And the new front-runner for a new home for the San Diego Chargers is … San Diego? The city, which had mostly left new stadium talks to various suburban towns the last few years, this week jumped back in with both feet, proposing a $1 billion NFL stadium near the Padres‘ Petco Park that would be paid for, well, they’ll get back to us on that. Redevelopment of the Chargers’ current stadium site could pay for part of it — insert the usual caveats about the value of development rights in 2009 California here — and while the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the potential site is within the city’s downtown redevelopment area, which could allow for tax increment financing, where property tax dollars are kicked back to pay for construction costs.
The Union Trib wasted no time in declaring itself thrilled by the prospect of a new stadium, which would apparently be “gleaming.” It also left no doubt about the reason behind San Diego’s sudden revival of interest in wooing the Chargers:
[R]epresentatives of [Ed] Roski’s real estate company have made it clear that if a stadium is built [in Industry], the Chargers will be among the NFL franchises they will woo.
The Chargers are an asset to this region on many levels, and not just for football fans. It would be a painful loss if the team ultimately accepted the promise of greater revenue from a 21st-century stadium in L.A. or elsewhere.
Right on cue. If this keeps up, Roski should demand a cut of all the new stadium subsidies he generates for the NFL in other cities.