Welcome to San Diego Blog | May 18, 2011

Convention Center Expansion & New Chargers Stadium

Downtown San Diego…

…what do they have in common?  There is a new proposal working it’s way to the November 2011 ballot to vote on phase III expansion of the San Diego Convention Center that includes a New Charger’s Stadium.  The La Playa Heritage Group has proposed a mixed project that meets the needs of the general public and can be financially viable and sustainable.

What are the real issues the city of San Diego faces?

  1. The San Diego Convention Center needs more space or we are going to lose major revenue creating conventions like Comicon.  Cost for phase III expansion approximately $800M.
  2. The San Diego Chargers will leave if they don’t get a new stadium.  Former NFL commissioner, Paul Tagliabue stated that San Diego would not be in consideration to host a future Super Bowl until they build a new Stadium.  Cost of new East Village Proposed Stadium is approximately $800m
  3. Qualcomm Stadium’s annual operations subsidy is $11.8M in transient occupancy tax.  Also a $52M balance still remains on the 1998 stadium renovation bonds.
  4. Current storm-water runoff costs tax payers $31.2M per year from the general fund.

San Diego Convention Center & New Charger Stadium

How do we solve all of these problems in an inclusive project that meets the needs of the general public and doesn’t put the city of San Diego and its tax payers further into debt?

The proposal is a multi-purpose NFL Stadium and Convention Center (CC) Phase III expansion at the same location; the project would be a two in one project so we wouldn’t be looking to come up with $800M for the CC and $800M for the stadium. 

 With this new concept, we would gain:

  • Triple the amount of contiguous Exhibit Hall Space
  • Double the size of the actual planned Convention Center Phase III Expansion
  • Keep the San Diego Charger’s in town, bring Super Bowls, World Cup events, major concert events and more conventions to San Diego.
  • Create a Cistern Structural Foundation on unreclaimed tide lands that would be used for storm water management and Desalinization Plants. 
  • The NFL, Chargers and Convention Center would acquire financing together

What do you lose with this new 2-1 concept?

  • We would lose a tax payer subsidized 250-500 room luxury hotel with retail space and ballrooms.
  • We would lose some of the current visible bay East of Marina Embarcadero Park South.

Where would we put the new Multi-Purpose Stadium/Convention Center?

This is the million dollar question I asked when I first heard of the project.   The original downtown Charger’s stadium was to be in a really tight space in East Village where the Current MTS station and Wonderbread building are located.  The space was cramped for a stadium, let alone convention center space too.  The proposed space is located to the Southwest of the Hilton Bayfront hotel shown below.

Chad’s Take:

This is the best idea I’ve seen to date.  For me, the idea of a new stadium must be one that appeals to all San Diegans and especially ones that don’t give a hoot about the Chargers.   The idea of a stand alone Charger’s Stadium just doesn’t appeal to too many people…cost vs value isn’t there for most people.  A multi-use stadium would be a win win for everybody.  Keep in mind there are more details that I will address over the coming weeks, but I am looking for some preliminary feedback.

Please share your thoughts and ideas.  Would you support a project like this?  Why, why not?


Written by: chad

Categories: Downtown San Diego, East Village, San Diego Attractions

  1. WHOA… That would be nuts… My question is what the cost would be to reclaim that land? Is that factored into the 800m figure?

  2. I would love for this to happen, but where are the Chargers and Convention Center suppose to find that much money? San Diego would improve it’s potential economic gains in years’ to come!

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