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Chargers Focused On Stadium Site Downtown


Aired 12/11/09

The conversation about where to build a new stadium for the Chargers has been renewed in the City of San Diego. The team has been talking to the mayor, and other city officials about a site downtown just east of Petco Park. What are the pros and cons of the Wonder Bread site? And, should public money be used to pay for a new football stadium?

The conversation about where to build a new stadium for the Chargers has been renewed in the City of San Diego. The team has been talking to the mayor, and other city officials about a site downtown just east of Petco Park. What are the pros and cons of the Wonder Bread site? And, should public money be used to pay for a new football stadium?


Barbara Bry, associate publisher and opinion editor of

Scott Lewis, chief executive officer of

David Rolland, editor of San Diego CityBeat.

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Avatar for user 'cletusmoses'

cletusmoses | December 11, 2009 at 9:42 a.m. ― 7 years, 3 months ago

Back when Mission Valley was the focus of a new football stadium, Mark Fabiano stated that the Chargers were not looking for any city money to do the project - they simply wanted the city to donate to the Chargers hundreds of acres of prime real estate. What a crock! Now they state that they do "need" public funds in order to build a stadium downtown. Anpother crock! I am a football fan, but how can anybody think it is a good idea to spend public monies to finance a private company that is owned by wealthy individuals/investors?
Let's see if Jerry Sanders sticks to his committment not to spend any city money on a new Cahrger's stadium. I doubt it, and expect to read his quote soon that "changing conditions necessitate public funds" for a stadium. Time will tell.

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Avatar for user 'Hardcover'

Hardcover | December 11, 2009 at 9:47 a.m. ― 7 years, 3 months ago

Let the Chargers go somewhere else. If having a Pro football team made a city great, then Green Bay would be a wonderful place. The Wonder Bread building is an important building, anyone who says it is not has not been inside there. Petco park didn't make Downtown a revitalized place. Its a nationwide trend that was on its way already. Kicking out the porno shops, pawn shops, hardcore drunks, and the Navy oriented businesses (i.e. "locker clubs") was more important than anything. Just the cost of the survey could have kept the fire-ring for a couple of years. That is more important to what San Diego really is.

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Avatar for user 'MarkW'

MarkW | December 11, 2009 at 3:40 p.m. ― 7 years, 3 months ago


At the very least, send him back to "Mayor School". For some reason, he thinks "public service" means "pander to developers at public expense".

The folly of this mayor's priorities leaves me speechless. He doesn't think twice about yanking beach firepit rings or increasing parking meter fees -- greatly diminishing the utility of the beaches (fire-rings) and spreading lots of misery (parking meters) -- all for a paltry $1-2 million.

Meanwhile Mark Fabiani comes hat-in-hand asking for (realistically) more than $200 million in public money, Sanders reaches for his checkbook.

Here's an idea: stop p*ssing away money on these "special studies" and you won't have to increase parking meter fees.

And if the devil ever need a PR-guy, Mark Fabiani's a shoe-in.

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Avatar for user 'jeff'

jeff | December 11, 2009 at 5:09 p.m. ― 7 years, 3 months ago

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm under the impression that the "public money" everyone is up in arms over would be coming from the CCDC and not the city's general fund. If this is the case I don't see how anyone can use the excuse that the city is broke and we can't afford to build a new stadium. Yes, the city's general fund may be dwindling but the CCDC's fund is not. It's not a question of "do I want potholes fixed or do I want a new stadium?" The money comes from separate places and using the CCDC's redevelopment funds won't effect city services. I think people need to be educated about this so stadium opponents can't use it as an excuse.

For MarkW - I hate to be the message board police but its hard for people to take you seriously when you make grandiose claims that mayor Sanders should be recalled or that Fabiani should be affiliated with the devil. It is possible to have a civil discussion over this (read the Guidelines at the bottom of this page).

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Avatar for user 'Nathan Gibbs'

Nathan Gibbs | December 11, 2009 at 5:56 p.m. ― 7 years, 3 months ago

Just a friendly reminder that we expect users to keep things civil. I've removed one comment from this thread that directly insulted another commenter. Things can go downhill quickly when people start poking each other.

Discussion Guidelines:

Thanks again for the spirited comments. We hope you'll keep them coming.

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Avatar for user 'MarkW'

MarkW | December 12, 2009 at 9:53 a.m. ― 7 years, 3 months ago

Jeff: please post a link to CCDC's FY2009 budget so you can educate us all on this mega-million dollar "honey-pot" that the CCDC is sitting on. Of particular interest: which budget line item or provision will translate to the $200 million+ realistically needed to build the new stadium?

And if it means issuing bonds, then maybe you could describe how and where the revenue would come from to service the resulting bond debt. Isn't CCDC already saddled with a nice chunk of ballpark debt?

Also what % of CCDC's total annual budget would this "gift" represent?

Many (including myself) are convinced that a new stadium effectively has a negative ROI -- which is fine in boom-times -- but just doesn't make sense in economically depressed times like these, with the city teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Maybe the city's priorities are all noble and above-board -- but with so much opaqueness who can know?

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Avatar for user 'taxman86'

taxman86 | December 13, 2009 at 9:25 a.m. ― 7 years, 3 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 'shane0001'

shane0001 | December 15, 2009 at 9:29 a.m. ― 7 years, 3 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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