Stadium Watch: Opposition to downtown stadium
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Chargers are expected to release their ideas for a stadium in the East Village later this week as they move ahead to get a plan before the voters in November.
Whatever those ideas are, they will not be welcomed by East Village residents because a stadium would take up a third of East Village property.
A group of architects held a workshop last month attended by 130 residents and the consensus was a stadium would create walls rather than connecting neighborhoods which is consistent with the downtown community plan.
Architect Rob Quigley said the downtown master plan is based on the concentration of academic institutions and pedestrial friendly and a stadium is inherently incompatible with a thriving pedestrial oriented district.
"The problem is that we lose an enormous piece land that’s gonna create taxes, create income from taxes, and its going to allow people to live downtown instead of in the suburbs," Quigley said.
He said football stadiums are all inward oriented and they’re gigantic, walling off neighborhood connections.
"We’re hoping to get the two communities together to strengthen the kind of connection that takes place, and that’s one of the problems with a stadium its so gigantic it actually would block the connection," Quigley said.
Walling off Barrio Logan and Sherman Heights from downtown.
This is Petco Park, this is the area where the new stadium would be, It’s bounded by 12th Avenue and 16th and Imperial Avenue and K Street. That’s this area right here.
"It’s not a good idea to begin with but secondly and more important is the community is very excited about of an innovation district to get high paying jobs downtown," Quigley said.
Quigley said San Diego is the largest city in the country without a university presence downtown.
"east Village has the last significant piece of land that’s unused, the bus yards, and that’s our last chance to make this idea of an innovation district really work," he said.
The work on creating an innovation district began a year ago when the Chargers were either going to LA or back to Mission Valley.
"Now suddenly its a huge issue and we’re not quite sure how we’re going to do that except I have faith ultimately in common sense," Quigley said.
And what if the Chargers put an initiative on the ballot and it passes?
"Our children will look back and say who the hell let that happen," Quigley added.
The East Village has seen a lot of investment in recent years. In fact, it’s progressing three times faster than what happened in Little Italy.