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It’s becoming clear how the city of San Diego is going to approach paying for a new San Diego Chargers stadium: Deal with collecting more redevelopment dollars first and the Chargers second.
Fred Maas, board chairman of the city’s downtown redevelopment agency, said he’s asked the city’s outside stadium consultant to postpone his report until City Council discusses how much money the agency can collect.
The city needs state and other local governments to approve lifting the cap on the amount of money the downtown agency can raise over its lifetime. That could be politically difficult because San Diego County and other governments would have to agree to accept less tax money in the short term than they would receive otherwise.
Without lifting the cap, building a new stadium with downtown redevelopment funds becomes unlikely, if not impossible. The Centre City Development Corp. expects to have $386 million left to spend under the cap but that is committed already to other projects.
But before other governments would sign off on raising the cap, City Council has to weigh in first. It’s scheduled to discuss the issue later this month. Maas hoped a report from the city’s New York-based stadium consultant, Mitchell Ziets, would come in May if the council’s discussion goes favorably.
“Right now, we’re holding off until we see what the council’s direction is on the cap,” Maas said of Zeits’ report.
Of course, city officials have said they’d like to increase the money CCDC can collect regardless of a stadium. Also, raising the cap doesn’t bind the city to building a stadium.
— LIAM DILLON