Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Rip down Qualcomm and build new stadium?

Stupidity squared

SDSU wants to develop the site on its own.
SDSU wants to develop the site on its own.

San Diegans vote next year on the plans of FS Investors to tear down Qualcomm Stadium, erect a soccer stadium, and build residential and commercial structures on the site. Before the vote, propaganda will fill the air. The investment group will claim that the program will do wonders for the San Diego economy. Balderdash.

San Diego Stadium with the C shape

There is only one rational use for the more than 200 acres of stadium site and adjoining wetlands. That is San Diego State University. It had earlier attempted to have a joint venture with FS but in May pulled out of the talks.

Colorado State plays in a stadium that is new this year.

Now the university wants to develop the site on its own. The city says the site is worth $82.8 million. “We would be willing to pay a negotiated purchase price” around that $82.8 million figure, says Gina Jacobs, the university’s chief of staff.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Mississippi State stadium more than 100 years old

There should be no argument whether the FS plan or the San Diego State project would be better for the local economy. Higher education wins. Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz of Liberty Street Economics, a blog of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, say that in addition to direct economic impacts (such as university employees), colleges and universities “help to raise the skills of an area’s workforce — its local human capital.”

University of Wisconsin stadium — also more than 100 years old

By educating potential workers, these institutions increase both the supply and demand for human capital. A skilled workforce will attract companies to the area. Regions with a higher percentage of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree “tend to be more innovative, have greater amounts of economic activity, and enjoy faster economic growth,” say the researchers, noting that workers in such regions are more productive and have higher wages.

Of course, universities, like pro teams, inflate claims of how they contribute to local economies. In 1994, Loyola University Chicago claimed it boosted the Chicago economy by $1.04 billion. A dozen years later, Northwestern, about the same size and located fairly close to Loyola, said it boosted the Chicago economy by only $145 million. The “multiplier” is supposedly a measure of how many new jobs can be created for every one existing job. Among 98 schools, the multiplier varied from 1.03 to 8.44. Hmm...

According to the SDSU Alumni Past Presidents Council, only 8000 of 80,000 applicants were enrolled last year. The student body could be expanded and the faculty could attract more talent if the university gets additional land, particularly since the Mission Valley site is easily reachable by light rail.

San Diego State’s plans for stadium land are: (1) A river park. (2) Affordable and market-rate housing for upper-division and graduate students, faculty and staff, and the general public. (3) Commercial/office space to be developed through a public-private partnership. Occupying the space would be research facilities, faculty and staff offices, and the like. (4) Complementary retail and restaurants to service student and faculty needs and the public. (5) A hotel to support visitors and serve as a training ground for the university’s hospitality/tourism management school. (6) A 35,000- to 40,000-seat stadium for Aztec football, expandable to accommodate university growth and, possibly, another National Football League team.

San Diego State should be cautious with number five and unceremoniously jettison number six. A hotel should be built only with private capital. The owner should reimburse the university for the land it uses. Such a hotel could still serve as an incubator for tourism students.

There is no reason on earth that San Diego State should tear down Qualcomm and build a new stadium. Qualcomm is an architectural wonder, an icon. It may soon get a “historic” designation. It would take four to five years just to get permits to tear it down, and there would inevitably be lawsuits. The cost of the teardown could be as much as $60 million. A group of architects went through Qualcomm in 2011 and said it should be preserved. Frank Hope Jr., whose company designed Qualcomm, says it is quite serviceable now.

Sportswriters claim it is a “dump.” But dig deep into their psyches and you’ll find that their major complaint is that the press boxes aren’t plush. Not a real problem. Qualcomm doesn’t have enough luxury boxes for super-rich alumni. Can’t they sit in the stands for three hours?

Qualcomm has problems, but they are hardly insuperable. There are cracks to be repaired, stains and blemishes to be removed, concrete flaking to be fixed up, and ladies’ rooms to be added and expanded. No doubt other flaws will surface. A rehab job would probably cost $300 million to $400 million, but that would be half or less than the cost of a new stadium. The savings will leave more money for education — which is the purpose of universities.

The Aztecs averaged 37,000 per game day attendance last year. The fans get lost in a stadium seating more than 70,000. So what? Certain sections could be blocked off. The number of supporters will increase if the team keeps winning and the university grows. Seat capacity could be reduced by use of the wrecking ball — returning, say, to the original horseshoe configuration. Those wonderful mountain views would return. Capacity was around 50,000 when the Chargers opened the stadium in 1967.

Chief of staff Jacobs says the Aztecs will play at Qualcomm for a while, probably until a new stadium is ready. But the most historic university stadiums are far older than Qualcomm. Of 130 Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association stadiums, 38 were built in 1930 or before, making them between 87 and more than 100 years old. Who plays in those old, old stadiums? Some of the best teams in the country: Notre Dame, Michigan, Washington, Texas A&M, Arizona, Florida, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Cal-Berkeley, Wisconsin, Texas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Iowa, Southern California, Tennessee, Ohio State, University of California Los Angeles, Northwestern, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan State, and Louisiana State. Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Mississippi State play in stadiums more than 100 years old.

Fully 25 existing stadiums were built in the 1960s, as Qualcomm was. Only 15 new stadiums have been built since the year 2000. Fans at most of these universities watch games in the rain, snow, and cold. San Diego State has no such problems. It does not need a new stadium.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Wagner's Walküre in San Diego

One of the best concerts I've experienced in San Diego
Next Article

Power corrupts a Toni Atkins donor and a former aide

Panera's exemption from minimum wage re-examined
SDSU wants to develop the site on its own.
SDSU wants to develop the site on its own.

