San Diego Chargers stadium proposals

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There have been several proposals to build a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL), replacing Qualcomm Stadium as the franchise's home venue.

During the 2003 NFL season and even beforehand, there has been much talk of the Chargers replacing the increasingly obsolete (by NFL standards) Qualcomm Stadium with a more modern, Super Bowl caliber football stadium, mainly due to obsolete features of the stadium as well as severe maintenance issues with the facility.[1]

The team and city have both attempted to bring business partners in on a proposed $800 million project,[2] which was supposed to be located in the parking lot of the current stadium and include upgrades to the area and infrastructure, but all efforts have failed.

After failed attempts by the Chargers and the city of San Diego to come to an agreement on the new stadium, mainly due to the city’s inability to fund a stadium,[3] the Chargers organization has considered other places in San Diego County, notably Chula Vista, Oceanside, and Escondido, and most recently Downtown San Diego.[4][5]

The San Diego Stadium Coalition[edit]

The San Diego Stadium Coalition is a grassroots community organization formed in January 2009 with the singular objective of facilitating the development of a new stadium in San Diego County. Citing the economic benefits of constructing a new stadium and a desire to keep the San Diego Chargers in the region, they continue to work with taxpayers groups, developers, politicians and the Chargers to move the stadium effort forward. By leveraging social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter along with traditional media outlets and interactive public forums, they have amassed a sizeable following in a brief amount of time. Their website http://www.sdstadium.org serves as the hub for their effort.

Planning and Financing[edit]

The cost of stadium construction would be financed by the Chargers, who would pay for construction with the profits of an adjoining development. The team would require a large tract of land either for free or at nominal cost to make the project economically feasible. Based on the site that is selected, the adjoining development would be a combination of commercial, residential and retail uses.[6]

Based on the site chosen, the Chargers will largely rely on mass transit to take fans to and from the stadium on game days since it is unlikely that any of the proposed sites would provide enough land for a stadium, real estate development and surface-level parking lots. The golf course site in Oceanside, for example, is approximately 71 acres (see below), less than half the size of the Qualcomm site (166 acres (0.7 km2)) that was initially proposed by the Chargers. Plus the necessary widening of I-5 will not begin until at least 2020 according to Caltrans.

Proposed stadium sites[edit]

Oceanside[edit]

The Oceanside City Council recently agreed to have talks with the Chargers about building a stadium in Oceanside. The Center City Golf Course, also known as "Goat Hill", is currently under consideration as a possible stadium location. The golf course site is northeast of the Interstate 5/Oceanside Boulevard interchange. The city owns an adjoining 4 acres (16,000 m2) to the north of the golf course, which would provide a development footprint of more than 75 acres (300,000 m2). The site also offers easy access to two major freeways as well as two passenger rail lines.

Oceanside also has an advantage considering that 8,800 of the team's season ticket holders already come from North County, 8,500 are from Orange and Riverside counties, and 4,500 come from outside the state.[7] A stadium built at this site can attract more fans from Orange County, Riverside County, and Los Angeles.

There are problems with the site if a stadium is to be built there. The golf course is zoned parkland, and voters would have to approve a zoning change for a stadium to be built. Also some believe that the stadium, if built, can cause traffic and environmental issues to the area, especially during game days. However the Chargers are currently working with traffic, environmental and land-use consultants to determine whether the golf course site is viable. The Chargers have already acknowledged that the golf course site may not be large enough to sustain a development profitable enough to offset the cost of stadium construction. In that case, they would seek to obtain additional real estate in Oceanside or elsewhere in San Diego County to further develop.[8]

Chula Vista[edit]

Chula Vista officials are discussing multiple sites where the Chargers can build a stadium. Two privately owned sites on the city's east side and two near the waterfront.

  • One Chula Vista site is located near State Route 125, southwest of the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. The site has the land that a stadium would require, as well as transportation options for reaching such a venue. However there are concerns about the site’s distance from main transit lines.
  • One site rests on Chula Vista’s bayfront which was used to be occupied by the South Bay Power Plant.
  • Another site rests in a vacant B.F. Goodrich site adjacent to the property that's already been designated for the Chula Vista Bayfront, a $750 million convention center and hotel complex. The project is set to break ground next year.
  • Another Chula Vista option falls on private property, owned by residential homebuilder, HomeFed Corp, which owns 3,000 acres (12 km²) in the Otay Ranch area, has conducted talks with the Chargers.[4]
  • A new site became questionably available after expected developments on Chula Vista's bayside were disbanded by Gaylord Entertainment.

Possible Name Change The mayor of Chula Vista has suggested that a stadium deal could involve the team being re-branded as the "Chula Vista Chargers". The team's spokesman did not completely reject the notion, but indicated that such a condition would only be considered if the stadium was entirely publicly financed.[9]

National City[edit]

The proposed National City site is west of Interstate 5 and south of Bay Marina Drive, located east of the 24th Street Marine Terminal. The Port of San Diego has studied the dimensions of the site and come to the conclusion that a stadium could be built on the 52-acre (210,000 m2) site without disturbing the Port's mission to promote maritime jobs and commerce. Any potential development proposal would require the Port's approval.

