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Should San Diego Imitate Indianapolis by Building a Downtown Stadium?
In San Diego, two ballot box planning initiatives are advancing their way to a November vote. Each could pave the way for a new downtown stadium for the Chargers combined with a convention center expansion—what is being referred to as a "Convadium." Some proponents have pointed to Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium as a shining example of how stadium and convention facilities can be combined in a vibrant downtown. Local land use attorney Bill Adams decided to ask someone he knew was uniquely positioned to give insight—San Diego expat, Indiana transplant, and urban planning aficionado Walter Scott Chambers III. Walter, who had his own wonderful blog in San Diego, Great Streets San Diego, did not disappoint.
It’s really only been the last 10 years that Indianapolis development has taken off. I attribute much of the development to the completion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Almost all new development in downtown has been in the proximity of the Cultural Trail.
. . . While the Northeast, Northwest, and Southeast parts of downtown have recently seen explosions in development, the Southwest area where the Stadium(s) is has yet to take off … with the exception of a few hotels.
One great feature downtown is Georgia Street – a shared space street that connects the Convention Center, the Fieldhouse, The Football Stadium, and the Cultural Trail. It has been hugely successful and should be a model for shared space streets around the nation.
The difference between Indianapolis and San Diego for downtown stadiums?
1) San Diego’s East village is already in the middle of a development boom. Instead of spurring development, a stadium in East Village would actually hinder it. Indianapolis’ stadium was built 30 years ago at a time when there was no development — or even hope for any.
2) San Diego has no vision that justifies a Stadium downtown. The only reason for a Stadium in DTSD is that Spanos wants it. That’s not a vision for SD. Indy’s Stadium is in keeping with it’s vision and master-plan as a Sports City.
3) The Colts are a great, winning team. (had to rub that in).
And there was more great insight, but you'll need to go the original article for that.