Stadium week in review

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – This week we learned the Chargers are preparing their own ballot initiative for a $1.8 billion stadium/Convention Center complex in the East Village of downtown. 

It will be made public next week.

With the Chamber of Commerce tentatively supporting it and residents of the East Village opposing it, the battle over a Chargers stadium has begun.

The two sides will wage war over the stadium site, either downtown, which the hoteliers and the Convention Center oppose, or the mayor’s stadium plan for Mission Valley, which the Chargers oppose.

The cost of the stadium/Convention Center complex, paid for by a room tax on visitors, was laid out for us by Fred Maas who is developing the Chargers initiative.

"We’re making the assumption that the combined facility is about $1.6 billion dollars, and we’ve assumed $200 million for land assemblage," Maas said.

The current hotel room tax is 10.5 percent, the initiative would raise that tax to 16.5 percent.

Two percent would go to fund tourism-related activities and 4 percent would fund the stadium/Convention Center.

Total tax money is $1.15 billion.

The Chamber of Commerce along with Mayor Kevin Faulconer remain committed to contiguous space that is expanding the existing building, but Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders told KUSI a downtown project is a viable alternative.

"When we actually have some hard and fast details, and we start seeing renderings, and start seeing some of that, I think some excitement will build. I think people see this as an opportunity, that pathway toward success," Sanders said.

According to East Village residents, success would be creating a project that connects the East Village, Barrio Logan and Sherman Heights together.

"One of the problems with a stadium is it’s so gigantic it actually would block the connection," said Architect Rob Quigley. 

Quigley, an East Village resident, said a consensus is forming among residents for creating an innovation district to attract high paying jobs and a stadium would not do that.

"The problem is that we lose an enormous piece of 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.

"The consequences of the wrong thing happening are devastating," he added.

Taxpayers have been burned from previous negotiations dealing with the stadium. Erik Bruvold of National University said beware, the Chargers will look for the best deal possible in their initiative.

"It’s incumbent upon taxpayers and the media to really put that through a fine tooth comb and make sure the taxpayers aren’t gonna get hurt on the back end," Bruvold said.

More information will come when the Chargers release their plan next week.

Categories: KUSI