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Friday, April 2, 2010

Stadium Update 4-2-10

Source: 10news

The city of San Diego and San Diego County are on the verge of joining forces in an effort to build a new downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers.The possible stadium would be built about four blocks from Petco Park, and now a plan is in the works to get the project done using some tax dollars but not at the expense of public safety and basic city services.Well aware of the political battle over the building of Petco Park, several elected officials have moved cautiously in whatever might be done about a new stadium for the Chargers. Just a few months ago, a consultant was hired to explore what worked in other cities and to see what would be best for San Diego. Officials found the key word to be cooperation.
The idea of building a new Chargers home next door to where the San Diego Padres play has several benefits, and sources told 10News the city and county have been working closely behind the scenes to make it happen. The infrastructure has already been upgraded and redevelopment money makes it attractive for outside investors and to neighboring governments.
"We look at the Chargers as a regional asset. Most of the fanbase comes from outside of the city of San Diego, so we would hope other agencies, particularly the county of San Diego, would be part of the process and will be partners with us," said Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders."Is the county working with you?" asked 10News' Steve Fiorina."Certainly open to it, yes," said Pudgil.The financing package is still to be ironed out, but it would not include any money from the city's general fund, 10News learned."We are focusing on redevelopment dollars. We wouldn't use any general fund dollars that would take away from police, fire, libraries or the park & recreation programs," said Pudgil.
It is an exciting prospect for the Centre City Development Corporation, as it looks at how well earlier projects of this nature paid off.Derek Danziger of the CCDC said, "Horton Plaza in the mid-1980s was a huge success story as a public-private partnership. Not only did it bring shopping and retail back downtown, but it stimulated the entire growth of the Gaslamp Quarter and the residential community within Marina District. You move to 2004, Petco Park. We had $311 million of assessed value expected. It's now $2 billion worth of development that's happened around there, with another $2 billion in the pipeline, completely transforming the entire neighborhood … really looking forward to what a stadium could mean to the East Village neighborhood."
CCDC would run out of money in the mid 2020s, but is also taking steps to increase its spending cap which would make things easier.The Chargers, the city, county or CCDC have not committed to this proposed plan, observers believe the stars appear to be aligning.