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New Downtown Stadium Proposed For The Chargers

Audio

Aired 12/10/09

What's the latest on the discussions between the Chargers and the City of San Diego about building a new stadium downtown? We speak to Mark Fabiani, the Chargers' point person on stadium-related matters.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH (Host): I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. Petco Park, the home of the Padres, had a lot of opposition before it opened; now it's praised as a major addition to city life in San Diego. Supporters of a new Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego are hoping people remember that as the plan develops to use public money to build a new stadium at the site of the old Wonder Bread building. The idea has some powerful proponen – proponents, that is, from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to the head of the Centre City Development Corporation, but there are still major issues with the proposal. Joining us to talk about the new Charger stadium proposal is Mark Fabiani. He’s special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers. Mark, welcome to These Days.

MARK FABIANI (Special Counsel, San Diego Chargers): Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.

CAVANAUGH: Now I think many people in town were surprised when they heard back in October that the Chargers and the City of San Diego were talking about a stadium again in downtown San Diego. What changed to bring that about? Who reached out to whom?

FABIANI: Well, one big thing changed and that is that the voters decided that Mike Aguirre shouldn’t be the City Attorney any more, and that really opened up the possibility to get something done inside the city. You know, before that, people thought that Mike would block anything that got any traction so we didn’t even try and neither did the mayor or any others of the city leadership. But when Mike left office, almost immediately the mayor’s office called us, we met with the mayor in early January, we’ve been meeting pretty consistently throughout this year since January. But in October, the mayor asked to meet with Dean Spanos and ask Dean, face to face, are you interested in a site in downtown San Diego. And Dean, of course, said yes, we’re – we’ve been working for seven years to keep the team in San Diego and if you’ve got an idea for a site downtown, we will do everything we can to work on it. Which is what we’ve been doing since October, working on a daily basis with the City, with our advisors, our architects, our engineers, to see whether the site might work, so we’re excited about it. Having said that, as you said in your introduction, there are lots and lots of hurdles to still overcome.

CAVANAUGH: Now there must be people and agencies in San Diego instead of just Mike Aguirre who aren’t crazy about this idea. I wonder what kind of talks you’ve had with not only the mayor’s office but other city agencies since October.

FABIANI: Well, I think people are interested in the idea for one reason and that is it reduces the cost of this project from something well over a billion dollars to something more in the seven or eight hundred million dollar range for a simple reason and that is downtown already has all of the infrastructure that you need. We wouldn’t have to build a single parking structure, wouldn’t have to expand a single road or freeway, the trolley is already there, so the cost of the project is reduced significantly. In addition it’s already in a redevelopment area so you have the potential of getting the benefit of a redevelopment district. And the third reason people are interested is you could potentially clear out the Qualcomm site, just scrape it clean of the stadium and have the taxpayers now owning 166 acres right in the middle of the city that could be enormously valuable for sale to a developer, for use as a park, or for some combination. So for those three reasons, I think a lot of people are interested. To say that they support the idea, though, that would be premature. People have a lot of questions. I just gave a speech up here in North County. There are lots of questions and they deserve to be answered. And right now, I think there are probably more questions than answers but we’re working on it.

CAVANAUGH: Now what are some of the challenges associated with the site itself that would need to be worked out?

FABIANI: The biggest challenge is the challenge that we have tried to overcome and failed to overcome for the last seven years on various sites around the county and that is how do you pay for this privately.

CAVANAUGH: Well, yeah, yeah.

FABIANI: We understand that there is no appetite in San Diego at this particular time for taxpayer funding of a project of this sort, so we have got to figure out a creative way to pay for it privately or to convince taxpayers that even if they put some money into it, they’ll be getting a lot more out of the project than they put in. And could that happen here? Yes, it could happen for one reason and that is the Qualcomm site, which is owned by the city could be freed up. You know, right now, Maureen, it costs $15 million a year for the City to maintain the Qualcomm site. That means if the Chargers do nothing and simply play out our lease there through 2020, taxpayers will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars between now and then on the Qualcomm site. So if you cleared out that site and taxpayers saved that amount of money, hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 or 15 years, and in addition, the City adds 166 acres that it could sell or enter into a joint venture with a developer or use as a park, it could be a tremendous asset to the City. So we would have to convince taxpayers and the mayor and everyone else that this is a fair bargain. And, of course, it’s way too soon to know whether we can do that but we’re going to try.

