It was only a matter of time before plans for a Convention Center expansion and new Chargers stadium intersected. Both projects are within blocks of each other downtown, both are looking at some of the same funding sources and both are on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ agenda for his term’s final 18 months.
Only one of the projects has taken demonstrable steps forward in the past two years. The $550 million Convention Center expansion is moving toward a financing plan, and has design contracts and consultants and a strong push behind it. In the meantime, the $800 million stadium project is languishing. The Chargers just saw their preferred revenue source, redevelopment dollars, dry up and now are eyeing their project as a part of the Convention Center deal.
“One idea that is getting some traction is the creation of a new Sports and Entertainment District that would tie closely into the existing Convention Center – and perhaps become part of the proposed Convention Center expansion,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said on the team’s website last weekend.