Really, the entire saga of San Diego’s downtown, Comic-Con and the Chargers is one of those local stories that will go on as long as one old timer is around to yap about it on Snapchat.
And as long as people can dream and make architectural renderings, there will be ideas for what kind of bizarro Brandon Graham-type building to put up in beautiful downtown San Diego. Like the above rendering of a proposed stadium that looks like a bunch of nesting tables stacked up wily nilly.
This time it’s the Chargers, the football team burdened with their creaky old stadium that was designed and built by the Gormenghast family apparently. Using their outside voice to give vent to their most fervent dreams, they announced they want to build a mixed-use downtown stadium, somewhere behind PetCo park probably. And it would be a boon for all downtown:
At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility downtown. The multi-use facility, when combined with Petco Park, the existing Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and a revitalized East Village, would create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district that will host Super Bowls and will ideally be a permanent home for Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum. All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host. The downtown multi-use facility would also free up the existing Mission Valley site for potential use by educational institutions such as San Diego State and UCSD, as well as for a large riverfront park.
This dream was not met with immediate enthusiasm from anyone who could make it happen.
The announcement generated a tepid response from two of San Diego’s most powerful politicians. “Most experts we’ve talked to have concluded that building a stadium downtown — on land not owned by either the city or the Chargers — would increase costs by hundreds of millions of dollars and take years longer to complete,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts said in a joint statement.
And Comic-Con released its own statement on the matter:
We have had no discussions with the Chargers and were surprised to be mentioned in their recent statement. We hope the public is aware, and we would like to reiterate our ongoing belief that a contiguous convention center expansion is the preferable solution to the limits on current convention center space. Comic-Con has doubts that a multi-use facility would serve the best interests of potential conventions hoping to exhibit in San Diego.
The Chargers, itching to escape from their crumbling stadium, were considered for a move to LA, but the Raiders and Rams decided to move to LA instead, leaving the Chargers to try to find a way to get SOMONE to pay for a new stadium. It appears this downtown idea has few supporters for now. Sorry, Chargers.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.