CAVANAUGH: I’m speaking with Mark Fabiani. He’s special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers. We’re talking about the proposal, the idea of building a new Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego. Now part of the proposals in the past, Mark, I want to talk about this just a little bit more, was that the Chargers pledged that no public funds would be used to build the project. Why this turnaround?

FABIANI: Well, there’s a turnaround for one reason and one reason only. The site downtown is very small. It’s no more than 15 acres and potentially around 10 acres, which makes it barely big enough to hold the stadium and nothing else, which means it would be a very urban stadium. It would be a great design. It could be used 365 days a year on the ground levels for people to go in and out of. So all that’s very interesting and cool but there’s no room for any related development and there’s no room for the Chargers to help pay for the stadium by building a mixed use development next to the stadium, which has been our basic concept for the last seven years. So the site itself dictates a change in your financing plan. How much of a change? Again, I think it remains to be seen. The Qualcomm site could generate a lot of revenue for this project if it were developed or if it were sold. The City’s saving a lot of money if the Qualcomm site is no longer a City obligation. So there are all sorts of potential revenue opportunities out there. Whether they’ll be acceptable to the public or not, whether, when there’s a vote, people will actually vote for it, obviously that remains to be seen and we have the burden of convincing people that it’s going to be a good deal for taxpayers.

CAVANAUGH: What would – what kind of money would the Chargers be providing for this plan or percentages? What would they be bringing to the table?

FABIANI: Well, we have said from the start that we would bring several hundred million dollars of team equity to the proposal. That means the team would invest that much in cash. We hope to get another $100 million or so from the NFL in the form of a loan. So we would be bringing more to the table than most NFL owners bring to the table. And that’s not a complaint, it’s just the recognition that that’s the marketplace we operate in, that most NFL owners have most of their stadiums paid for by the public, which means that they get revenue that if you paid for a stadium privately, you wouldn’t get. Again, not a complaint but it’s an economic reality. At the same time, people in San Diego expect us to win every game, they expect us to resign every player, they expect us to do everything we can to win the Super Bowl and that costs money and we have to stay competitive. But even so, we’re willing to put in more than the average NFL owner puts in.

CAVANAUGH: Now, is this Wonder Bread site in downtown San Diego, is that the primary focus of the team right now for a new stadium? Are the sites in the north county and the other places that we’ve heard basically on the back burner now?

FABIANI: I would say that’s fair. The back burner is something that we hope is not an insult to those sites, particularly Escondido. The City worked extremely hard with us over this year to try and put something together but when the Mayor of the City of San Diego stepped forward in October and said I want to get something done in downtown San Diego, I think Escondido took the prudent step and said, look, we’ll go on the back burner but if it doesn’t work out in downtown we’re still interested. And we really appreciate that. I can’t say enough about how hard the business leaders, the community leaders, the elected officials in Escondido worked. But to answer your question directly, yes, our sole focus at the moment is on downtown San Diego. Every bit of time that we have, all of the money that we’re spending, all of the experts that we’ve hired, they’re all doing the same thing and that is looking at the downtown site.

CAVANAUGH: There’s a little bit of the idea of pulling a rabbit out of the hat, though, of getting – of actually getting this done. I mean, the City’s downtown redevelopment agency would need to raise the cap on the amount of money it can spend for downtown redevelopment projects, you might have to get voter approval. I mean, how realistic is the idea of getting approved for this, Mark? Do you put…

FABIANI: A rabbit out of a hat is a great description. I’m going to use that in the next speech that I give this afternoon at one o’clock because it’s a great way to describe it. And, again, this is nothing against San Diego. Look around California. The oldest NFL stadiums are in California, in Oakland and San Francisco. There’s no NFL team in Orange County or Los Angeles County, two of the wealthiest markets in the entire world. So it’s not just San Diego where it’s difficult to get something done, it’s all of California. And it’s, again, nothing against our city, we just have a tough time getting it done. And if we do get it done, it will be akin to pulling a rabbit out of a hat. We will have to come up with a lot of creative ideas, we’ll have to persuade people that those make sense and I wouldn’t say it’s impossible but we’ve been at it seven years and we haven’t gotten it done yet so I think that’s an indication of how difficult it is.

CAVANAUGH: So, finally, Mark, what are the next steps in this process?

