The value of the Qualcomm Stadium site has just risen to a level much higher than was previously anticipated.
Independent real estate appraisers have come up with a figure of $110 million for the stadium site, plus what's been the Chargers' headquarters complex in Murphy Canyon.
But the future of the property and other land nearby is still under a cloud of politics at City Hall. While the current scheme focused on the Mission Valley site is “SoccerCity,” that billion-dollar vision could wind up giving way to other developers' dreams.
Either way, San Diego taxpayers will be in line for a more substantial payoff than had generally been expected.
SoccerCity's investors have been estimating all that land as worth no more than $50 million. They recently told Mayor Faulconer they'd pay the city a tenth of the fair-market value per year to lease it. Now they’re re-evaluating.
On paper, the bigger number benefits Faulconer in promoting the SoccerCity plan -- which he's endorsed -- as more reason to hold a November special election on it, or risk losing a Major League Soccer franchise.
But the City Council's five Democrats, the majority on the Council, are opposed.
Building trades unions have lobbied them in that direction. Political observers doubt the high land appraisal will sway a Democrat to cross over and vote for a special election.
"Maybe this is the thing that helps -- or maybe this is 'a' thing that helps,” says Andrew Keatts, who’s extensively covered stadium issues for NBC 7’s media partner Voice of San Diego.
“But at least so far, the things that have been keeping them from getting to 'Yes' are not changed,” Keatts explained in an interview Wednesday. “Those are the situation we know that exists -- which is that labor's not happy."
In the meantime, there's still the formality of the mayor vetoing the Council's cancellation of money for a special election that will cost $5 million.
The Democrats will need a Republican's vote to override the veto and restore the funding.