On May 17, Steve Cushman, the one-time port commissioner and current liaison for the mayor on the proposed Convention Center expansion, is supposed to give the City Council an update on how the deal he’s trying to put together is going.

In short, he’s supposed to make it rain (which is why search for a new stadium, is trying to create the impression that there is momentum behind the idea to put a roof on a new stadium downtown and use that to host conventions.

“I think it’s an idea that’s starting to make a lot of sense to people,” Fabiani told XX Sports 1090.

I think this is clearly coming up as a rival to the Convention Center, not as a supplement to its plans. That was evidenced by the sharp rebuke Fabiani provoked from Steven Johnson, the VP of the Convention Center Corp. who wrote this on Twitter:

“I would like Mark Fabiani to stop trying to tie the Chargers stadium to a convention center complex. Not happening and doesn’t work,” he wrote.

Convention Center boosters may not like being pitted against schools, but they might hate being pitted against the Chargers even more.

Cushman, for his part, told me that hosting conventions in a new stadium downtown doesn’t do anything to solve the problem he and other supporters of expansion are trying to accomplish.

The Convention Center task force, commissioned by the mayor, reviewed plans to put some of the new convention space next to Petco Park, not far from where the new football stadium is envisioned. It’s separated from Convention Center by Harbor Drive (though now connected by that enormous pedestrian bridge). The task force, based on Convention Center CEO Carol Wallace’s testimony, deemed it unrealistic to think that meetings could utilize that as a continuous space. It would be a totally separate facility.

“It doesn’t help us get 25 conventions to San Diego who need more space. What this is all about is allowing us to compete for conventions that today we cannot attract due to our size,” he said.

But the Chargers keep pushing and with Los Angeles pushing a similar concept for its new stadium, it puts yet another obstacle in the way of the big Convention Center vision.

So, aside from all that, the project is right on track.

You can contact me directly at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!): twitter.com/vosdscott.

    This article relates to: Government, News, Opinion, Scott Lewis on Politics
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    Written by Scott Lewis

    I'm Scott Lewis, the editor in chief of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

    12 comments
    anthony vasquez
    anthony vasquez subscriber

    The fact is tourist economies, don't help create sustainable economic benefits. If your 20-40 and good health, yeah, you can get some well paying jobs, but those jobs don't offer pensions, health care, and can be gone when the restaurant or venue don't think you're cute any more. These projects mainly support the elite and already wealthy.

    anthony4on6
    anthony4on6

    The fact is tourist economies, don't help create sustainable economic benefits. If your 20-40 and good health, yeah, you can get some well paying jobs, but those jobs don't offer pensions, health care, and can be gone when the restaurant or venue don't think you're cute any more. These projects mainly support the elite and already wealthy.

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    Some people on this board seem to think that building a new football stadium in conjunction with an expanded convention center is a great idea. Instead of a football stadium, how about something a little more manageable; say, a new arena. Granted, an NBA or NHL team would have to commit to come to San Diego (not likely on either count), but San Diego needs a new arena at least as much as a new football stadium. The arena could be tied in directly to the expanded convention center, and probably get much more use now than the current arena. An 18k to 19k seat arena could possibly get concerts, for example, that currently bypass San Diego, along with whatever else goes on inside the current sports arena, and could be used for large conventions as well. This is just an idea...

    aardvark6
    aardvark6

    Some people on this board seem to think that building a new football stadium in conjunction with an expanded convention center is a great idea. Instead of a football stadium, how about something a little more manageable; say, a new arena. Granted, an NBA or NHL team would have to commit to come to San Diego (not likely on either count), but San Diego needs a new arena at least as much as a new football stadium. The arena could be tied in directly to the expanded convention center, and probably get much more use now than the current arena. An 18k to 19k seat arena could possibly get concerts, for example, that currently bypass San Diego, along with whatever else goes on inside the current sports arena, and could be used for large conventions as well. This is just an idea...

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    The absurdity of spending a billion dollars of public money on a Charger stadium even in good times is difficult to fathom. But now in times of when the municipalities and state governments are facing bankruptcy for squandering all this public money on basically the same exercise is simply astounding and can on be reminiscent of the Romans and their vomitoriums. Are we so stupid that we are incapable of learning from even the most rudimentary examples of history ... current or ancient?

    sdmedia
    sdmedia

    The absurdity of spending a billion dollars of public money on a Charger stadium even in good times is difficult to fathom. But now in times of when the municipalities and state governments are facing bankruptcy for squandering all this public money on basically the same exercise is simply astounding and can on be reminiscent of the Romans and their vomitoriums. Are we so stupid that we are incapable of learning from even the most rudimentary examples of history ... current or ancient?

    Fred Harris
    Fred Harris subscriber

    Maybe we could fix the potholes before spending $29 million on the embarcadero disneyland project. There's a lot of crummy roads in the Port District's zone (been on South Harbor Drive through Barrio Logan lately?) and downtown (there's a big spot at State and Market that's about to cave in) that the Port and CCDC could spend their money on. It seems tourists notice our crumbling streets, too.

    fred9812
    fred9812

    Maybe we could fix the potholes before spending $29 million on the embarcadero disneyland project. There's a lot of crummy roads in the Port District's zone (been on South Harbor Drive through Barrio Logan lately?) and downtown (there's a big spot at State and Market that's about to cave in) that the Port and CCDC could spend their money on. It seems tourists notice our crumbling streets, too.

    stratus
    stratus

    Some of the most attractive weeks for high end professional conventions is mid September to mid November. These conventions book meeting and exhibit space and reserve hotel rooms an average of five years out. The NFL releases the team schedules several months out. A NFL game with 70,000 fans is not compatible with the staging of a convention. How could a convention center user get a clause in their contract blacking out any football games? So the benefit of an enclosed stadium may help (and I really doubt it) in the spring; but to the detriment of the loss of fall bookings. The best thing for San Diego is expanding the convention center with contiguous exhibit space.

    Steve Weathers
    Steve Weathers subscriber

    Some of the most attractive weeks for high end professional conventions is mid September to mid November. These conventions book meeting and exhibit space and reserve hotel rooms an average of five years out. The NFL releases the team schedules several months out. A NFL game with 70,000 fans is not compatible with the staging of a convention. How could a convention center user get a clause in their contract blacking out any football games? So the benefit of an enclosed stadium may help (and I really doubt it) in the spring; but to the detriment of the loss of fall bookings. The best thing for San Diego is expanding the convention center with contiguous exhibit space.

    Scott Newton
    Scott Newton subscriber

    city shows it can take care of whats already here---not a DiME to anything new, city raises or bonuses, or pension increases! Right now, my attitude is FU!@kem! Now please give me reason why you think how I am wrong, with your suggestions to correct and how to pay for them...please.

    Masteroftheobvious
    Masteroftheobvious

    city shows it can take care of whats already here---not a DiME to anything new, city raises or bonuses, or pension increases! Right now, my attitude is FU!@kem! Now please give me reason why you think how I am wrong, with your suggestions to correct and how to pay for them...please.


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