SBD/October 11, 2013/Facilities

Facility Notes

In San Diego, Lori Weisberg noted the California Coastal Commission on Thursday, "overriding the objections of its own staff," cleared the way for a $520M expansion of the city's convention center. With the project ready to move forward, "questions linger about a competing project" from the Chargers, who had "opposed the city project and instead proposed incorporating convention facilities into a new stadium six blocks away in downtown's East Village." City leaders, while "welcoming a new stadium proposal, have argued all along that the expansion had to be contiguous to the existing center to meet the needs of conventioneers who don't want to walk to a more distant location" (UTSANDIEGO.com, 10/10).

SURVEYING THE FIELD: In DC, Jonathan O'Connell reported advocates from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute have "put together an early coalition of progressive activists, unions and Southwest residents to question" DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s plan to "pay for about half the cost of a new stadium" for MLS DC United on Buzzard Point. Under the mayor’s plan, DC would contribute as much as $150M "of land and infrastructure, about half the cost of a 20,000-seat stadium." DCFPI Exec Dir Ed Lazere said that he and his staff "aren’t hearing a lot of support for the mayor’s plan thus far, in part because" MLS is "not as popular a league" as MLB (WASHINGTON POST, 10/10).

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Bristol Motor Speedway hosting a Virginia Tech-Tennessee football game in '16 is a "brilliant idea," as it will be the "college football equivalent of the Winter Classic" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/10). ESPN's Israel Gutierrez asked, "When is enough enough? I've been in Neyland Stadium when it had 110,000 people. It felt like it was going to fall over. What's the difference between that and 160,000? Is anybody going to be able to feel the difference?" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/10). SI’s Lee Jenkins: “The confluence of SEC football and NASCAR it is going to make for some incredible crowd shots” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 10/10).
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