At some event Roger Goodell was at yesterday, the topic of the Chargers' stadium came up. He mentioned that the Chargers need a new stadium or a renovation of the existing one.
“The team has been successful there (in the San Diego market),” he said, according to a transcript e-mailed to media outlets. “They have their challenges as (do) other markets. It's clear the stadium needs to be either completely renovated or a new stadium built in (San Diego).”
The Chargers and Mark Fabiani (the Chargers point man on a new stadium) have said for a long time that renovating the Q was not a viable option. They have said for about a year or so that the current site is not viable.
Asked about Goodell's reference to renovation, Fabiani said, “It's just not feasible, either technically or financially, and that's something that has been proven over and over again by anyone who has looked at it over the years.”
Fabiani said consultants for the team and the city independently concluded in 2002 and 2003 that renovating Qualcomm Stadium would cost as much as building a new stadium.
He added that even when the team considered building a new stadium on the site – an idea that has since been abandoned – the plan was to build it in a corner of the 166-acre Mission Valley site to allow related development.
“If you leave the stadium right where it is, there's no way to do much development around it, even if it was a good idea,” Fabiani said.
The above quotes were from a Union-Trib article from yesterday. As usual, the comments are heating up. People from every part of the spectrum on the issue and saying their piece.
One of the comments was especially interesting:
markfabiani 8 minutes ago (~ 6:15 AM)
Hi. Mark Fabiani with the Chargers. There have been a couple of questions about the renovations of Solider Field in Chicago and Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Unfortunately, there are big differences between those stadiums and Qualcomm, including:
1. Soldier Field and Lambeau Field were built just for football. As a result, the renovations of those facilities did not involve massive restructuring of the stands in order to improve the sight lines for football. Qualcomm, on the other hand, was built primarily for baseball. The two studies done in San Diego of renovation both concluded that substantial demolition of the stands would be required in order to bring the stadium's sight lines up to modern NFL standards -- hence the conclusion of the studies that it would cost as much to renovate as to build new.
2. In fact, the Soldier Field renovation did cost as much as building a new stadium (almost $400 million back in the early years of this decade). See: http://football.ballparks.com/NFL/ChicagoBears/....
3 Both the Soldier Field and Lambeau Field renovations were substantially paid for with public money. There is no such public money available in the San Diego area, of course, and leaving Qualcomm Stadium in the middle of the current site would pretty much preclude the kind of ancillary development that would be necessary to help privately finance a renovation in San Diego.
Thanks again for the opportunity to comment.
Nice to see Fabiani up bright and early working on the issue.