Convention Center Inching Forward, Chargers Stadium Trying To Tag Along
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Aired 9/22/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.
The San Diego Chargers are raising eyebrows with a new proposal for building a downtown stadium: piggybacking on the convention center expansion. We'll hear details from Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani and find out how the news was received at the Convention Center.
Aired 9/21/11 on KPBS News.
One major development project in San Diego is inching forward and another is hoping to get in on the action.
SAN DIEGO By Katie Orr
These days it seems you can’t mention a Convention Center expansion without talking about a new Chargers stadium - but there isn’t an official link between the two projects. The Convention Center is slowly moving forward, while the stadium is still just an idea.
Today the San Diego City Council’s budget committee will get an update on the Center’s financing plan. It involves local hotels voting to tax themselves, to raise money for the expansion. Councilman Todd Gloria like the idea.
“We’re not asking the average San Diegan to personally pay out of pocket for this expansion,” he said. “We’re asking the people who will get the maximum benefit, in this case hotel owners, to pay in.”
Gloria believes the council supports the plan.
What the budget committee will not consider at today’s meeting is a plan to combine a new Chargers stadium with the Convention Center expansion. Expansion backers have largely dismissed combining projects, but the Chargers are pushing the idea, as recently reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The team’s Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said people should keep an open mind.
“We’re hoping this idea at least gets debated before people kill it off without any public discussion,” he said. “ But this is San Diego, so we’ll have to see how it turns out.”
Fabiani said the region has a history of dismissing possible stadium locations. He points to possible sites in Downtown San Diego and in Chula Vista that were rejected because they were slated to be used for other projects which then never materialized. He said the team continues to work with the mayor’s office to find a way for a new Downtown stadium to be built.