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Volume 24 No. 159


A city of San Diego report found that Qualcomm Stadium needs $79.8M “in maintenance, repairs and improvements over the next seven years,” according to Schrotenboer & Hall of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The study indicated that the city “will continue to lose more than $10 million a year operating the stadium through 2020 regardless of whether the Chargers stay, get a new site in San Diego or leave the county.” The report said that in any of those three scenarios, the “projected annual operating loss for San Diego” is $10.6-13.8M through '20, excluding “bond debt payments and any maintenance or improvement work.” The Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium lease runs through '20 and the team “can break it each year by paying an early termination fee, currently about” $24M. Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said, “We believe we’ve presented some better alternatives. If people don’t want to pursue those alternatives, then obviously the city has to make decisions about what to do with the building, and the decisions will only get more difficult as the building gets older.” Fabiani called the report the “most extensive review of the deferred maintenance that’s ever been done.” Attorney David Watson, who was Chair of the city’s Citizens’ Task Force on Chargers Issues in '02, said, “If there was no question at all that the Chargers were going to stay then it might be worthwhile to put forth the effort to make all the repairs you’re talking about. But if the Chargers leave, they (city officials) better have a plan to justify that.” The report, conducted by contractors AECOM and Magellan Consulting, did not address “what to do with the stadium if the Chargers leave or if the city should build a new stadium for the team.” If the Chargers leave San Diego County, the city “would have to consider the viability of maintaining the stadium for San Diego State football games (six or seven home games per year), plus two bowl games in late December as its major tenants” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/21).

In London, Rupert Neate reports, “Dozens of companies that have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on corporate hospitality packages at Wembley will not be able to use them for Saturday's UEFA Champions League Final.” Some companies, which have spent up to US$13,600 a year for each Club Wembley seat, were “informed recently that their tickets are not valid” for Saturday's Barcelona-Manchester United game. Club Wembley members are “only entitled to tickets for the FA Cup final and semi finals, the Carling Cup final, rugby's Carnegie Challenge Cup final, up to six England games and the Community Shield match” (London TELEGRAPH, 5/23).

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT: On Long Island, Randi Marshall noted a key to the success of a new Coliseum in Nassau County is “development of the rest of the 77 county-owned acres at the site -- possibly with stores and offices, restaurants and housing.” It is an option Islanders Owner Charles Wang “still wants as he negotiates with the county hoping to gain development rights for the property.” Other developers said that they would “like the chance to submit proposals as well” (NEWSDAY, 5/22).

COMMEMORATING HISTORY: The MLB Giants on Friday announced plans to create a World Champions Walk in recognition of the team’s first World Series title since moving to S.F. The World Champions Walk will encircle all four plazas of AT&T Park and will feature granite markers depicting moments from the 52-year wait for a World Series title. As part of the walk, fans will be able to purchase 4 x 12-inch brick pavers to commemorate their own favorite moment from the World Series journey (Giants).

THROWING IN THE TOWEL: In L.A., Roger Vincent reports developer Rick Caruso “has thrown in the towel on longstanding plans to develop an outdoor mall next to” Santa Anita Park. Caruso announced plans in '04 to build the Shops at Santa Anita “near the entrance” to the racetrack. But opposition to the development “from a competing mall owner, a bad economy and the bankruptcy of track owner Magna Entertainment Corp. have dogged Caruso's Santa Anita project for years” (L.A. TIMES, 5/23).