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. 


  1. The Raiders haven’t committed to Los Angeles yet.
    They really can’t, since the Chargers have a year of opportunity in SD before having to commit to the Rams’ new stadium.

    San Antonio and Las Vegas (which is building a new stadium for UNLV behind MGM Grand) are possibilities for the Raiders.
    They might share Levi Stadium with the 49ers.

    San Diego still has an agreement with LA over sharing the new stadium in Inglewood.
    It’s suspected they’ll use that to make a deal for the Petco site.

    The biggest problem for the Chargers… financing the stadium.
    They would save about $300 Million if they stayed in SD, due to relocation fees.
    They would get $300 Million in grants and loans from the NFL, to be repaid from club seat sales.
    Current projected cost: $1.7 Billion
    San Diego is a smaller market than LA…can they sell the seats?

    Any tax plan would have to go before voters, and those usually fare badly…
    Would you want your property taxes (or in this case, hotel taxes) to pay for a stadium?
    (San Diego revolted once before, in 1996, over a Chargers ballot proposal.)
    But if it’s packaged with Convention Center funding (to save Comic-Con), Chargers geeks could partner with CCI geeks to fund both projects.

    More here:

  2. Comic Con also wants to move to LA. It’s only natural that the Chargers would name drop the other shark in the cove.

  3. Why does these people (City and Chargers) keep ignoring the important fact that nearly 1/3 of all the Chargers fans in San Diego County live North of Kearny Mesa? Same with the Padres… I know, let’s move the facility to watch their games farther away!!

    This demonstrates the classic presumption and double dealing that the Spanos organization has practiced through this whole affair. I would like to ask that the City consider that the San Diego Chargers have NEVER brought $80 Million into this city in a single year, and that the cost of this new stadium would be very close to the amount of money that they top 5 grossing conventions delivered San Diego because…Convention Center….

  4. Sports arenas are terrible investments. You spend a billion dollars to get a venue that’s used for less than 20 events a year. None of them ever return on the promises given. The one in LA will be a great test for the future of this kinda stuff, but their proximity to being the premiere facility in the media capital of the galaxy gives it an unfair advantage.

    Comicon should get on board with sharing a mixed use facility with the NFL, its in the best interest of both, because neither are getting their own brand new freestanding buildings. SD isn’t big enough of a market to support it. Mixed use is the best idea to try and build something that attracts other events.

  5. I’m a football fan and a comic book fan, too. Push come to shove, the Comic con wins over the NFL’s bloated demands to enrich one of their owners, Dean Spanos. What’s wrong with Qualcomm stadium? According to Spanos, it’s too old, making it difficult for the Chargers to make the kind of money that new venues make. Moreover, SD will never get awarded a Superbowl for a shack like that. My answer is screw the NFL. They want taxpayers to pay for stadiums so that billionaires and their millionaire players can get richer. The taxpayer gets the bill. This is income redistribution of the most perverse kind.

  6. Why is there no consistent set of articles that tracks the development, promotions, and general quality of local comic cons in people’s own neighborhoods? SDCC is no longer a comic book convention -GET OVER IT. Start and develop your own comic book conventions, gather local conventions and group them together as one larger event, or methods used to gain new readers based from local comic cons…???

    DIY Do It Yourself mentality is taboo in ‘America’, as it is easier to just spend on a hotel and sit in traffic, and wait in lines, pay expensive prices for crappy food, and smell other people’s sweat at SDCC. Why would people try to improve their local cons, as there are plenty of asphalt strip malls, and Costco’s, Targets’, and Wall marts to look out for in ‘America’? -and we also got to make sure to have a gut, since that is a sign of maturity in hick / ‘American’ anti-culture.

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