Gary London:"SoccerCity is a terrible deal for the taxpayers of San Diego."
On February 3, the Union-Tribune’s business page asked, “Would a soccer stadium give the economy a boost?” Real estate consultant Gary London of the Union-Tribune’s EconoMeter panel of business experts replied: “It would be an economic boon, but it is a terrible deal for the taxpayers of San Diego, as the initiative is dramatically light in setting aside costs for infrastructure improvements, and in underpaying for the property.” On June 16, the column’s question of the day was “SoccerCity: Is delay economically wise?” London responded with the identical words, though he allowed the project “creates an appropriate level of density, mix of uses, and open space.” Regarding the November 2018 popular vote that will determine Soccer City’s fate, London commented, “The initiative process is the wrong way to do the business of land use, as these complicated issues ought to be vetted through the filter of our elected (officials).”
Now comes the revelation via a legally required financial disclosure by Public Land, Public Vote, a political committee created to oppose SoccerCity, that London’s consulting firm, London Moeder Advisors, received $11,250 from project opponents during the period between April 1 and June 30 of this year. According to the filing, the committee has thus far been financed with a total of more than $1.3 million furnished by Mission Valley landowners and developers Sudberry Properties and the H.G. Fenton Company. “I never tailor my opinion to the client,” said London by phone last week, adding that neither Sudberry nor H.G. Fenton had attempted to infuence him. “If they had I wouldn’t have taken on the assignment.”