Chargers' Downtown Stadium Advisor 'Confident' Despite Big Challenges - NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego Chargers launch a hurry-up offense to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium

Chargers' Downtown Stadium Advisor 'Confident' Despite Big Challenges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Chargers' new point man, Fred Maas, faces myriad questions about how the team is going to build a downtown stadium. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison sat down with him to tackle those questions. (Published Friday, Feb. 26, 2016)

    The point man for the Chargers' efforts to build a new stadium downtown is no stranger to large, complex development projects.

    Fred Maas chaired San Diego's Centre City Development Corp. -- so he knows the lay of the land the Chargers are targeting.

    It’s a site that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts don't approve of.

    Maas' political acumen will be tested in the cause of trying smooth their ruffled feathers.

    "I'm confident that over time, when the plans evolve and they're made public and they see what we're attempting to do there, that we'll get some receptivity,” Maas said in an interview Friday. “I'm not in denial about how difficult it's going to be. But I've enjoyed a good relationship over the years and I hope to continue that today."

    The 12-acre site under consideration in downtown’s East Village presents a tricky set of logistical and environmental challenges for the planned, hybrid stadium and convention center facility

    An MTS bus yard will need to be acquired, relocated and the underlying property “remediated” of residual pollution.

    A historic building – the old Wonder Bread factory that now houses Mission Brewery – will also have to undergo the same process.

    Those are just two of 11 parcels that must be aggregated for the $1.7 billion project.

    The Chargers are racing to get a financial scheme and citizens' initiative ready by March 24 to start gathering signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

    The team's planning to invest more than $10 million in the campaign.

    The ballot issues involved, juxtaposed with a proposed measure to raise hotel room taxes, figure to pose legal questions that could wind up in court.

    "You just have to measure your risk and go forward with the best project you possibly can,” Maas told NBC 7. “I believe ultimately, if we're successful with the ballot, I think there'll be a change in the hearts and minds of the folks here, and we'll have a somewhat easier pathway.”