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January 24, 2012

U-T San Diego covers own stadium plan, mayor hates it

And we have our first glimpse at how U-T San Diego (the former San Diego Union-Tribune, renamed by its new developer/right-wing activist owner Doug Manchester) plans on covering the $1.5 billion Chargers stadium/convention center/kitchen sink plan proposed by its own publisher in Sunday's paper. Today, reporter Matthew T. Hall takes a look at the viability of the waterfront stadium plan, albeit under the somewhat self-aggrandizing headline "Waterfront stadium plan revives debate." Among the highlights:

  • Chargers stadium czar Mark Fabiani says the team remains focused on a stadium at a bus yard in East Village, but that the waterfront site could be a fallback option.
  • Union leaders, who would face the displacement of dockworker jobs, are "willing to listen."
  • San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders "declined to comment."

Not included in the piece: Any attempt at analyzing where on earth the money would come from for this plan. (Manchester made some suggestions of his own on Sunday, but they didn't add up to $1.5 billion.) Sanders' position, meanwhile, was reported very differently in other news outlets:

Mayor Jerry Sanders said Monday he opposes U-T San Diego's proposal for a new Chargers stadium and expanded convention center...
Sanders has expressed support for the stadium being part of a wider entertainment district, but not the way it was proposed Sunday.
"The city is ready to move forward now on a realistic plan to create thousands of jobs, protect our convention business and increase revenues for neighborhood services," Sanders said in a statement to City News Service. "We have to address these important priorities in a responsible way."

But at least the UTSD is all over the story of how much Twitter traffic its plan generated.


Sanders doesn't like any plan that isn't his (the east village one). That said his is the most realistic design and price wise. An indoor convention capable football stadium makes no sense in Southern California for sporting events (particularly football which should be exposed to the elements). To say nothing of the added cost of putting a roof on a stadium and the fact that conventioneers and hoteliers have no interest in a convention space on a stadium floor.

Posted by Dan on January 24, 2012 10:14 AM

The roof is the same reason both the LA proposals have roofs on them. The conversion is to be able to use the field for conferences (think more space for ComicCon) and to attract things like the NCAA Tournament Final Four (which has a crazy seating requirements that can only really be met by football stadiums anymore).

They're rolling because people actually prefer most sports outside (football, baseball, soccer, etc).

Yes, it is silly.

Posted by jmauro on January 24, 2012 04:54 PM

It's funny they use the roof as an excuse for being used as a convention space, particularly with the east village site, when Comic-Con (San Diego's largest convention) has already said they'd have no interest in the space. They want convention halls, not stadium floors. Finding additional uses for stadiums is great, and San Diego's has a built in second and third tenant with the soon to be Big East bound SDSU Aztecs and the two bowl games respectively. But they also have to find alternate uses that make sense. Convention space is not one their conventions or the convention center are calling for.

Posted by Dan on January 24, 2012 07:59 PM

The convention space argument is highly questionable at best. There aren't many convention or conference events that can make use of 70,000 seats and an 8,000 sqyd stadium floor together.

It's far cheaper to build a convention centre that actually has amenities suitable for, you know, a convention and an open air stadium than it is to build a covered sports facility that can 'kind of' do both.

Posted by John Bladen on January 25, 2012 11:27 AM

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