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Stadium article on the Q site

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by sdbound, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/m...30stadium.html


    News | San Diego

    STADIUM SITE SEARCH
    Business executives working on backup plan




    By Ronald W. Powell
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    August 30, 2007

    San Diego business leaders, determined to keep the Chargers in the county, are quietly constructing plans for a new football stadium at the Qualcomm site or in Barrio Logan, south of downtown.


    They stress that they do not intend to undercut Chula Vista or Oceanside, where negotiations for a stadium are under way, but rather want to make sure everything is done to keep the National Football League franchise here.
    Two of the businessmen even managed to get a meeting with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders on the subject last week, despite the mayor's public pronouncements that a new stadium is not high on his agenda. They declined to give details of the meeting.

    Those engineering the stadium talks are high-powered businessmen who have worked through the San Diego International Sports Council and on their own to help the Chargers renew leases with the city. Some backed the controversial 1995 ticket guarantee – a now-defunct lease provision that required taxpayers to buy unsold tickets to home games.

    They include Malin Burnham, a prominent real estate and insurance executive; Tom Wornham, a banker who is chairman of the board of directors of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.; investor Ted Roth; and Herb Klein, retired editor in chief of Copley Newspapers, parent company of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

    The group has been working intermittently for more than two years to get a new stadium built.

    Overview
    Background: The Chargers are considering stadium sites in Chula Vista and Oceanside. Separate studies are expected to be released next month that will help determine whether a stadium development is workable in either city.

    What's new: Prominent members of San Diego's business community are looking into backup plans for a stadium in the city of San Diego – one involving the Qualcomm Stadium property – in case efforts fail in Oceanside and Chula Vista.

    The future: Chargers executives say they are committed to staying in the county and are focusing their stadium search on Oceanside and Chula Vista. Meanwhile, the businesspeople say they will continue working to keep the team in the county.


    Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said last night that she is not troubled by the San Diego business community's effort to find options for the Chargers. “Everyone's goal is to keep the Chargers in the county,” she said.

    Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood could not be reached for comment yesterday. A spokesman for Sanders said he was not available for an interview. Sanders said this month that he had not been engaged in discussions about a stadium deal at Qualcomm.

    Business leaders are proposing:

    A complex deal involving the city of San Diego, the Chargers, San Diego State University and the Hahn family, which operates the city-owned San Diego Sports Arena under a long-term lease.

    Under this plan, the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium property in Mission Valley would be the site of a new stadium, a new sports arena and high-density housing for SDSU students, faculty and staff members. The university would largely let go of its current expansion plan, which has touched off lawsuits.

    The Sports Arena, in the Midway District, would be torn down. The Chargers would build a mixed-use development there and high-end residential housing near SDSU, with profits helping to pay for the stadium.

    Wornham said he plans to discuss the SDSU expansion idea with university President Stephen Weber this week.

    Aside from the difficulty of financing a new sports arena, sports marketing expert Paul Swangard of the University of Oregon questioned what team would use it. He said it is unlikely that San Diego would snare a franchise from the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League as an anchor tenant because Las Vegas, Kansas City and Oklahoma City have new arenas and are in the market for teams.

    Creating a joint-powers authority among San Diego city and county governments – as well as other cities – to provide a framework for a stadium development anywhere in the county. Under the plan, the joint-powers authority would pursue a deal for naming rights for the stadium, which would be used to help pay for it. Burnham said he has investigated other agreements and believes a deal could be struck for at least $100 million.

    “We need to treat this process (for securing a new stadium) like we're starting a new business,” he said. “You don't have to have all the money, but you have to have a start.”

    Burnham said he shared the idea with county Supervisor Ron Roberts more than a month ago. He said Roberts told him he wanted to see how discussions progress in Chula Vista and Oceanside before considering it, Burnham said.

    Roberts did not return calls for comment yesterday.

    Building a stadium in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood south of downtown San Diego. Klein said this idea was his, although he does not have a location or development plan.

