1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

ESCONDIDO: Another possible stadium site

Discussion in 'American Football' started by RaiderRay, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..Go Any SD Team, Go Raiders Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005

    Escondido has been added to the short list of cities where the San Diego Chargers might build a new stadium, and team officials said Wednesday they've been quietly crunching numbers and exploring potential sites in the city for several months.

    Escondido is attractive to the team because it is on the Sprinter rail line and has freeways that provide easy access to San Diego, coastal North County and Riverside County, said Mark Fabiani, the team's general counsel.

    Fabiani said Escondido also lacks the wide variety of hurdles that have prevented the team from replacing outdated Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley or building a new stadium in Oceanside, Chula Vista or National City.

    The $1 billion stadium would give Escondido a dramatic boost in local tax revenue, the prestige of having an NFL team and the possibility of hosting the Super Bowl roughly once a decade.

    The leading potential site for a stadium in Escondido is the industrial area near the Interstate 15/Highway 78 interchange, where the 17-acre Swap Meet site could be combined with adjacent parcels to create the 30-acre to 60-acre site the team needs, city officials said.

    The 15-acre to 20-acre stadium would either be surrounded by a series of multistory parking garages, 30 to 40 acres of surface parking or some combination of the two, Fabiani said.

    The city would also have to provide land and other incentives for some kind of ancillary project of large office buildings, retail businesses or condominiums, Fabiani said. The team would use the revenue from that project to cover most or all of a $500 million gap in funding for the stadium, he said.

    A preliminary analysis

    Fabiani and local attorney Dave Ferguson said Wednesday that they began conducting a preliminary analysis early this year of traffic, parking, land acquisition and possibilities for the ancillary development, which might not be adjacent to the stadium.

    Both men said their early findings were encouraging, but that many questions remain unanswered.

    "I think 'optimistic' is too strong a word because the numbers are so daunting," said Fabiani, referring to the revenue the team would need from the ancillary project. "But clearly, we think it's worth continuing with the process."

    Ferguson, who has worked with several leaders of the local business community on this project, said he has been studying whether using an ancillary project to bridge the stadium funding gap could even work in the current economic and housing market.

    But Ferguson said a recent survey he conducted with City Manager Clay Phillips determined that there would be adequate parking for a large stadium when spots near the possible stadium site are combined with spots in parking lots at stations on the Sprinter line.

    Ferguson, who represents the owner of the Swap Meet site, said he was also confident that enough contiguous land could be acquired for the stadium, despite the city's lack of eminent domain property acquisition power.

    Property might need to be acquired from more than 50 landowners, city officials said.

    San Diego used eminent domain to acquire land for Petco Park, but that city's redevelopment agency was established before the state stripped such agencies of eminent domain power, Ferguson said. Escondido's redevelopment agency was created after that change, he said.

    Darol Caster, a longtime member of the city's Planning Commission, said he could not recall anyone "assembling" a parcel anywhere near that size in Escondido. He said the 186-acre Escondido Research and Technology business park could be an example, but that the park had previously been mostly open space.

    Ferguson said residents could visualize how large a site would be needed by imagining a parcel roughly half the size of the 83-acre Westfield North County mall.

    The stadium would be 180 to 220 feet tall, Fabiani said.

    A boost for Escondido

    Ferguson said the city would immediately get a $10 million boost in property tax revenue from the $1 billion stadium, but he said the increase in sales tax revenue and hotel tax revenue might significantly exceed that number.

    The new stadium would also eventually prompt construction of several new high-rise hotels nearby, officials said.

    Harvey Mitchell, chief executive of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, said landing the Chargers and a new stadium would have a dramatically positive effect on the local business community.

    "You know this would be a first-class operation that would bring a lot of life to the community," said Mitchell. "Some folks are worried about traffic, but there are only about 10 games a year."

    Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, who recently met with Fabiani about the possible stadium, said city officials will do everything they can to land the Chargers. But she also said financial support from the private sector would be crucial to the ancillary development.

    "Somebody needs to come in with a boatload of cash," Pfeiler said.

    Pfeiler conceded that the land acquisition might become a significant hurdle, but she said it was a relatively small problem compared to the other cities trying to land the Chargers.

    A possible site in Chula Vista would require a power plant to be decommissioned, but the state has been unwilling to give a decommission date, Fabiani said.

    A site in National City was deemed too small.

    And two sites in Oceanside have been considered.

    In 2007, the Chargers talked with the city about building on the Center City Golf Course, but that idea was eventually scrapped. This summer, a former drive-in theater site in the San Luis Rey River Valley has been considered. But Fabiani called that site's proximity to Oceanside Municipal Airport a "huge hurdle."

    Fabiani said Escondido sites near I-15 and Highway 78 were particularly appealing for a stadium.

    "You can bring people in from several different directions on the freeway and you've got mass transit," he said. "And it would be nice to stay in San Diego but be closer to Orange County and Riverside County."
  2. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

    Jul 12, 2007
    TBF is pushing ALL IN on this project... I'm all over this idea.... 30 minute drive for me...
  3. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'm ALL for it, if they can make it work. :tup:
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    I know the area. Great spot for a stadium. Big boost for Escondido.
  5. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006
    Don't care where they build it, as long as it's in SD Co.

    If you build it, we will come. And go to the games.

Share This Page