New Chargers Stadium: How G3, Redevelopment Ruling Affect Downtown Project

Michael ClineCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2012

San Diego deserves a unique Stadium in the heart of Downtown.
San Diego deserves a unique Stadium in the heart of Downtown.

A recent ruling from the California Supreme Court sided with Governor Jerry Brown and has ended redevelopment in the state of California. With redevelopment in California a thing of the past, questions have been raised about a new stadium being built in San Diego’s East Village.

Downtown San Diego is the perfect site for the new home for the Chargers. This proposal also has support from Mayor Jerry Sanders, who is constantly working to keep hopes alive for a Downtown Football Stadium. Only one problem lies in front of a new stadium: funding.

San Diego Charger fans had something to cheer about a few weeks ago, when the NFL made its G3 Program available again. The fund had run dry years ago after helping build MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The reestablishing of the fund can now help build not only a Charger Stadium, but also a new 49ers Stadium in Santa Clara.

However, after the good news about the G3 Fund, San Diego fans were met with terrible news from Sacramento. The Supreme Court ruling made redevelopment a thing of the past. Because of this ruling, a new stadium in San Diego becomes tougher to achieve.

Escondido, which was planning to start construction on a minor league baseball field, now cannot move forward with its plan. These proposals were drawn up with the idea that redevelopment funds would be available to use. Now that they aren't, a creative funding solution is needed quickly.

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The new Charger Stadium was supposed to be funded somewhat by the Centre City Development Corporation, the redevelopment group in San Diego. Now, a totally new funding source must be found in order to keep football in San Diego. A tax increase to help fund the project must and should be a final resort.

That being said, many San Diegans do not even realize that their own taxes are thrown away year after year to upkeep Qualcomm Stadium, a site that could actually become useful for the city if sold to developers. On average, $20 million are wasted on the Q annually. In addition, about 80 million will be spent on further renovation and upkeep in the next half decade.

Why waste all this money if the Q cannot host another Super Bowl and is dormant from January to August? 

A new stadium is a great investment. The amount of non-football events at a new facility would be endless. If linked to the San Diego Convention Center, it could act as an expansion project to host more events that San Diego may not be eligible for today. Funding and public support seem to be the only obstacles.

We need overwhelming fan support to show the city and the franchise that we want the Bolts here forever. We should not let bad front office or personnel moves affect how we really feel about this team.

A financing plan should be released by March of this year. A vote may appear on the ballot in November for approval. We don't know how much of the money will come from the team itself, but I would expect around 30 percent.

No word either on whether any company has signed a naming rights deal, but that could also cover a portion of stadium expenses. Money the city makes on the selling of the Qualcomm site could as well be put toward the downtown project.

We have to wait and see on the financing plan, as we are about two months away from its release. But in order to stay updated on stadium rumors and news, go to www.sdstadium.org and like them on Facebook.

The stadium shown in these photos was designed by De Bartolo and Rimanic Design Studio. For more on their East Village concept, go to dbrds.com

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