Former Padres owner John Moores is once again getting involved in city politics and stadium building. He built Petco Park while trudging through lawsuits and political scandal. He was never the same afterward. His leadership within the Padres organization was non-existent following the park opening, his subsequent divorce and attempted sale of the Padres led us into the dark times where we've been ever since. When he finally left town he took $200 million of Fox Sports San Diego money with him. He's done a lot of good things for San Diego: the ballpark, his cancer center, his donations to local universities but it's hard to say how history will view him.
Yesterday it was announced that Moores made an initial investment of $45,000 to the Citizen's Plan. He has met with Mayor Faulconer and leadership of SDSU and UCSD prior to his involvement. The plan is to turn the site of Qualcomm Stadium into a mixed use facility for both universities consisting of housing, classrooms and a public park. Meanwhile a Chargers stadium could still be built on his land downtown presumably by his construction company.
The complex initiative would raise San Diego’s tax on hotel stays to 15.5 percent and provide limited tax credits for the hotel industry to fund tourism-related infrastructure. It would outlaw the San Diego Convention Center’s planned bayside expansion. But it would not prohibit a competing project at Tailgate Park proposed by JMI Realty, which is owned by Moores and controls adjacent property.
Moores is a very shrewd businessman, if he's involved then there's lots of money to be made. He may just save football in San Diego but that will be secondary to him earning another billion dollars. Somehow he says this plan won't interfere with the city's plan to build a new stadium on it's current site in Mission Valley, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
In a statement, Moores said he felt comfortable it wasn’t hurting Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s efforts at all and was most interested in protecting the Mission Valley site of the current stadium for expansion of San Diego State and UC San Diego.
Moores told Donna Frye he didn't want to get involved in the Charger controversy but now it appears he is.