San Diegans to Vote on Padres Ballpark

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<i> From Associated Press</i>

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to put the Padres ballpark issue on the November ballot.

Mayor Susan Golding and Padres officials finally reached an agreement over the weekend on how to pay for the proposed $411-million downtown baseball stadium.

The council was under pressure to approve the plan this week for a ballot measure vote or risk jeopardizing the plan.


The proposal seeks a 42,000-seat ballpark as well as redevelopment of an area of downtown near the historic Gaslamp District and San Diego Convention Center.

Under the agreement, the Padres are committed to staying in San Diego at least 30 years and to raising $115 million in private funds to pay for the construction. That includes revenue from selling naming rights to the ballpark. The Padres also agreed to develop 850 new hotel rooms and 750,000 square feet of office and retail space, among other things.

The city would finance $225 million through lease-revenue bonds secured by money generated from a hotel tax. The remainder, about $70 million, would come from the city’s redevelopment agency and infrastructure provided by the San Diego Port District.

If approved by voters, construction would start next year and the park would open in 2002.