Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., March 14
Last -Minute Legislature Deal Boosts Chances of Massive Chargers Subsidy
The Union-Tribune reports this morning (Oct. 9) that the state's budget agreement yesterday may clear the way for the Chargers getting a massive subsidy for a downtown stadium from the insolvent City of San Diego. Previously, the deal would have required the team and City jumping through a number of hoops to get a $2.9 million cap on downtown redevelopment lifted. The deal was "quietly advanced over the last week by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego with the blessing of Mayor Jerry Sanders and the knowledge of the team," says the U-T. The Chargers and City leaders have been talking about building a stadium on a small site near Petco Park that would cost at least $800 million; the City's subsidy could be $500 million to $800 million, depending on the stadium's configuration. The Chargers have been talking about a stadium that seats 62,000. That wouldn't be enough to get a Super Bowl, but the argument about attracting the event would no doubt be trotted out.
According to the U-T, Councilman Carl DeMaio criticized the "11th hour, unilateral action by the state." Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger still has to sign the bill permitting the deal, but that's expected. Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, opposes the deal and told the U-T, "At a time when we are cutting from so many of our safety et programs, things that are taking away from any general fund revenues are very tough for me to justify."