Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, called Chris Cate out this week in an ad determined to bring to the forefront talks of the Chargers leaving San Diego. Chris Cate, a City Council member isn’t the only one opposed to Spanos’ determination to use public money to fund a downtown stadium for his Pro-football team. And sufficing to say, talk about the NFL betting lines has quickly taken a backseat in favor of this showdown.
City council members have shown a rare instance of bipartisan agreement by standing up as whole to oppose Dean Spanos’ plans, though for largely different reasons. Spanos’ ad was clearly purposed towards harassing and punishing Cate, though, whether or not it will work remains to be seen.
The so-called Spanos Convadium doesn’t have many supporters, primarily because of the negative impact it is likely to have on the homeless population. Not only will a convadium directly displace the homeless but services to these sorts of people are likely to be interfered with, some examples of this situation manifesting including the following:
1). This isn’t the first time Pro sports has shown a disregard for the homeless. The installation of a rock garden under the I-5 overpass at Imperial Avenue was complemented by numerous callous homeless sweeps.
2). The configuration of a convadium guarantees that the homeless (in an area saturated with homeless persons) will have no room to exist. A convadium in this area would also contrast development plans that seek to create public open spaces even while preserving street corridors.
3). The installation of a convadium would place the homeless in the area in a state akin to a military occupation, what with the security requirements of such a configuration. Security patrols will eventually replace storefronts, working to keep the homeless away in their attempts to thwart unforeseen threats.
4). Game days are going to make the area a nightmare to maneuver, what with all the blocked roads, pedestrians and the flood of cars. 70,000 fans descending on the area will, undoubtedly, make life difficult for adjacent homeless service providers.
5). The increase in transient occupancy tax for the sake of constructing a convadium downtown is going to starve the city’s homeless population of some much-needed TOT revenue. This is despite the fact that Spanos’ team has failed to prove that the increase in taxes will elicit an increase in TOT revenue.
At least, the development of East Village is occurring incrementally and is likely to preserve street grids and corridors. Spanos’ Convadium initiative can do nothing good for the homeless population in San Diego.
Dean Spanos’ approach to the conflict has been masterful, making people like Mark Fabiani the face of his efforts and, in the long run, avoiding public backlash for his many cases of abuse of San Diego’s citizens.
His attacks against Cate might not go unnoticed, though; and this isn’t the first time Spanos has engaged in such tactics, the billionaire having engaged in a campaign of harassment against Bruce Henderson, a former member of the city council who fought against the ticket guarantee Spanos had received from the City.
Having attempted to outright abandon the city, going so far as to threaten its solvency at one point, Spanos’ attempts at diverting public assets for his own financial benefits are nothing new and he has proven time and time again that he doesn’t care about San Diego or its citizens.