It seems like one of the top debates in Downtown, centers around whether the city should build a new Downtown stadium? Your position on the debate is most likely tied to whether you are pro development or not? It also depends on how you interpret the success of Petco Park, and the redevelopment of Downtown’s East Village neighborhood. I have found two recent articles that explore both sides of the debate in addition to most of the questions surrounding the stadium as a viable investment project.
–The Mayor, the Chargers, a Stadium: Game On : Addresses the current political environment with the new mayor and the city’s potential support of such a redevelopment project.
–Petco’s Broken Promise : Questions the financial viability of a new Downtown Stadium based on performance of Petco.
1. Biggest question: How would the $800 Million dollar plus price tag be paid for (Spanos contribution, city, NFL, private investment, etc)?
2. Could there be new uses for the Qualcom site and the Sports Arena site in Mission Valley and Midway District?
3. Could the new stadium be used to supplement the Convention Center Expansion and Redevelopment?
4. Would building a new stadium at the Downtown Site reignite development the same as it’s predecessor Petco?
5. Is this a good investment for the City in terms of generating revenue in the form of taxes and direct entertainment dollars, new jobs, etc?
When you poll most homeowners of Downtown San Diego Condos and lofts, it seems most are in favor of the construction. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, Petco park was, and is, the supporting infrastructure that provides value and “location” to the neighborhood. Having access to two major event spaces Downtown, along with the Gaslamp would be a very unique and valuable proposition. Petco Park and the Convention Center are fixtures of the Downtown infrastructure that continue to bring revenue and support development. If the current project has a chance politically, everyone will have to stop calling it the new “Chargers Stadium”, and start calling it the new “San Diego Stadium”. The new Downtown Stadium project would have to show a boost in city revenue…first and foremost it must be a good investment. Secondly…it would need to host more than just football (other sporting events/teams, convention space, concerts/entertainment). Thirdly…it must provide additional redevelopment of the surrounding areas in the lower East Village and Barrio Logan. Agreement on all three of these issues of the debate seems a long way off, but I m still interested to see how it all plays out.