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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chargers interested in building a double decker waterfront stadium

(CBS) : Will San Diego vote for blue collar jobs, or Chargers blue and gold? That's what it could come down to this November. Local developers have an initiative on the ballot to build a double deck waterfront terminal big enough for a football stadium, but opponents says jobs could be lost on the waterfront.The 10th Avenue Marine Terminal is just a short distance from Petco Park. It's run by the San Diego Port Authority. For more than 50 years, the terminal has handled basic cargo. Now, voters will determine if the waterfront property will be transformed into a modern multi-purpose facility, with the possibility of a football stadium."What we're proposing to do is to modernize from current standards so that additional maritime activity could occur at this site," Peter Gallagher of San Diego Community Solutions said.Gallagher is one of the developers of San Diego Community Solutions, who sponsoredThe project known as the Port of San Diego Marine Freight Preservation and Bay Front Redevelopment Initiative.Voters from National City, Chula Vista, Imperial, Coronado and San Diego will determine if the terminal will be transformed into a double-decker structure, while maintaining existing and expanding maritime operations.But on top of the 40-foot deck, there could be hotels, restaurants and even a sports stadium."We're not proposing a specific use to go on that upper deck, it can be a stadium," Gallagher said.Gallagher says, Mark Fabriani, the Chargers' legal counsel, is interested."His reaction was that the Chargers need to take a hard look at this is something that has strong interest," he said.The upper deck stadium would be big enough to hold a Super Bowl game. But the $2 billion project doesn't score a touchdown with everyone. The Port District says such an engineering feat would be wholly infeasible no matter how it is constructed. Others object at the prospect of lost jobs. They say the proposal could constrain future growth at the terminal."There's a lot of people in the community saying that this will eliminate maritime freight," Gallagher said.But he counters, "If we don't pursue maritime freight, this project doesn't get built."The development company says no public money would be used, and its revenue will be from leases. Mark Fabriani told News 8 that while there are many steps to be taken before this project is finalized, the Charges want to stay in San Diego and would take a hard look at this option.