San Diegans vote next year on the plans of FS Investors to tear down Qualcomm Stadium, erect a soccer stadium, and build residential and commercial structures on the site. Before the vote, propaganda will fill the air. The investment group will claim that the program will do wonders for the San Diego economy. Balderdash.

San Diego Stadium with the C shape

There is only one rational use for the more than 200 acres of stadium site and adjoining wetlands. That is San Diego State University. It had earlier attempted to have a joint venture with FS but in May pulled out of the talks.

Colorado State plays in a stadium that is new this year.

Now the university wants to develop the site on its own. The city says the site is worth $82.8 million. “We would be willing to pay a negotiated purchase price” around that $82.8 million figure, says Gina Jacobs, the university’s chief of staff.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Mississippi State stadium more than 100 years old

There should be no argument whether the FS plan or the San Diego State project would be better for the local economy. Higher education wins. Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz of Liberty Street Economics, a blog of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, say that in addition to direct economic impacts (such as university employees), colleges and universities “help to raise the skills of an area’s workforce — its local human capital.”

University of Wisconsin stadium — also more than 100 years old

By educating potential workers, these institutions increase both the supply and demand for human capital. A skilled workforce will attract companies to the area. Regions with a higher percentage of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree “tend to be more innovative, have greater amounts of economic activity, and enjoy faster economic growth,” say the researchers, noting that workers in such regions are more productive and have higher wages.

Of course, universities, like pro teams, inflate claims of how they contribute to local economies. In 1994, Loyola University Chicago claimed it boosted the Chicago economy by $1.04 billion. A dozen years later, Northwestern, about the same size and located fairly close to Loyola, said it boosted the Chicago economy by only $145 million. The “multiplier” is supposedly a measure of how many new jobs can be created for every one existing job. Among 98 schools, the multiplier varied from 1.03 to 8.44. Hmm...

According to the SDSU Alumni Past Presidents Council, only 8000 of 80,000 applicants were enrolled last year. The student body could be expanded and the faculty could attract more talent if the university gets additional land, particularly since the Mission Valley site is easily reachable by light rail.

San Diego State’s plans for stadium land are: (1) A river park. (2) Affordable and market-rate housing for upper-division and graduate students, faculty and staff, and the general public. (3) Commercial/office space to be developed through a public-private partnership. Occupying the space would be research facilities, faculty and staff offices, and the like. (4) Complementary retail and restaurants to service student and faculty needs and the public. (5) A hotel to support visitors and serve as a training ground for the university’s hospitality/tourism management school. (6) A 35,000- to 40,000-seat stadium for Aztec football, expandable to accommodate university growth and, possibly, another National Football League team.

San Diego State should be cautious with number five and unceremoniously jettison number six. A hotel should be built only with private capital. The owner should reimburse the university for the land it uses. Such a hotel could still serve as an incubator for tourism students.

There is no reason on earth that San Diego State should tear down Qualcomm and build a new stadium. Qualcomm is an architectural wonder, an icon. It may soon get a “historic” designation. It would take four to five years just to get permits to tear it down, and there would inevitably be lawsuits. The cost of the teardown could be as much as $60 million. A group of architects went through Qualcomm in 2011 and said it should be preserved. Frank Hope Jr., whose company designed Qualcomm, says it is quite serviceable now.

Sportswriters claim it is a “dump.” But dig deep into their psyches and you’ll find that their major complaint is that the press boxes aren’t plush. Not a real problem. Qualcomm doesn’t have enough luxury boxes for super-rich alumni. Can’t they sit in the stands for three hours?

Qualcomm has problems, but they are hardly insuperable. There are cracks to be repaired, stains and blemishes to be removed, concrete flaking to be fixed up, and ladies’ rooms to be added and expanded. No doubt other flaws will surface. A rehab job would probably cost $300 million to $400 million, but that would be half or less than the cost of a new stadium. The savings will leave more money for education — which is the purpose of universities.

The Aztecs averaged 37,000 per game day attendance last year. The fans get lost in a stadium seating more than 70,000. So what? Certain sections could be blocked off. The number of supporters will increase if the team keeps winning and the university grows. Seat capacity could be reduced by use of the wrecking ball — returning, say, to the original horseshoe configuration. Those wonderful mountain views would return. Capacity was around 50,000 when the Chargers opened the stadium in 1967.

Chief of staff Jacobs says the Aztecs will play at Qualcomm for a while, probably until a new stadium is ready. But the most historic university stadiums are far older than Qualcomm. Of 130 Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association stadiums, 38 were built in 1930 or before, making them between 87 and more than 100 years old. Who plays in those old, old stadiums? Some of the best teams in the country: Notre Dame, Michigan, Washington, Texas A&M, Arizona, Florida, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Cal-Berkeley, Wisconsin, Texas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Iowa, Southern California, Tennessee, Ohio State, University of California Los Angeles, Northwestern, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan State, and Louisiana State. Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Mississippi State play in stadiums more than 100 years old.

Fully 25 existing stadiums were built in the 1960s, as Qualcomm was. Only 15 new stadiums have been built since the year 2000. Fans at most of these universities watch games in the rain, snow, and cold. San Diego State has no such problems. It does not need a new stadium.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Gonzo Report: Grinnells serve jazz for breakfast at Books & Records

Superlative French press coffee bolsters the buzz
Next Article

The e-bike memorial at Santa Fe Drive and El Camino Real tells all

Class three bikes require no pedal assistance once they reach 28 miles per hour.
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.