SBD/Issue 43/Facilities & Venues

Escondido Officials Suspend Pursuit Of Chargers Stadium Deal

Escondido Mayor Says City Does Not
Want To Compete Against San Diego
New competition from the city of San Diego "has prompted Escondido officials to suspend their pursuit of a stadium deal that could have brought the Chargers to inland North County," according to David Garrick of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler yesterday said that the "perceived viability of a newly proposed stadium site just east of Petco Park in downtown San Diego has persuaded Escondido officials to end several months of negotiations with Chargers officials and private developers who could help finance a stadium." However, she added that the city "would resume its campaign for a stadium ... if significant problems arise with the site near Petco." Pfeiler said that the decision to "end negotiations was based primarily on two concerns: a strong desire not to compete against San Diego, and concerns about wasting time and money on a proposal that might go nowhere." Pfeiler: "We don't want to be adversarial in any way. ... And we also don't want to be spinning our wheels and hiring consultants." Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said that he was "neither pleased nor disappointed by Escondido's decision, and that he understood the city's concerns." Fabiani said that the site near Petco is "appealing to the Chargers because the team could use parking structures built for Petco and because virtually all the necessary infrastructure is in place." Garrick notes a stadium in Escondido "would require building several parking garages and might require significant upgrades to roads and freeway ramps" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 11/11).

WELCOME NEWS: A SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE editorial states, "We heartily welcome the resumption of conversations between San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President Dean Spanos about building a new National Football League stadium downtown near Petco Park." Majestic Realty reps "have made it clear that if a stadium is built" in City of Industry, the Chargers "will be among the NFL franchises they will woo." The editorial: "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" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/11).

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