FABIANI: There are two big next steps. One is the analysis of the site itself. We’ve retained Turner Construction Company, one of the nation’s biggest construction companies, to analyze the site from an earthquake fault perspective, from a contamination perspective, and that work is ongoing. So that’s one track: Is the site buildable, and then related to that, we’ve retained our stadium architects to see whether we can fit the stadium on the site. The initial inclination is that, yes, we can, so all of that is one track. And the second track, we have a train moving down that simultaneously and that is the funding track. Is there a way to pay for this? The CCDC has retained an expert consultant to come up with ideas. You already mentioned raising the spending cap for the CCDC. There’s already been a meeting between the City and the County on that topic. So that’s the second track, is can you pay for this? And we don’t expect this to go on for years and years. We think answers to both of these, you know, main questions, is it buildable and can you pay for it can be reached in a matter of months, not years.

CAVANAUGH: Mark, thanks for your time this morning. We really appreciate it.

FABIANI: It’s always a pleasure to be on. Thank you.

CAVANAUGH: I’ve been speaking with Mark Fabiani, special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers about the new proposal to build a Charger stadium in downtown San Diego. If you’d like to post comments about what you hear this morning, go to KPBS.org/TheseDays. Coming up, San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio as These Days continues here on KPBS.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jaycoffman'

jaycoffman | December 10, 2009 at 9:44 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Another view for San Diego. We do not need unlimited development--we need smart controlled development. We should not be trying to increase our population--we should be trying to reduce it legally and to make San Diego a good place to live not to develop property. You presented the Chargers new boondoggle with no opposition yet they have lied to us every time in the past. It's outrageous that the Mayor and Chargers hop into bed the minute they managed to oust Mike Aguirre--he was one of two or three San Diego politicians who support the people of San Diego and not the developers and exploiters. The Chargers must go somewhere else--we can't afford them. We can't afford to be "cute but bumb" anymore. Thanks

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Avatar for user 'kyle'

kyle | December 10, 2009 at 11:24 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

America’s finest flagship example of conservative business development oriented for profit rather than utilitarian application. We need four stadiums for two professional teams. We need to build a new stadium for eight home games at forty dollars a ticket. We need sheep, force-fed roman brutality to stimulate apathy. We need waste, parking lot alcoholism and swap meet amphetamine Sundays. We don’t need a library. We don’t need an informed critical public, too smart for voter manipulation, too able to recognize ignominious posturing.
We need lethargy. We need inanition. We need wealth, prestige and a vacuous public to foot the bill.

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Avatar for user 'TanyaNorman'

TanyaNorman | December 10, 2009 at 4:12 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

This is just annoying to be honest. With the amount of money professional athletes and coaches make maybe they could do some fundraising and personal donations to upgrade Qualcom Stadium themselves. No matter where you put a stadium in San Diego you run into the same type of problems, parking, cost towards tax payers, cost of tickets that remain unsold, and over populating, at least now there is parking for tailgaters and public transportation. I was raised around Jack Murphy/Qualcom and I personally think it should stay and be renovated! No wonder CA is so broke, during an economic hardship and fallout we're sitting here debating on how many billions of dollars to throw into a sporting facility.... What about working on renovating San Diego itself, we all know the beautiful sunny San Diego is headed in the wrong direction whether it’s the dwindling education, the homeless, the trash, or the all around deteriorating beauty of what use to be San Diego before mass amounts of development. The odds are nobody will read any of these and our opinions in all reality will remain just that, opinions!

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Avatar for user 'Dj'

Dj | December 10, 2009 at 5:33 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

NO, NO, NO!!! San Diego DOES NOT NEED another over-the-top stadium, especially if it'll be just a stone's throw from the OTHER one. And now there's the possiblity that us tax-payers will have to foot "part" of the cost?!!? Are they kidding?????

This entire proposal is a fiasco--always has been. The Chargers won't rest until they get a big, dedicated, ego-satisfying stadium in the downtown sector, and no alternative will do--whether it be Escondido, Chula Vista, Oceanside, or the City of Industry (if one of those sites had had enough prestige, we'd be Charger-less by now). And Qualcomm apparently won't placate the boys, either, because it's old and just not sexy enough.

The Chargers wanna stay in San Diego and they want their stadium (just like the Padres got!) and--damnit!--if they don't get it, they'll leave. But they're still here and so's their determination to get what they want.

