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May 29, 2009
Chargers reject $1B stadium plan
You know you're having a bad day when you offer to build a $1 billion stadium for your local football team, and they tell you to shut up and mind your own business. That's what happened to San Diego developer Perry Dealy on Wednesday, when he told the Chargers of his plans for a mammoth development project on the site of their current home of Qualcomm Stadium, and immediately got a fax back from the team telling him thanks but no thanks, as the project doesn't have "a realistic chance of being implemented."
The plan does sound a bit dubious, relying on San Diego designating the site a "redevelopment zone" based on a plume of polluted water under the current stadium, then kicking back property taxes from the new development to pay for construction. (Yes, it's tax increment financing yet again.) But still, it's unusual for a team to turn up its nose at any stadium proposal, even if just as a stalking horse to get other localities to up their bids. Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani explained the oddity this way to AP:
Fabiani said the announcement of Dealy's project put the Chargers in the awkward situation of explaining how they could turn it down when few other options have surfaced.
"That's part of why this effort by Mr. Dealy is so damaging to us," Fabiani said. "It causes people to ask that question."