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When reporting on the political rumpus being stirred up by the expiration of Stephen Cushman’s second term on the Port Commission, I got in touch with San Diego Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani.

The football club has been pursuing one of its two leads for building a new stadium in National City on a parcel that is part of the port’s tidelands. As with many port issues, Cushman serves as the agency’s liaison when dealing with the Chargers and National City about the stadium proposal.

Fabiani acknowledged that Cushman has been “vital” to the National City proposal and said that the commissioner’s removal would “certainly cause us to reevaluate whether it’s possible to accomplish anything therein a reasonable period of time”

“If we have to start from scratch with somebody new, it has to make sense to do that,” Fabiani said.

Then he unveiled rough estimates for some of the costs of building on the National City site.

Fabiani estimated that $400 million to $475 million would be needed to build parking garages, divert the trolley line, build new freeway onramps and exits, and relocate a major warehouse that presently sits in the middle of the 53-acre parcel.

That’s before considering the cost of building the actual stadium, which is likely to be somewhere near the $450 million price tag the team set for the Qualcomm proposal the Chargers dumped in January. So, a National City stadium can be forecasted to cost upwards of $800 million.

Like the Qualcomm plan that fizzled, the team said it expects to rely on private development to offset the costs of building a new stadium. The team can begin speaking to cities outside the county on New Year’s Day.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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