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Chula Vista the Ball-Carrier After Oceanside Denies Chargers Stadium

One down, two to go! Chula Vista has the ball, now that the city of Oceanside has dropped out of the running to host a new stadium for the Chargers. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more on why Ocean

One down, two to go!   Chula Vista has the ball, now that the city of Oceanside has dropped out of the running to host a new stadium for the Chargers. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more on why Oceanside left the field, and how that might play out in the South Bay.

There won’t be blimps flying over Oceanside to advertise NFL games and the quiet Goats’ Hill Golf Course wont be transformed into a concrete bowl full of cheering fans. But Nadine Scott is one Oceanside resident who is grateful the city council decided to drop the ball on the idea of building a stadium in town. Scott believes the citizens group, succinctly named “GoawayChargers” may have helped side line the deal.

Scott : I think the city council and city attorney realized there was a high level of scrutiny from a fairly well financed group that was going to oppose this based on financial grounds among other things.

A consultants’ report, paid for by the Chargers, confirmed the suspicions of Scott’s neighbors, that the 72 acre Goats’ Hill site would be too small by itself, and the city would have had to kick in almost 40 acres of extra city land to sweeten the deal.

Chargers ‘spokesman Mark Fabiani says it was really no surprise that Oceanside dropped out, after seeing the results of the report. But he disputes one point.

Fabiani : We were disappointed to hear at least one city councilman last night, councilman Chavez, say “We cant afford this.” That’s a misleading statement. We are not looking to take any money from the city of Oceanside or the city of Chula Vista.

Councilman Chavez isn’t backing down on this point though. He says from the start the question was whether the deal would bring more good jobs and tourism to Oceanside -- and whether the city could give the team enough land and development opportunities to pay for a billion dollar stadium.

Chavez : The first premise is no private-funded and even their own analysis, you know, we had a huge short fall so where’s the money going to come from, so it just didn’t work economically.

Chavez says it wasn’t a difficult decision for the council once they saw the numbers. Though incidentally, he believes community support in Oceanside was strong enough that a ballot initiative on a stadium could have passed.

The equation is different in Chula Vista, where the Chargers’ consultants have concluded two sites could work financially. However the details of what the city may have to throw into the game to make it work aren’t clear yet. And skeptics of the benefits of a new stadium in Chula Vista, though not organized than those in Oceanside, are already grumbling that the Chula Vista city council has so far only guaranteed they will hold an advisory vote on the stadium next year, not a binding one.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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