Planning discussions are being discussed among the Port, National City and waterfront businesses to reconfigure the layout of the site to make it more efficient with or without a stadium. National City officials believe the benefit of a new stadium would spur new developments around it, generating tax dollars while also boosting the city's profile.[4]

On May 12, 2007, National City dropped its new stadium proposal, citing problems with land ownership.[10]

Downtown San Diego[edit]

The Chargers have had numerous talks with the City of San Diego regarding a site south of Petco Park in the East Village Area of Downtown San Diego. Although this site has been seen as the most viable option, few if any steps have taken place. Coupled with the NFL Labor situation, lack of funds through the NFL G3 Program and California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposals for the review of redevelopment funds in the state the Downtown Proposal is in limbo. Former mayor Jerry Sanders explored numerous options to build the stadium in the East Village. Making the project a part of the convention center's expansion has been one option.

Phase 4 Convention Center Expansion & Stadium[edit]

Phase 4 would add a new contiguous Stadium expansion for the Convention Center after or while Phase 3 is being built. The facility would be used during major events and would practically pay for itself due to increased use of the Convention Center. The new Stadium would also allow for San Diego to host the Superbowl again and it would put San Diego in the running for the 2028 or 2032 Summer Olympics.[11]

Relocation possibilities[edit]

Main article: Carson Stadium

If the Chargers do not succeed in building a stadium in Greater San Diego, the team could be headed back to Los Angeles.[citation needed] The Chargers played their inaugural season in the AFL as the Los Angeles Chargers before moving to San Diego in 1961. Edward P. Roski, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, has announced plans for a new stadium, tentatively titled Los Angeles Stadium, on the northern side of the interchange of State Routes 57 and 60 (almost 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown LA) with the purpose of attracting a team to the Los Angeles region. Roski, who built the Staples Center, stated that the new 75,000 seat stadium would be privately financed and would be the centerpiece of a new entertainment complex in City of Industry.[12][13] There is also a plan by AEG to move the Chargers to the proposed Farmers Field in downtown Los Angeles next to the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. This plan is endorsed by such celebrities as Magic Johnson.

Another location the Chargers have been looking at is the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas which was built in 1993 for the San Antonio Spurs which have since moved to AT&T Center.[14] However, this is mostly speculation. Dean Spanos, the owner of the Chargers, has expressed intent to keep the team in San Diego numerous times.

On February 19, 2015, the Chargers and Raiders announced plans for a privately-financed $1.7 billion stadium that the two teams would build in Carson, California if they were to move to the Los Angeles market.[15] Both teams stated that they would continue to attempt to get stadiums built in their respective cities.[16]

On April 22, 2015, the Carson City Council bypassed the option to put the stadium to public vote and approved the plan 3-0.[17] The council voted without having clarified several issues, including who would finance the stadium, how the required three-way land swap would be performed, and how it would raise enough revenue if only one team moved in as tenant.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Task Force Final Report
  2. ^ "Future Stadium". chargers.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "San Diego mayor says city can't afford new Chargers stadium," 21 April 2006.
  4. ^ a b c Task Force Final Report
  5. ^ Garrick, David (September 10, 2009). "ESCONDIDO: Large parcels near Sprinter could simplify Chargers' stadium proposal". North County Times. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Project overview" (PDF). chargers.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2007. 
  7. ^ The Fans, Taxpayers and Business Alliance :: News Articles
  8. ^ Chargers aim to choose stadium site by year's end - North County Times - Coastal[dead link]
  9. ^ Could stadium deal change Chargers' name?, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2008-01-018, retrieved 2008-05-06  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ National City Abandons Stadium Plan
  11. ^ Mosher, Spencer (30 June 2014). "Phase 4 Convention Center Expansion & Stadium". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  12. ^ Orange County Business Journal Online
  13. ^ CA will benefit overall as Roski and NFL move toward LA Stadium deal, Fox & Hounds daily
  14. ^ San Antonio an option if the Chargers Bolt from San Diego October 16, 2013 San Antonio Business Journal
  15. ^ Williams, Eric D. (February 20, 2015). "Chargers, Raiders reveal L.A. plan". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  16. ^ Rapoport, Ian (February 20, 2015). "Chargers, Raiders team up for stadium proposal in Los Angeles". NFL.com. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  17. ^ Jablon, Robert (April 22, 2015). "City Council approves plan for NFL stadium near Los Angeles". Associated Press. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 
  18. ^ Logan, Tim; Nathan Fenno (April 21, 2015). "Carson City Council may be set to approve NFL stadium, sight unseen". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 

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