Waterfront - Convention & Stadium Bold Proposal

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Submitted by Bubblesitter on January 22, 2012 - 10:30am

I was impressed with the UT editorial board today

Bold proposal for Stadium and Convention center expansion on the waterfront.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/...

San Diego is already losing out to other convention cities due to our small convention center, other proposals of physically separate convention facilities make NO sense for conventions and are logistics pain for convention organizers and attendees.

Turns an industrial, blighted space into tourism, sports mecca. San Diego is after all a premier tourist destination, that derives big % of econony from tourism. This would further cement our position.

Bubblesitter

Submitted by Bubblesitter on January 22, 2012 - 10:36am.
Submitted by desmond on January 22, 2012 - 11:01am.

Sounds like what Greece thought when they held the Olympics in 2004.

Submitted by LesBaer45 on January 22, 2012 - 11:10am.

It'll be $4.5 to $5 billion.

40 years from now SD will still be trying to pay it off.

Submitted by Bubblesitter on January 22, 2012 - 11:16am.

Desmond,
When Comic-con moves in 2015, you'll have to trek up to LA or Vegas your Klingon Warrior Princess outfit. :)

What is surprising it that normally conservative UT editorial is backing this, I guess they figure you have to spend money to make money. Looks like they did an acccounting of some of the funding sources, however it does have higher pricetag than current disjointed set of proposals.

Bubblesitter

Submitted by desmond on January 22, 2012 - 11:47am.

I am all for developement by private enterprise.

Submitted by svelte on January 22, 2012 - 12:42pm.

There is no need to tie a stadium to the Convention Center expansion.

Let the team pay for their own venue, I really don't want to pay for it. The team can leave town for all I care.

Now the Convention Center expansion, that I will gladly help pay for.

Submitted by svelte on January 22, 2012 - 12:47pm.

Also, it is no surprise that UT now runs an opinion piece supporting a downtown stadium.

You do know that Doug Manchester, the downtown developer*, now owns UT don't you?

* - and large contributor to the Calif anti gay marriage prop.

Submitted by John Ogre on January 22, 2012 - 5:55pm.

Bubblesitter wrote:
What is surprising it that normally conservative UT editorial is backing this.
The Spanos family and Manchester are both right wing idealogues. It's nothing more than looking out for their own, and you can bet that despite Doug's denial that he will find a way to profit from this.

Submitted by John Ogre on January 22, 2012 - 6:38pm.

the online responses to the article are comedic gold.

https://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan...

Un-f'n-belivable

Sean Painter
"Do it. If San Diego can become relevant, companies will want to move here, and things will get better."

Cesar Eduardo Perez
"In the end, San Diego needs to remain competitive with other cities who have similar sites (i.e. Chicago). And with L.A./Anaheim, San Francisco, and Las Vegas nearby, San Diego needs to get the infrastructure to attract people, great weather is not enough."

Allen Wiertzema
"Downtown is a slum neighborhood. If a stadium is built it would transform a slum into a high value property to bring greater tax revenue to the city, state and businesses."

Just a small sample of gems. Not a single coherent argument in support of the plan, plenty of evidence that forced sterilization is desperately needed.

Submitted by enron_by_the_sea on January 23, 2012 - 12:07am.

If the city is going to declare bankrupcy eventually, let's might as well do that after building that mega stadium-plus-convention center-plus-arena-plus-library-plus-city hall built with overpriced unionized labor by the joint venture of the hotelier-developer-publisher of UT & builder-developer-owner of the Chargers.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on January 23, 2012 - 12:24am.

Bubblesitter wrote:
What is surprising it that normally conservative UT editorial is backing this,
Bubblesitter

Bubblesitter, don't be so naive. Doug Manchester is the financial backer of the MLIM LLC. You know, the folks that bought the UT last fall. One of the biggest developers in the county buys the local paper, and now that paper is a shill for boondoggle projects that Doug Manchester will make a killing on. Gee... now that's a surprise.

No wonder this city is called enron by the sea.

Submitted by EconProf on January 23, 2012 - 4:00pm.

These megaprojects seldom make sense for the taxpayer, and are a way for politicians, unions, and developers to all line their pockets. They typically hire "experts" to justify the project by promising unrealistic jobs, tourist spending, and phoney "multiplier effect" prosperity.
A recent Wall Street Journal editorial pointed out that in the last decade or so, Americans' attendance at conventions is down some 30 percent, while cities have engaged in a kind of arms race to build more and glitzier convention centers by a like percentage. Sounds erily like a bubble is forming.

Submitted by protorio on January 23, 2012 - 4:21pm.

Bold would be investing in infrastructure that makes our city more livable, and ultimately inviting to visitors: greenbelts, expanded trolley (and to the airport), bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, small-business friendly density, investment in University and El Cajon Blvd. to help make these great urban avenues productivity engines. Each of these contributes to the "city of villages" our founders envisioned, and draws people into to both the place and the idea of the place.

What we need less of is crony capitalism that a stadium project represents. The Convention Center, I'm all for.

Submitted by blahblahblah on January 23, 2012 - 4:57pm.

Certainly no major city has ever become a tourist mecca without an American football stadium paid for by the public but whose revenue goes to a few politically well-connected wealthy people. Everyone knows the only reason people go to New York is as a stopover point on the way to New Jersey to watch the Giants play. Amsterdam and London were little more than hellish malarial backwaters until NFL Europe came to town, bringing hordes of European fans of American football and their suitcases full of funny-looking colored money.

Submitted by Bubblesitter on January 23, 2012 - 5:26pm.

Wow, some harsh comments on the proposal, if they reflect widespread public opinion, it will be a uphill battle for proponents.

These big projects are becoming increasingly difficult to do, especially with all the fiscal constraints. Looks like local hoteliers willing to add a surcharge to partially fund, big question how much taxpayer will end up footing.

I do like the project concept, would be a plus for downtown.

Submitted by enron_by_the_sea on January 23, 2012 - 5:57pm.

What are our priorities as a city?

1. repair our roads and transport?
2. Fund our schools and colleges?
3. Build new transport to commute in the city?
4. Solve our water problem?
5. Improve quality of living for citizens?
6. Get rid of structural budget deficit without gimmicks?

OR

Start another mega-project with legally questionable means, based on laughable studies performed by people with conflicted interests that only benefit the mega-rich in the city based on an editorial of a paper who was bought out by developer?

This while we already have an example of another project similar to this completely ruining the fiscal health of the city less than 10 years ago.

I don't know about you but they say fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me!

Submitted by EconProf on January 24, 2012 - 7:36am.

Good points Enron, but I would add to your list of priorities reforming San Diego's looming pension disaster.
The proposed bayfront project faces another hurdle I haven't seen anyone address: transportation getting to the new high density venues. Look at an overhead map of the area and you have to ask, how will people get there? In most cities, cars (or buses, or trains, etc.) can converge on a location from all directions--think Phoenix, Dallas, or Las Vegas. In San Diego, with our glorious waterfront closing off half of the entrypoints (ignoring the possibility of ferries), customers must travel through either downtown or along the already congested waterfront NE or SE of the destination. What impact will this have on the rest of the area and its residents? And shouldn't any increased spending on transportation improvements be added to the cost side of the proposed projects?

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