Just about the only thing that hasn’t happened during the Chargers decade-long search for a new stadium is a public vote on a plan to keep them in San Diego. Mayor Jerry Sanders is continuing to push for one next year, whether the team wants it or not.
“We can’t keep just saying we really want to keep you,” Sanders told the Union-Tribune Wednesday. “We really have to present something. They’ve got some big decisions coming up, and we need to say, ‘Hey, here’s another piece of the decision.’”
Sanders estimated the public could contribute about half the cost of an $800 million stadium — about $38 million a year in bond payments. The mayor said he hired a New York-based consultant to develop a financing plan that would include San Diego County and potentially other governments in the region, but not new taxes. Sanders wants to keep plans for a Convention Center expansion and stadium separate, and put a stadium measure on the November 2012 ballot.
The Chargers, however, have different ideas. They are continuing to target the pots of money tied to the planned Convention Center expansion through a joint stadium-Convention Center project. From the U-T:
Mark Fabiani, the team’s special counsel, reacted coolly to San Diego’s retention of a stadium adviser and said it won’t stop him from advocating for a new stadium with convention space instead of separate Chargers and convention center projects.
“Hiring someone doesn’t create revenue,” Fabiani said. “There’s only a certain number of options available, and those don’t get expanded because you bring somebody else in to write you a report.”
Fabiani held a Q&A of his own on the Chargers website Wednesday and continued to throw bombs at the Convention Center expansion:
… there are a lot of very smart people around town who believe that the current convention center expansion proposal is never going to happen either – because the taxing mechanism being used is potentially illegal, or because the Coastal Commission will never approve a box-like structure impeding public access to the waterfront, or for any number of other reasons.
Fabiani also said that he’s targeting November 2012 for his joint stadium-Convention Center project, but that it won’t happen without support from more than the team.
Liam Dillon is a news reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?
Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.550.5663.
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