In this season of electoral politics, facts sometimes disappear behind the rosy scenarios stirred up by well-funded promotional campaigns and their consultants.
So, let’s take a closer look at a few facts surrounding Measure C, the downtown football convadium initiative, sponsored by the San Diego Chargers and their owners, the Spanos family.
How this initiative came to East Village is hardly an example of organic downtown redevelopment planning via normal public policy channels. Instead, it’s the story of a sports team searching for the best deal, and when that deal failed to materialize, jumping back to their last resort, the East Village site.
In 2015, the Chargers announced they would move to Los Angeles to share or occupy a new stadium in Carson. When the NFL owners voted instead to support a competing Rams stadium in Inglewood, the Chargers were suddenly back in San Diego, mulling their options. After toying again with Mission Valley, the Chargers decided their best option might be East Village.
Meanwhile, East Village has become the new rock star district in downtown, with a growing list of creative jobs being generated by local education facilities, the new library and the burgeoning IDEA District, an urban initiative that sets out to create new developments that will attract thousands of design and tech jobs to the neighborhood.
East Village is quickly blossoming into a dynamic neighborhood for residents and workers who want to live and create in a street-friendly, walkable, sustainable 21st century village-like community.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I have no idea if the convadium site will ever be developed as an adjunct to the IDEA district or anything else for that matter. There still is the bus facility that has to be moved and replacement parking for the Padres if they lose Tailgate Park. That bus facility is huge and finding an adequate replacement parcel will be difficult. Clean up will be a lengthy process too.
The Padres will want to have some say in what goes on east of Petco because they want their parking spaces protected.
Things move slowly here. It will be years before that site gets developed. Same is true at the Qualcomm Stadium site. If the Chargers don't end up in Mission Valley, the stadium will continue to sit there for a long long time. All the talk about river parks, open spaces, and expansion of SDSU is just that, talk.
Having said all that, I agree with Mr. Herzog that a convadium would be a terrible project to build in the
East Village. It will be huge hulk, and a bad neighbor. But ideas about what else should be put there are I'm afraid, just ideas. That part of town will lay dormant for a very long time.
Herzog nails it! I particularly liked his exposure of Fred Maas’ claim of “..a long planned and awaited sports and entertainment district downtown…” as simply a figure of Maas’ very fertile imagination.
After the vote gives the Chargers a dose of reality and maybe even some humility, and after they really consider the pros and cons of becoming Stan Kronke’s tenant in Inglewood, Mission Valley will look a lot better and maybe we can strike a deal that works for everyone.
I believe my opinion is held by the overwhelming majority of voters. Nobody is trying to get rid of the Chargers, we’re simply tired of getting screwed by them.
I used to harbor fantasies of the Spanos clan selling the team, taking their profits and going somewhere else so maybe we could get an owner who could create a consistently winning franchise. Now I realize that pro football is so lucrative, even for an incompetent owner, that Spanos is not selling the team, no matter what. We’re stuck with the guy, and the goal is to guard the public purse.
@Bill Bradshaw Well said Larry and well said Bill! While every think tank and thinking person in San Diego (who is not financially tied to Meas C) is opposed to Measure C (and D), 100% of the marketing on TV and radio belongs to Spanos. Let's hope these articles get through to the masses.