It seems so long ago that building a downtown convadium – a joint convention center-stadium – was described as an extremely difficult feat.
One of the biggest obstacles was how much land would have to be assembled that the city supposedly didn’t own or control.
One by one, though, the perceived barriers to building the convadium are coming down.
For instance, the Metropolitan Transit System recently sent a letter to Chargers owner Dean Spanos signaling its leaders are now ready to talk about selling the largest piece of land needed to make the project possible. And almost two years ago, according to emails we obtained through a public records request, MTS’s general counsel tipped the Chargers off to potential locations where it might be able to move its East Village bus yard. The lawyer encouraged the Chargers to jump on it.
The new letter came five days after MTS’s board in closed session outlined the parameters of those negotiations.
This comes a year after the agency publicly outlined the difficulty of relocating the bus yard it currently operates on the envisioned sight, estimating it could take until 2025 to relocate to a suitable location.
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As a Barrio Logan resident, and long time Sandiegan, I find it unbelievable that this project still has legs. Should this plan be implemented, l foresee north barrio, the area from Cesar Chavez to 16th St., being swallowed whole by developers. In fact, parcels of property in my neighborhood are being vacated, and boarded up in anticipation of a deal, that will make property values grow exponentially.
Petco park, and the Convention center already have a impact on our neighborhood, as attendees at the events seek free parking. Leaving residents with nowhere to park.
And, what ever did become of the Barrio Logan Community plan update?
Something fishy about to happen.
@Dean Cunliffe That's what the East Village People are trying to prevent. We want to connect this area to the Barrio, not separate it with some massive impenetrable thing.
If the Chargers are so gosh-darned wonderful, how come they can't pay for their own stadium. And should ANY stadium be located where there is great access by means of freeways that connect the fans with their homes and make it convenient to attend the games and other events at the same venue?
As for expanding the Convention Center, ComiCon has said they don't need a bigger convention center, they need more support from the hotel industry for ComiCon visitors. Apart from that, most large convention centers are forced to discount their charges in order to attract business.
"Yeah, we're losing money, but we'll make up for it with volume, ' is a dumb business model. As is taking money from the poor citizens of San Diego, and giving it to the rich Spanos family.
Ah, it seemed like it was just a year ago when I called all these "issues" that the people at MTS were bringing up as disingenuous at best, complete lies at worst. I was called an idiot by a good many people in the comment section. Nice to know that I was right for once. Funny how MTS was saying one thing to the public while working fervently behind the scenes for another outcome. Strange how things that were represented as written in stone were really just put up as fronts to drive a hard bargain.
As to the validity of this article, I only have one question. In the memo from CEO Paul Jablonski to Adam Day from a year ago the reason the approximately 8-10 acres not occupied by the Monarch School on the rail yard site can no longer be used for a new MTS bus yard is that the site is "inadequate for a full relocation of the IAD operation". Although I find this strange considering that the site still provides a larger footprint than the current bus yard that is no longer given as the reason as to why that site can no longer be used. According to this article, the entire rail yard site "has since been leased to the Monarch School in Barrio Logan and is no longer an option." Really? Wasn't this done just to make the rest of the rail yard site unavailable for the new MTS bus yard? It appears that Mr. Jablonski and the rest of the MTS management were just playing their own little elaborate shell game all along. I'm probably completely wrong on this and will probably told why by many of you. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that I just hit the nail squarely on the head.
If its such a hot, profitable idea to fill the bus yard with more condo towers and apartment blocks, why hasn't it already happened?
Were the downtown developers waiting for more taxpayer subsidies before they would pursue it?
I am staggered that the mayor's office might have been keeping voters in the dark and feeding them male cattle excrement. Who would have thunk it?
It just blows me away what is happening in San Diego. In a town where everything publicly owned is decaying and rotting (stadiums, convention centers, city hall, Balboa Park, streets, sewer lines, water lines, sidewalks, schools etc., etc, etc.), we are even talking about spending this exorbitant amount of money for a new football stadium. It was only a few short years ago that we had a multi-purpose stadium conveniently located in Mission Valley that served the community's need even if it was not completely paid for and still isn't though it is 40 years old. Then the Padres moved to Petco Park and we had two stadiums. Now not only do the Chargers want a new stadium, there is talk about SDSU getting the Qualcomm land and of course there has to be a new stadium built there for the Aztecs and maybe a major league soccer team. No doubt the citizenry of San Diego will be screwed - supporting and paying for not one, not two, but three stadiums.