If SD goes ahead with this plan, our city will not only gain a slew of logistical and cost problems, it'll be the laughing stock of the nation. (Two professional- size stadiums RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER??) And, to add insult to injury, we'll probably lose the Wonder Bread building as well--a beautiful relic of San Diego's past and one of the few historic East Village structures that's managed to evade the wrecking ball. Haven't we already lost too much of our physical heritage to greedy developers?

If the Chargers can't (or won't) accept a remodeled Qualcomm, LET 'EM GO.

SAY 'NO' TO THE CHARGERS' STADIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Avatar for user 'jeff'

jeff | December 10, 2009 at 6:14 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Its amazing the amount of negativity this topic always stirs up. I for one am a Chargers fan and am rooting that they can find a solution. Even if you're not a sports fan you must acknowledge the fact that professional sports will always be a part of society; they have their place and shouldn't take precedence over more important public matters, but let us please not condemn them and try to run them out of town for this sake. How about a little civic pride? You don't have to be a sports fan to embrace a team's presence and its ability to catalyze the civic good. Look at the Padres and what the Gaslamp was like 10 years ago compared to what it is now. We should be so lucky that an entity exists that can spur such a drastic redevelopment to an area that would've otherwise taken several decades to accomplish if at all! We have the same opportunity now with the Chargers and the blighted eastern part of downtown. I'm tired of hearing that nothing can ever be accomplished in San Diego, let's provide some positive support and rally behind the people who are trying to get this done. There are massive challenges that need to be overcome for this project to get done and city leader's need our help not our hinderance. I applaud the courage of the Chargers, Fabiani, and the Spanos family for taking on this monumental effort and having a vision of San Diego moving more towards its beautiful potential; the kind of vision I wish more of my fellow residents shared!

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Avatar for user '143bolts'

143bolts | December 10, 2009 at 10:30 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Avatar for user 'drunknuncle'

drunknuncle | December 11, 2009 at 2 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Private Industry should use private money for thier private projects. If the Tax Payers build the stadium, Spanos &Co. should pay the people back not just pocket the profits as though they were doing us a favor. That's kind of selfish, and a tad bit arrogant. I may be the only Charger Fan in Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pa. but I attended San Diego State, San Diego City, National University, and I worked the Murph as a Beer Vendor, and Stagehand. Getting to work in Mission Valley was a hassle. The Wonder Bread Building may be nostalgic, but is it functional, or is it just taking up space? If it's no longer in use, take some pictures of it and tear it down. When the Super Bowl comes to town you'll be happy you built downtown. On the other hand, maybe the Chargers can play in the Rose Bowl while the Murph is imploded and rebuilt to meet todays standards? Spanos has enouigh loot to build the Stadium himself. The Kid's for Cash scandal is teaching us about greed and corruption. I hope the Chargers take the high road so we can all be proud to be San Diego Charger Fans. GOOOOOOO CHAAAARRGGGGGEEERRRS.

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Avatar for user 'LaPlayaHeritage'

LaPlayaHeritage | December 11, 2009 at 5:11 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B_fHftxFXFhyYTM3OWNhMjgtYzNmYy00NTY2LWE3MzMtZDBjMDQ0NjcxMGY3&hl=en

Please read our report linked above that give the Chargers no public money and ties any NFL Stadium to resolve the homeless problem in the East Village, and 100 percent affordable housing in Mission Valley. We agree with Mr. Fabiani that the public should vote on any plan. The City Charter requires a public vote for any redevelopment of the Mission Valley site.

If SDG&E used collocation with their existing utility corridor the Southwest Powerlink (SWPL) instead of a new route of the Sunrise Powerlink through areas of very severe fire hazards, constuction could start on the Sunrise Powerlink and the South Bay Power Plant can be decommissioned. Since the South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista is on publically owned Port of San Diego tidelands. The Chargers could use funds from redevelopment of the Chula Vista Bayfront to pay for the stadium in the East Village.

Taxpayers will still have to pay to mitigate the MTS bus station, and get rid of the public's contaminated soils by building 2 levels of underground parking.

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Avatar for user 'DebbieT'

DebbieT | December 11, 2009 at 9:32 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

The current stadium is fine. We don't need a new stadium.

