Stadium Watch: Should downtown be reconsidered?

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Stadium Task Force continues to develop a financing plan for Mission Valley which the Chargers believe is unworkable.

Earlier this week, the NFL’s Eric Grubman agreed saying the downtown site should be revisited.

Gary London of the London Group also agrees.

While he has an ambitious development plan for Mission Valley, which is much larger than the Task Force prefers, he said downtown should be considered.

Under pressure from the Chargers’ threat to move, the Task Force chose Mission Valley over downtown as the preferred stadium site saying it was faster, easier and cheaper.

But will it yield the revenue needed to fund a stadium?

Gary London’s high density proposal for Mission Valley fits that bill with or without a stadium.

“The point is that the higher density of development the more money that will be available to the city to offer up to the Chargers stadium project,” London said.

When the Task Force got its marching orders, did the city reach high enough?

“The Task Force won’t reach high enough that … they’ll sort of come up with a proposal where they’re going to balance the politics with the economics and propose something less dense, less intensive than the site is capable,” London added.

Downtown certainly has more complexities, including condemning property, but it’s the Chargers preferred site and the NFL said if the Chargers are not on board, any plan is doomed.

“If you start out with the key parties that have to support these things on different pages its certainly a recipe for delay, it’s probably a recipe for failure,” Grubman said. “While the downtown site will take longer to develop a stadium because its far more complicated. If that’s what it takes ultimately to keep the Chargers here then we ought to seriously consider a downtown site.”

London said it’s time the mayor and the city decide if and how they’re willing to get this deal.

“What the Chargers have accomplished is sort of a wake up call to the city that says it’s time now that to take this whole thing seriously and I think in that regard I agree with the chargers,” London said.

And when that happen, he said, forget about time frames.

“Every other time pressure issue whether it comes from the Chargers or comes from the NFL ought to be off the table. The deal should focus on the deal,” London added.

And more pressure coming.

The signature drive in Carson has been certified. The city council can either send it to the voters or adopt it themselves which is likely.

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