Welcome to San Diego Blog | August 27, 2011

New Chargers Stadium

Downtown San Diego…

…is wanting to be the home of a new Charger’s Stadium.  It’s been a hot topic in the Union Tribune lately and Mayor Jerry Sanders has come around to endorse the idea.   Recently, Mayor Sanders participated in a three-city tour of sporting venues and downtown entertainment zones designed to spark ideas and interest for building a new Charger’s Stadium in the East Village neighborhood adjacent toPetco Park.

One of the three cities that has had success with funding a new Downtown Stadium is Denver with it’s Ivesco Field which was just recently named Sports Authority Field.  Part of their success is due to their pro-activity in programming the sports complex for more than just the 10 NFL home games each season.  This year, Sports Authority field is programmed for 300 events ranging from small events like high school proms to large events like major concerts.

New Stadium San Diego

How did taxpayers pay for a new Downtown football Stadium?  Voters approved a sales tax that last about a decade which amounts to a penny per ten dollars spent.  Supporters of the proposed tax did spend $3.1 million to run their “vote yes” campaign, but that was private money. 

The second stop on the tour, which lines up really well with San Diego’s situation was Minneapolis.   The new stadium construction and operation were tied to a convention center expansion similar to what we may be looking to do here in San Diego.  Both the Chargers and the Colts were looking to build a new Stadium starting back in 2002.

Since 2008, the Colts have a 63,000-seat Lucas Oil Stadium and just opened their renovated convention center.  The Chargers – Nothing!  So how has this expansion panned out for the Colts?

  • Stadium Cost $720M plus $275 M for convention center expansion
  • Colts paid $100M less $48M for terminating their existing stadium lease
  • Rest of funds raised through taxes on food, beverage, hotel, tickets, restaurants & car rentals.
  • 6% of the project was paid on a 1% restaurant tax in 6 adjoining counties (unlikely here in San Diego)

Because of the development, the Indiana convention center has been able to book 69 conventions with an estimated income of $1.3 Billion in revenue and the city will host it’s first Superbowl this February.  Impressive!!

Everybody agrees it was a smart move, but Indiana did have some issues San Diego could learn from on how to negotiate the deal.

Another important stop in Mayor Sanders tour was Kansas City.  In Kansas, they didn’t build a Football stadium, rather in 2007, they created an entertainment district.  They had the hopes of drawing a major basketball or hockey team and so far it has not happened.  The entire area has been redeveloped and AEG is programming the 18,000 seat Spirit Center, but unfortunately it has not been a wonderful investment on tax payer’s behalf to date. 

One main take away from all of these cities is that their stadium sports complex zones have created an abundance of jobs and have activated new areas that were not thriving prior to the stadiums.  The delicate part of the mechanics is how to pay for these complexes and make it work between public and private interest.  If the private investors are making money, then the city needs to make money too.

The mayor said he’ll herd the troops this week to compile ideas from the trip into a plan to build an East Village football stadium that would invigorate San Diego from Petco Park to the convention center,  His overall goal is to get something in front of voters in November 2012.

Do you think building a convention center expansion & sports complex in East Village is a good move for San Diego?  Why or why not?


Written by: chad

Categories: Downtown San Diego, East Village

  1. Dave Mayenschein says:

    It can’t work because Los Angelas is and will be ready in FEB 2012 to pluck the Chargers from your grasp…Snooze till November and your done~

  2. I guess we’ll see…the Spanos family isn’t wanting to leave San Diego and the NFL doesn’t want to lose the San Diego market either, but I agree that it is going to be really difficult to get a new stadium here in San Diego…I guess only time will tell…

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