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Avatar for user 'DaveyB'

DaveyB | December 11, 2009 at 10:01 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Simply incomprehensible. The city is at least 5 billion in the hole, the budget is at least 100 million a year in the red.

And after being fleeced by the Padres the mayor and city leaders are inviting the Chargers to dip into the taxpayers pockets again.

The City is like GM before their bankruptcy. Incompetent leadership living in a fantasy world. Bankruptcy filing may be the best and only answer.
That might allow us to escape the $10 million annual payments on Petco Park, the hundreds of millions for the Chargers, ConVis, the new library, the sports arena and new city hall. Maybe a good time to cancel out CCDC as well.

The mayor and anyone else who votes to subsidize the Chargers any more should be recalled. They have gotten hundreds of millions from the taxpayers over the last 30 years. Enuff is enuff.

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Avatar for user 'aaronlavine'

aaronlavine | December 12, 2009 at 1:16 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Avatar for user 'wondernerd'

wondernerd | December 12, 2009 at 5:08 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Aaron Lavine is wrong. All the statistics from the studies done on stadiums have shown that they do not create positive economic benefit for their cities. In the case of Petco Park, the restaurants and bars were already coming to the area in the late 1990's; the stadium did not bring them. On the contrary, when the Padres are playing, the number of patrons actually declines because diners want to stay away from the downtown area.

If the Chargers want a new stadium, they and the NFL can easily pay for it from the billions of dollars they receive from television revenue. To even consider giving the Chargers hundreds of billions of dollars when the City of San Diego is seriously essential cutting city services including police is not just bad city management, it is sick. It signals a perverse culture which has lost its way.

Is there anyone else who is reminded of the practice of "bread and circuses" from the Roman times when they consider what our priorities are with regard to professional sports?

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Avatar for user 'taxman86'

taxman86 | December 13, 2009 at 5:22 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

This interview was most enlightening, especially the reference to day to day discussions between the Chargers and the City since last January. As my bio indicates I am a Member of the Centre City Advisory Committee, which is the Project Area Committee/Community Planning Group for the CCDC Redevelopment Area, as the representative of the Downtown San Diego Residents Group. These comments are my own. The Charger site downtown is very interesting since this area, the East Village/Barrio Logan needs help given these economic times. The restaurants, hotels, and condos would not have happened without Petco Park, or at least in my life time. Financing is the key and downtown has two tax and financial incentive zones, the San Diego Regional Enterprise Zone (state) and the San Diego Renewal Community (federal) which provides benefits to a private developer that is not available in the other areas.

CCDC is tapped out under current rules, and there will be some need for creative thinking on how to make this work, but it is clear that the critical mass of the Convention Center, Petco Park, and the new Charger's Stadium could make downtown San Diego world class AND produce the tax dollars (property, sales, transit occupancy, etc.) necessary to provide all the services that are needed for ALL of San Diego County. I look forward to seeing this proposal develop with lots of public impute.

As an aside the value of 166 acres in Mission Valley can not be dismissed especially if the City elects to expand the tax incentives that I referred to above to north of I-8...

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Avatar for user 'litecabin1800'

litecabin1800 | December 13, 2009 at 9:51 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

I have to tell you that we are very angry about the latest proposal for another football stadium. As far as we are concerned, if there is any talk about the taxpayers of San Diego, spending another penny toward building Mr. Spanos another facility for his business, we will become as active as we need to as voters to get him out of town. I think it has been said that only 15% of the residents of this city use his business. We think that the only solution to this issue is for the people who do use his facility, pay for it in full. In other words they will purchase the property to build on and fully fund the facility along with the support of Mr. Spanos. We vote for his business to leave San Diego if he will not fund his own business, Walter O Malley did it.

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Avatar for user 'shane0001'

shane0001 | December 15, 2009 at 9:48 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Nothing is more insulting to taxpayers than a bunch of out of touch !@#$ sportaholics thinking this ia a priority.

If eminent domain or tax dollars are used to build another stadium, homeless/jobless will have every reason to revolt.

LET 'EM LEAVE!! There can be so much more joy from watching highschool or college ball.

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Avatar for user 'mslupe'

mslupe | December 22, 2009 at 2:49 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

i want my taxes to go to streets, water conservation, parks, not the chargers. we already know that somehow the interests of fabiano and spanos will take over reasonable attempts to spend our tax dollars for basic needs like street maintainance, parks etc.

