SBD/February 21, 2011/Facilities

Plan To Cut California Redevelopment Funds Could Affect Chargers Stadium

San Diego redevelopment funds could be used to build a new downtown stadium
Escondido and San Diego city officials said that if California Gov. Jerry Brown “succeeds in abolishing municipal redevelopment agencies, it will most likely scuttle plans for a minor-league baseball park in Escondido and a new Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego,” according to Tony Perry of the L.A. TIMES. The two cities had been “counting on money from redevelopment agency coffers to make private-public partnerships a reality.” Escondido "wants to build a stadium to convince" Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad to transfer the Triple-A PCL Tucson Padres to the northern San Diego suburb. The City Council in December “tentatively approved using $50 million in redevelopment funds.” The use of redevelopment funds in San Diego “was seen as a last-chance to build a downtown venue to replace the city-owned Qualcomm Stadium.” Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said elimination of the city's redevelopment agency would "make the downtown San Diego stadium idea nearly impossible to implement." Fabiani: "You never want to say never in the stadium building business, but it's very, very hard to see how something could work downtown without a redevelopment agency." Perry noted even if redevelopment funds “were available, getting San Diego voters to approve a stadium deal would be difficult.” San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has said that he “would like to see a plan put before voters in 2012” (L.A. TIMES, 2/19).

PUTTING UP A FIGHT: In San Jose, Lisa Fernandez notes the Santa Clara City Council tomorrow plans to “send a message to Gov. Jerry Brown: Don't take away our stadium money.” City leaders are "doing whatever they can to remind the governor that the 68,500-seat, $937 million" 49ers stadium planned next to the Great America theme park "has been a long-standing project that involves redevelopment funds, and should not be cut under Brown's proposal to do away with redevelopment agencies.” City leaders said that without redevelopment funds, they have “no other public money to tap for the project” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/21).
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