    “Any idea involving an existing neighborhood is problematic,” said Mark Fabiani, the Chargers' attorney and spokesman. “You'd be displacing homes and businesses, and it's not something we'd want to be a part of.”

    Fabiani said the team is aware that businesspeople are trying to help. But he said Sanders made it clear months ago that a new stadium is not a priority.

    “He has other matters to deal with, and we understand and appreciate that,” Fabiani said. “But one thing that you find in common where new stadiums have been built is the mayor has gotten behind it. That's why we've moved forward in Oceanside and Chula Vista.”

    But that has not stopped local business leaders from trying to get a deal done in San Diego.

    “We have to keep all of our options open. Everybody has to keep an open mind here,” Wornham said. “If we agree they're worth keeping, then let's do something.”

    The businessmen are discussing options as stadium-related studies are nearing completion in Chula Vista and Oceanside.

    A study of potential Chula Vista sites near the bay and on the city's east side is expected to be released next month. The Chargers paid more than $220,000 for the land-use study, which will rank four or more sites for a stadium.

    The Chula Vista City Council will hold a public hearing on the study. Taxpayer reaction will help decide whether the Chargers continue pursuing a stadium there, Fabiani said.

    In Oceanside, a study is looking at whether the city is a viable location for a high-end “office village.” At the city's urging, the team is considering building offices adjacent to a stadium at the Oceanside-owned City Center Golf Course near the Interstate 5/Oceanside Boulevard interchange.

    The office development would provide revenue to help pay for a stadium and would include parking garages that could be used by fans on game days.

    But the team is far from striking a deal in either city, and there is skepticism that a stadium can be developed. Chargers executives say they hope to select a site by the end of the year and place a plan before voters in November 2008.

    Ernie Hahn II, whose family has a lease for the Sports Arena through 2017, said there has long been talk about moving the arena to the Qualcomm Stadium property. That was part of a suggestion by county Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who wants an arena to be part of a sports complex at the Qualcomm site. But Jacob never advanced a financing plan.

    “It all makes great sense depending on whether you can sit down and put a pencil to paper and figure out the financing (for construction) and the revenues,” Hahn said.

    San Diego Councilman Ben Hueso said he has not been contacted about a stadium in Barrio Logan, which is in his district.

    “Displacing residents would pose an enormous problem,” Hueso said. “It seems like an interesting idea. But I don't know where they could fit a stadium.”
     
  2. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Good. If the mayor and city are too messed up to deal with this, then I am glad there are others that keep the ball rolling for the site in MV.

    It just makes sooooo much sense to build it there. Central to the region, SDSU, etc.

    SD better NOT re-elect that tool box Aguirre.
     
  3. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    They're putting the squeeze on...good. :icon_twisted:
     
  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    finally something akin to positive news
     
  5. titanfan24

    titanfan24 BoltTalker

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    Man,

    I hope you all can get something done ASAP. San Diego is a first class city with first class fans...................that deserve a first class facility. The Mission Valley site is wonderful, is right on the SDT, and seems to have plenty of room for building a new facility, but I am a huge proponent for downtown stadiums. I know that the property values in San Diego are cost-prohibitive to allow for the stadium to be built downtown, but I think the city is missing a golden opportunity to show off America's Finest City by not doing so.

    But I guess, at this point, you all will take a stadium anywhere, as long as it is not in LA, Orange County, Vegas, or San Antonio. Good luck to you guys.
     
  6. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong with moving to Vegas? :icon_shrug:



    :icon_tease:
     
  7. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    In the mean time, the Chargers are continuing investigation/talks solely with Oceanside and Chula Vista.
     
  8. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    Nice place to visit. :tup:
     
  9. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    Just not 10-12 times a year to see the Chargers.
     
  10. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay #FireMcCoy #FirePagano Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Sounds like a plan. Let's make it happen!
     
  11. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Hey Titanfan. Another season is finally here. Your boy Vince looks good, but I am sure you are not happy about him being the Madden Cover.
     
  12. stone86

    stone86 Well-Known Member

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    amen.:tup:
     

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