Monday, February 6, 2012
Ron Roberts, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. He represent district 4.
County Supervisor Ron Roberts told KPBS he would like to see a new football stadium built in downtown with cooperation between the city and the county. He said it would not only benefit the Chargers, but the region as well.
Roberts said he has been meeting quietly with County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Mayor Jerry Sanders for almost three years about building a stadium. However, he said financing the multimillion-dollar project would be difficult.
“We are looking at how does, perhaps, the stadium generate revenues that we don’t have today, that we could then take and plow back into getting a stadium built,” he said. “You create value and you use that value to get the thing you want, in this case a stadium.”
Roberts added the city and county worked together successfully before to build Qualcomm Stadium.
Next week Roberts, Jacob and Sanders will review a possible financing plan for a new stadium, to see where funding for it would be found. Ultimately, Roberts said voters will have the final word on the project.
Additionally, he said he was excited to hear about the proposal from Doug Manchester and John Lynch, the new owners of U-T San Diego, about the downtown area. It includes a new stadium, an arena and an expanded Convention Center along the waterfront.
Roberts said this is a conceptual idea. The proposal talks about surrounding the stadium with enhanced public spaces and better utilization of the facility by making it more accessible to the Convention Center.
“I want to make sure we don’t get so locked in that we destroy the opportunity to get a stadium, but I think this proposal should really get heard,” he said.
Local and state leaders have used their annual addresses this year to outline bold ideas for the future. Governor Jerry Brown focused on a high speed rail and Sanders on downtown building projects. And this week, Roberts will give a "State of the County" address that also includes plans for downtown development and infrastructure improvement.