessman he felt motivated to become involved at finding a solution. He recognizes that the Chargers, as a National Football League team, add to San Diego’s stature as a Major League city and that team also is an avenue to bring the economic benefit of future Super Bowls to San Diego. Shea was an instrumental member of the Citizen’s Task Force appointed by former San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy to study the deal between the Chargers and the City of San Diego as well as the future of the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. The Citizen’s Task Force found that the city now spends $9 million a year to subsidize the aging stadium and $50 million worth of deferred maintenance has been accumulating. The Citizen’s Task Force, with Shea at the forefront, later was instrumental in negotiations that scrapped the controversial ticket guarantee between the Chargers and the City of San Diego. The new agreement opened the door to further proposals between the team and the city. The new stadium proposals are gaining support as the city and the Chargers continue to seek ideas from the public. When the new agreement was announced in a rare joint press conference between the city and the Chargers on July 2, 2004, thenMayor Dick Murphy praised the work of Shea and the Fans, Taxpayers and Business Alliance; Mitch Mitchell of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Jerry Butkiewicz of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council. “It was a difficult negotiation and at times things looked bleak, but Dan Shea, citizen, was here to make it work for both sides,” Murphy said that afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium. “It’s really important that the people of San Diego understand the significant role he played in this.” Shea, who prefers to remain in the background despite his many hours of hard work, deflected praise, saying there were many others toiling behind the scenes to help him in the process. “I’m getting a lot of accolades for a lot of people who did a lot of hard work,” he said. Chargers president Dean Spanos also praised Shea’s efforts that afternoon. “We wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for the business coalition led by Dan Shea,” Spanos said. “I can’t tell you the endless hours this man spent of his own time to get this deal put together.” Shea is a partner in Paradigm Investment Group, which owns over 100 restaurants in seven states. He also is a part owner of Donovan’s Steak and Chop House in San Diego’s University City community. The San Diego Chapter of the American Ireland Fund honored Shea with its 2005 American Ireland Fund Heritage Award.