San Diego pulls large number out of butt, calls it SoccerCity economic impact

So last week this happened:

SoccerCity could deliver an annual $2.8 billion economic boost to the region at full buildout of the Qualcomm Stadium site, according to projections released Thursday by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

I’m not going to go to the trouble of showing you all the EDC’s calculations, because it’s easy enough for you all to join me in hollering, “NO IT WON’T!” Adding up all the future wages paid at a complex and calling that an “economic boost to the region” only makes sense if all of those jobs would only exist in the region with the complex, and nobody believes that.

This proposal started out really promising, with a soccer stadium and housing and light industry all for no public money, but between the possible $240 million infrastructure and land cleanup cost and this overblown economic impact study, it’s starting to look less like the exception than the rule. Not that it would necessarily be a disaster for San Diego, but it requires a hard, hard look before it goes before voters for approval.


18 comments on “San Diego pulls large number out of butt, calls it SoccerCity economic impact

  1. Did you mean “…only makes sense if all of those jobs would only exist in the region WITH the complex, and nobody believes that?”

  2. Without a new soccer field literally no further development will happen in San Deigo, a place with nothing else to offer except sporting teams.

  3. Why are the land clean up cost so high, what were the Chargers doing, experimenting with uranium? (that would expelling their sluggish play)

    • The site is next to an oil tank farm that had severe leakage. Now, San Diego spent a lot of time and money successfully sewing so that the current owner of said farm (Kinder Morgan) would clean up the damage. To the best of my knowledge, this work is complete and monitoring is on-going.

      This has not stopped anyone and everyone from claiming that the largest contiguous piece of available land in the city has limited value because of environmental clean up. SMH

      The real challenge is that the land is right on the river (such as it is) and substantial excavation will hit water and a large portion of the site floods when we have substantial rainfall. The substantial related expense to mitigate that is real.

  4. One correction Neil. This project won’t technically be going before the voters. Rather it’s going before the city council. They’re either going to directly approve of it or it dies.

    • Sorry, I’d foolishly assumed that a ballot initiative would require an actual ballot, but apparently that’s not the case:

      http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/land-use/the-only-problem-with-the-pro-soccer-plan-is-a-big-one-how-will-they-get-the-land/

  5. Maybe this economic stimulus proposal would have had a chance if it weren’t for all the wire tapping and microwave ovens and TVs listening in and leaking the results/plans.

    I mean, we can’t expect the EDC to be Inspector Gadget or anything like that, right?

  6. I guess the idea of simpy using the current stadium for an as-yet-unawarded MLS franchise never entered anyone’s mind in San Diego. What would that cost? The price of tarping the upper deck and a set of goals? Amazing how a stadium that somehow managed to serve an NFL team for 50 years (and is not in disrepair, as far as I know) isn’t considered adequate for a second-tier league like MLS. But this is what pols itching to burn through public money are saying.

    • It had occurred to everyone. Except two issues. One, MLS wants no part of putting a team in a 51 year old NFL stadium. Two, the stadium itself is not structurally sound. It’s sinking on the south end into the San Diego River. And it has about $200 million in necessary repairs, maintenance and upgrades that would be required just to make it structurally sound and up to modern standards. Which coincidentally is the cost of the new stadium which wouldn’t still be a 51 year old multipurpose stadium that was designed for baseball and pointy ball, not soccer.

    • The place is in lousy repair and has been for years. And tarping an entire deck wouldn’t even be enough tarp–it’s a 70,000 seat stadium and the best MLS team currently brings in 40,000 fans per game. (Most draw in the 20s and 30s.)

      Same goes for the idea of San Diego State remodeling it–the place is way too big for them and they could probably build a brand new, right-sized stadium for less than refurbishing the huge white elephant that will never really work well for the purpose.

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