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Avatar for user 'johnny'

johnny | December 25, 2009 at 8:25 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

I just listened to an article on KPBS about corruption in the Afghanistan govt,
how it exists only to benefit the rich and powerful. Now we hear that Jerry
Sanders spends his time meeting with the Chargers so they can get public funds at a time when our libraries are closing and bus routes are shut down.

I don't think Afghanistan has libraries or buses either.

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Avatar for user 'madmacks'

madmacks | December 30, 2009 at 12:20 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

It is obvious that those against the stadium are mostly people who do are not emotionally invested in the Chargers and those for the stadium are clearly fans. It's deafening to hear the mindless rhetoric and analogies instead of hard evidence, numbers, statistics regarding how a new stadium would or would not help the San Diego economy. The stadium is an investment and that should be clear to everyone. The returns will benefit to our whole community if the investment deems to be prosperous. The true argument lies within this analysis. Lets not forget that PetCo Park has greatly accelerated the reconstruction of downtown. Did anyone ever visit that area before this stadium was built? Do you remember how seedy it was?

Using PetCo park as an example the city should see exactly how much revenue the stadium has generated. You have 20-30k hungry fans sick of hot dogs pouring into downtown and if you (wondernerd) do not think that they generate copious amounts of business to those restaurants and bars then you are not fairly weighing in both sides of the coin.

The idea is to have something that generates money. Colleges have huge football programs so that they can afford to build their libraries and improve their classrooms. Yes it depends on the demographic and that is part of why a study needs to be done.

Things that should be analyzed:
- How much has PetCo generated in business to downtown ?
- How many projects have benefited downtown as a result of PetCo?
- How much revenue comes in from events outside of the Padres?
(The World Series of Baseball, Rugby Championships, Soccer, Concerts, etc.)
- Has the stadium profitable since it's construction? When will it be in the black if not already?
- If there is a new Chargers stadium, how much money will Super Bowls, BCS Bowls, Soccer, generate? Yes there will be Super Bowls and BCS Bowls in San Diego if there is a new stadium.
- list can go on and on

If the new stadium proves to attract outside money then why not? Think about it logically. If San Diego is in debt how can people ask the city to invest in something like a new Library that has no financial return. Invest wisely, generate grown and wealth, then provide the citizens with the social foundation to promote art, culture, and education.

If they can find another way to do with w/o a stadium then I'm all ears but until then I don't see a better way to please both sides in the long run. Every one is clamoring for a professional football team for a reason so we should be somewhat appreciative we have at least that. For now.

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Avatar for user 'gnboone'

gnboone | January 1, 2010 at 2:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

I am shocked that this city has still not learned a thing from our past experiences with the Chargers and their desire for a new stadium. We need a new library and a new City Hall that will raise civic pride. We need to use tax revenues for repairing roads, sewers, water mains and burying utilities. And last but not least, we need to finally resolve the city debts over the pension program and overall city debt.

The benefits of the citizens of San Diego paying for another stadium do not outwiegh the need to attend to more important infrastrucure priorities. Every time we negotiate with these teams or the developers, we never get a deal that really protects the citizens of this city. We are always sold out in these sweetheart deals with the developers. There has been a persistent pattern of these kinds of deals over and over again in the 15 years I have lived here. This pattern needs to be changed and NOW.

Why not have the city set up a public corporation and and offer stock so that the city could buy the team as in Green Bay. This would raise funds to build a new stadium from those in the public who wanted to pay for it and keep the team in San Diego. Or Spanos could go public with stock offerings to raise the funds.

Having another stadium downtown does not distribute economic development in a equitable manner around the city. Qualcom has huge parking lot and this is a tailgating town, especially because of our good weather. This tradition should be continued. Further, the transporation infrastructure is already there with the freeway and the dedicated trolley stop.

A new stadium could be built in the parking lot while keeping the old stadium in use. If pollution from the tank farm is a problem, the city should sue the tank farm for remediation of the land. There have been successful lawsuits against oil companies for tank farm pollution.

Let us finallly make the long term future of the city as a higher priority than funding another recreation facility. Every week our water and sewer mains break and we go without an updated library, a decent city hall and finally resolving the city debt. A new stadium at taxpayer expense will not generate enought revenue to justify diverting borrowing power from the much more important infrastructure projects. Mayor Sanders should be ashamed.

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