New Downtown Chargers Stadium?

phillip rivers san diego chargersWhen I heard that Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President Dean Spanos were in serious talks about the possibility of a new stadium located in downtown San Diego, I was THRILLED by the prospect. No offense to the city of Escondido who have been courting the Chargers to move their team there for a quite few years now. It’s just that the Chargers are not Escondido or Chula Vista, and most certainly, not Los Angeles. They are San Diego!

For anyone who has been to Qualcomm Stadium, you fall in to one of two categories:  One type of person believes Qualcomm is an ill-designed cracking slab of concrete with narrow walkways and a cold, uninviting aura. The other type of person is one who has never been to another NFL Stadium to see just how big of a difference a nice stadium can be.  In fact, as far as I’m concerned, Qualcomm and Candlestick in San Francisco are on par with one another and both should be torn down. The Spanos know this and understand this, which is why they want to build a new stadium. But the fact that the city and its taxpayers don’t want to help pay for a new stadium, is the biggest hurdle the Chargers face.

Just because the taxpayers don’t want to help out however, does not mean they are not supportive of Mayor Sanders who is working with Dean Spanos to figure out where the money to build a new stadium can come from. According to Matthew T. Hall of the Union Tribune, one financing option that is being thrown around could come from “selling or developing the city-owned 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium site, which the team would leave vacant.” This is an option where the city can help out without a tax hike. It also brings to light the fact that Qualcomm’s site is HUGE and the proposed site downtown would be much smaller.

The downtown site would be 15 acres directly next to Petco Park that currently includes the city-owned Tailgate Park, the Wonderbread Building, and the bus yard for the San Diego Transit Corp. The beauty of this site, is that the infrastructure is all in place thanks to Petco Park. There’s parking, public transportation set up, and a slew of bars and restaurants in the area that make a killing on game days.  In addition, Hall reports that Charger’s special counsel Mark Fabiani says the downtown stadium makes financial sense “because infrastructure improvements to accommodate a stadium of up to $1 billion elsewhere could cost $200 million, but they are a fraction of that downtown”.

Of course there are naysayers who don’t want to see a stadium go up downtown. Business owners that would have to move, nearby residents who don’t want a huge construction project going on in their neighborhood or the influx of crowds that would be present on game-days.  But I am not going to address such people or such issues, for this is an unapologetically biased blog in favor of a downtown stadium.

Yes, there are hurdles to overcome before this dream can become a reality, mostly of the financial kind. But the city needs this. It needs something it can rally around. Something to be proud of besides the weather, and a beautiful new stadium in the city’s up and coming downtown is just what the doctor ordered.  And can you imagine how much money a Super Bowl hosted downtown would bring into the city?  But all the benefits of a new stadium are light years away. At this point it’s just good to see that San Diego is once again the front-runner for the new home of the San Diego Chargers.

21 thoughts on “New Downtown Chargers Stadium?”

  1. Good news. Hope it becomes true. Besides it’s not only a benefit for the fans there are also benefits which are connected with a new stadium in San Diego, jobs will be created, business growth in this area and more people who come to town….

  2. I sympathize with the business owners and residents who don’t want a construction project going on in their neighborhood and the crowds on game days. But this is progress, and progress always hurts some people. The city needs the money that a Super Bowl hosted in downtown would bring. What a great possibility we have in this.

  3. This is a great list. I especially like the “Don’t Take Crappy Listings”. It is difficult to get people to make changes after you have taken the listing. Much better to insist before you take the listing.

  4. fishing organizations

    That would be a real boost to the local economy. Not just because of the tourism benefit, but also be cause of all the construction jobs it will create. Anything is a help.

  5. I know a hurricane is different from a wildfire but I think what your seeing at the Chargers Stadium versus the SuperDome during Katrina shows what truely happened in Louisana.
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  6. Stadiums need to unite a city– and that means an intown location. I was just there this summer and drove by Petco, ran along the waterfront- on game day Sundays, this would turn into a gigantic tail gate party, starting early, going late… atleast that’s how it is in Charlotte- and we don’t have nearly as exciting a team.
    Team owners DO need to adjust to a new reality. The NFL is no longer so overwhelmingly popular (See all the blackouts this year:Cincinatti, Jacksonville and more) that cities will drop on their knees to get a franchise
    and cities don’t have the money even if they wanted too.

    Glad to hear the San Diego Chargers are still the San Diego Chargers.
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  7. My very first NFL game I went to was there in San Diego back in 1991; not sure if it was Qualcomm Stadium back then. I had a great time. If they can’t decide down there in San Diego then maybe….they can relocate to Las Vegas? 🙂

  8. Apartment Rentals Hayward

    I sure hope this happens. I think that the owners, city planners, and taxpayers can use the baseball stadium as an example and see how the rejuvenated the downtown area. I think a football stadium would only add to the gentrification of the downtown area and uplift the city. What are your thoughts on how a new stadium would affect real estate in the downtown area?

  9. I hope this stadium really happens. I’m sure the property values around the stadium will be going up which will really benefit the city: tax, more family vacations and of course, football. If some people disagree it’s normal since a lot of people have a different thought, just need more socialization.
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  10. It makes too much sense to actually happen 🙁 Given the expense associated with building parking, both in terms of dollars and land a stadium that would allow shared parking with Petco makes a ton of sense, let alone the hotel rooms and Gaslamp which would be a MASSIVE pull for the SuperBowl.

    Of course, in typical San Diego fashion, this will never actually happen.

  11. turkey real estate

    New stadium, new glory? I beleive the cost of new stadium will be paid by the taxpayers.

    It is not a good solution to create new jobs. Old stadium is enough for me.

  12. I love the idea of a new stadium and hope that it works out. Only time will tell what happens but man, the Chargers really blew it last game. The season is over quicker than everyone would have liked and if they would have gone a little farther in the p;layoffs it would have done so much to continue to build community support for a new stadium! Similar to what happened with Petco Park, remember the Padres were just coming off a trip to the World Series and voter approval was very high.


    Hi All, Linked above is our Amended Ballot Proposal for a New Chargers Stadium and Event Center. Please read and review. If you would like this Ballot measures to be part of the November 2, 2010 election, please email the City of San Diego with your comments.

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  14. Dave @ IT training Utah

    I think its great they are getting a new stadium. I’m going to be really mad if they pay for it with taxes though. That trend has to be stopped.

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