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More Stadium Interview Summaries

this is an conceptual view of the proposed project
this is an conceptual view of the proposed project

Most of us in San Diego who follow the Chargers heard about the stadium proposal that came out last week and was immediately shot down by the Chargers and the City.  It had been talked about for a while and was the subject of multiple articles in the UT.  The Chargers and city rejected it primarily because of density concerns and the traffic and infrastructure issues that come with that.

After the flurry of news articles, a lot of the people involved did radio interviews on the various sports radio channels here in SD.  What follows is a summary of those interviews.

If this clears anything up for you, then you are a better man than me.

Update: Seems like the developer has mothballed the plans for now.

XTRA Sports 1360, Josh and Brian interview Jim Steeg Chargers' COO, June 1 (14 minutes)

  • A bunch of interesting 50th Anniversary year stuff up through the 9 minute mark when the Stadium talk starts.
  • Q: Do the players complain about the stadium? JS: not so much, the home locker room is not bad, the visitor locker room is really bad.
  • Issue is mainly the cash flow.  With the Dallas and NY stadiums coming on line, the salary cap is going up $10M and the Bolts revenue won't be going up at all.

XX Sports 1090, Scott and BR interview Mark Fabiani, June 2 (15 minutes)

  • Mark Fabiani is the Chargers' lead guy on the stadium issue
  • Talking about the proposed new stadium in Mission Valley that was shot down last week.
  • Rejected because the density of the project is too great.  It was similar to the proposal the Chargers put out in 2003, but this had an addition 4M square feet of office space, equivalent to almost 2 Empire State buildings.
  • It is not going to happen politically and the current infrastructure could not support it.  It is pie in the sky and the Chargers want to focus on projects that could not actually happen.
  • The buildings would be too tall and out of scale to the rest of mission valley
  • The Mayor doesn't support it and Councilwoman Frye doesn't support it.  It's hard to see how something like this could move forward or get built.
  • Q: Is one of the reasons this is being rejected by the Chargers because someone other than the Chargers would be doing the developing, and you would lose out on that cash? MF: If someone else came up with a good idea in Mission Valley the Chargers would be down with it.  We want a new Stadium and can take or leave being part of the ancillary development effort.
  • We abandoned the Qualcomm site (for a new stadium) in 2006 because of escalating costs and a reasonable extra development would not put a big enough chunk in the cost of the Stadium.  The cost of the stadium is now $1 Billion.
  • The solution is on  multiple sites.  Build a stadium on a new site while playing on the old site, and doing development elsewhere
  • Q: status of the stadium in the City of Industry (LA)? MF: from I read and hear, they are in court working through the environmental impact report.  That will take them through the end of the year at which time they will start looking for a new NFL team.

XX Sports 1090, Scott and BR interview Perry Dealy, June 2 (13 minutes)

  • Perry Dealy is the guy who is responsible for the stadium proposal that was rejected last week.
  • One of the motivations is to keep the Chargers in town.  Plus the property is a phenomenal redevelopment opportunity which could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the city's coffers over the years.
  • The Chargers don't like it because it is big and they don't want to associate with something this big until it is more viable.
  • Dealyhas a lot of smart people working withhim and they are at the beginning of the process.  Meeting with the community groups and other advocates.  Would require a redevelopment area designation.
  • Q: Pie in the Sky? PD: any big vision requires some reaching.  The redevelopment designation is doable because of the ground water contamination.  The project is doable.
  • Q: Problems with the city politicians? PD: we have presented to the mayor.  They weren't real receptive.  We are early in the process.
  • We have lots of guys who are community leaders and many of which were involved with the new Padres stadium.  Lot's of guys who are involved in big real estate deals across the western United States.
  • 3.76 million square feet of office space.  Is it lease-able?  It's a 20 year build out.  Dealyhas clients who are currently out there looking for 1M square feet of office space right now, so the numbers aren't crazy.  5900 residential units?  Real Estate will recover, especially with the central location and the trolley near by.
  • Working through some of the issues.  Community issues, economic details, and the redevelopment designation.
  • Q: Why not work more with the Chargers.  JD: we did.  They encouraged us to move forward on our own.  When the plan was done, the Chargers weren't willing to get behind it.  Once we get some of the issues and details worked out we will go back to the Chargers.  Should know one way or the other by the end of the year.

Dealy indicates that he thinks the Chargers and the City would be open to getting behind the project once they get some of the details and issues worked out.

XX Sports 1090, Scott and BR interview Ron Roberts, June 3 (13 minutes)

  • Who is Ron Roberts you ask??? I didn't know either until I heard the interview.  He is one of the San Diego county supervisors.  He has also ran for mayor in the past.
  • Downtown would be a great place for the stadium.  10th avenue terminal would be great property, but there seem to be other forces at work.
  • No matter where you put the stadium or what proposals are out there, they deserve to be considered.  Any redevelopment of the Qualcomm site would change those 166 acres from a revenue drain to a revenue flow, stadium or not.  Lots of problems to solve, but this should have been on the city's front burner a decade ago.
  • The Qualcomm location has tremendous potential for revenue for the city.
  • Should have been a part of the Grantville Redevelopment project (note: I don't know any specifics about that) which would have kept the taxes local and out of Sacramento's hands.  No matter where you end up building the stadium (Qualcomm or not), redeveloping the qualcomm site as a redevelopment area would provide some tax flow for the city which could potentially be used for any infrastructure improvements related to a new stadium.

Ron knows the Qualcomm site needs to be redeveloped and should be set up as a redevelopment zone (which keeps the taxes local and gives you some additional eminent domain clout).