This town is nuts if they do it. And when the next recession comes along, San Diego will no doubt end up in bankruptcy like their cohorts in San Bernardino and Stockton.
Folks there are far more pressing issues in this community that building stadiums. And of course the school board is just as bad with all the money they are putting into them as well in the local high schools.
@Bob Gardner Bob, don’t get all upset, calm down and think on the bright side. After all, Petco Park didn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. Just as Mayor Golding predicted, it was financed by a flood of new TOT revenue from 2500 new hotel rooms that magically appeared because we had the foresight to build the ballpark. Don’t look at the city budget detail, though.You’ll see an annual expenditure of about 11 mil that appears to be payments on the ballpark bonds, but that’s an illusion. All that new TOT covers it nicely…….right? There's plenty more where that came from.
We live downtown and spend a lot of time walking near Petco and the Library. I do not understand why the convention center would create an auxiliary or 2nd location that is, at a minimum, 750 yards from the nearest corner of the existing convention center. That walk would also require climbing and descending all those stairs up and over the trolley / train tracks. I have attended hundreds of large conventions all over the world and I know for a fact I would NEVER walk 1/2 mile to get from one convention locale to another. This plan does not make sense.
@Jerald King God forbid you get the extra exercise. Immediacy trumps that for sure :)
@Dennis when I visit San Diego for Comic-Con annually, I like to follow-up with a few days in Oceanside for some surfing. I prefer for the extra exercise to occur in the latter half of the trip.
The problem with the second site for conventions isn't the extra exercise, it's loss of time, which is being drastically underestimated in the discussions about the convadium proposal. At first glance, the following claim might seem much - but as a 5-time veteran of the con, I estimate that I'd probably lose about 20-25% worth of my time because of the split locations (longer explanation here: http://bit.ly/1Mxtfpd.).
The Chargers & Briggs' proposals will raise my hotel taxes, likely raise the price of attending the convention to pay for renting the second facility, and cause me to lose a huge chunk of time? Please, don't conflate these unrelated issues: just build the Chargers a stadium first and then do a proper, real expansion of the convention center later. I hope the citizens of SD don't ruin the convention center's long-term needs just to solve the short-term Charger panic. I'll happily pay extra taxes for both concerns as a visitor of your amazing city, if they're handled with smarts. But this looks like a rush, a panic, and something that'll potentially ruin the convention and force it to consider another location, which is the last thing we all want.
@Jerald King It makes sense if you are John Moores or Dean Spanos.
Andrew, since you seem to be the designated reporter on this scheme, see if you can find out how much money the convention center lost annually before it was expanded the first time, how much it loses currently and how much they project this will increase with this new expansion. And try to get the figures without the "economic impact" bovine scatology. Good luck.
So to sum up: MTS wants the Chargers to buy up some land on the down low (Walmart style), give it to MTS at which time MTS will host an open house for their noisy, stinky bus yard for their new neighbors. To close the circle, the new neighbors will be represented by Briggs in court.
Great spade work Andrew. Another question on your to-do list might be to query the social service agencies/entities on 16th street and on the south side of Imperial and how well (or not) a stadium is going to work for all parties. I assume because of tensions in use the convadium will focus most traffic and activity away from those street. That probably makes it even MORE of a wall.
Andrew, are we talking about a Covadium on the described potential site, or just a stadium. In prior reports by VOSD, it appeared that the Chargers were undecided on whether to support the Citizen's innitiative (re: Covadium) or go it alone with a separate ballot measure. From a public perspective, looking at your diagram of the proposed new complex being next to Petco, the arguments against the project raised by the East Village People, seem very valid. The new commplex, together with Petco, would essentially wall off a huge part of downtown (from about 7th to 16th Avenues and K Street to Imperial). The result is a dead zone on non-game days and an incredible blockage of pedestrian traffic, a vital element for creating a vibrant downtown.