The right-wing businessman who bought the San Diego Union-Tribune (since renamed U-T San Diego) has made clear what he meant in saying local newspapers should be “cheerleaders” for stadiums, penning an editorial yesterday that proposed spending $1.5 billion on a waterfront stadium, expanded convention center, sports arena, parks, and beaches.
To pay for it, U-T owner Doug Manchester proposes a mix of funding sources: the $520 million currently slated for use to expand the convention center, $200 million from the sale of the Qualcomm Stadium site, $90 million by diverting funds currently used to maintain Qualcomm (no word on how the new stadium would be maintained), $50 million from selling the Valley View Casino Center arena, $50 million from the sale of naming rights, and $63 million from ticket fees. “These are only some of the many innovative ideas” for funding the project, writes Manchester (or his editorial minions — it’s tough to tell, since much of the editorial package is unsigned). They had better be, since by the numbers provided here, Manchester’s plan is still more than half a billion dollars short of paying for itself.
The public reception of the plan so far is hard to tell, given that the only daily paper in the city is the one stumping for it, so understandably isn’t sending its reporters out to discern whether it’s viable. With any luck, the independent Voice of San Diego will soon remedy this, but for now we’ll have to make do with its recent profile of Manchester, with its memorable blind quote: “If there is a hell, Doug Manchester is the face of it.”