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San Diego Chargers unveil plans for new stadium & convention centre

Inspired by the rich nautical history of San Diego, and the beautiful Southern California coastline, the proposed San Diego Stadium and Convention Center has been designed from its inception to be one of the most comfortable and exciting stadiums in the world.

With its long leaning lines, and a warm and rich material palette that includes high-tech fabrics and sustainable natural materials like stone and recycled wood, the building has a distinct forward motion to its feel. An abstraction of a boat sailing along the nearby coastline, the silhouette of the project is simultaneously familiar and unique. It feels like a natural expansion of the city – as if it has been a part of the history of the neighbourhood before it was even first imagined.

The design is groundbreaking in a number of ways, but certainly the most obvious is its one-of-a-kind use of valuable downtown land area. Typically, stadiums and convention centres individually require an unusual amount of real estate, which, in established downtown neighbourhoods, can be very challenging as it relates to creating successful urban plans and pedestrian connections. But in the case of the San Diego Stadium & Convention Center, while the total site area is atypically smaller than most other NFL stadiums sites – the design creatively solves for both a world-class NFL stadium and convention centre to be constructed on the same piece of land. The result is almost a two-for-one gift back to the city, whereby the city and its people can enjoy the benefits of two important civic assets, while recovering additional nearby land for local businesses and residents.

The design meets the requirements of NFL Super Bowls, allowing the world wide event to once again return to San Diego. Credit: MANICA

The design meets the requirements of NFL Super Bowls, allowing the world wide event to once again return to San Diego. Credit: MANICA.

Taking advantage of San Diego’s spectacular sunshine and weather, every aspect of the project has been designed to be uniquely San Diego. With outdoor terraces throughout, the design captures spectacular panoramic views of the Coronado Bridge, the water and the full downtown skyline. The rooftop garden, 100’ above the lower Western 12th street park, connects to the Upper concourse and will provide a first-of-its-kind amenity for the spectators – and the city. Accessible to the public for special events, it will provide the most dynamic and spectacular views of its surroundings.

The Convention Center & Stadium building elements are designed to be used both separately, and in conjunction with one another. The result is a dynamic and flexible solution that yields a new state-of-the-art football stadium for the city, and a convention centre expansion that will allow San Diego to continue to compete in the 21st century convention industry.

David Manica, President of MANICA – the firm behind the stadium and convention centre’s design – said:

This project is envisioned to compliment the scale and energy of downtown San Diego. I wanted to create something that would feel natural to the city, as if it was part of the neighbourhood before it was ever imagined.

Every aspect of the project has been envisioned to be uniquely San Diego. Like many homes and public spaces in Southern California, this concept is all about indoor-outdoor living and taking advantage of San Diego’s spectacular sunshine and weather.

The design is filled with outdoor terraces that capture panoramic views of the Coronado Bridge, the water and downtown. An important part of the convention centre would be a beautiful Sky Garden that would be activated right along with the indoor exhibition, meeting room and ballroom space and even includes cabana meeting rooms that would create a fresh new experience for discussion, collaboration and innovation.

This garden also connects to the Upper Concourse of the stadium and would provide a first-of-its kind amenity for fans during game day. This is a great example of the rich interplay between the convention centre and the stadium, and demonstrates how the project is fully integrated.

There would also be green space accessible to the public everyday: along 12th street, at the western edge of the site, the facility has been set back more than 200′ to create a public park that would provide a wide view corridor that protects sightlines and natural daylight for the library reading room.

 

Main (top) image: The Stadium and Convention Center expansion is well situated adjacent to other important civic assets like the ballpark, the convention centre and the library. The result is a dynamic collection of amenities for the city that create important synergies with local business such as restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. Credit: MANICA

 

Financing the Stadium

Plans to finance the proposed new stadium in downtown San Diego may hinge on a June 22 vote by the city council, Chargers Special Counsel to the President, Mark Fabiani, said.

Fabiani spoke at a town hall forum last Wednesday night at the Ironworkers Union Hall to discuss the latest developments in the Chargers’ attempt to secure a Super Bowl-quality facility. The town hall was sponsored by the San Diego Stadium Coalition community group (sdstadium.org).

The city council will vote June 22 to approve or reject a study that would examine the viability of extending the redevelopment spending cap for the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC).

The CCDC will soon reach its allocated limit for downtown development funds. The proposed study, to be funded by the CCDC, will examine whether a new stadium and the potential for surrounding upshots of retail, business and housing, would create a bigger pot and the county would come out ahead.
The intimate and compact design of the seating bowl pulls every spectator as close to the event as possible. The grand opening on the West end of the bowl, utilized for temporary Super Bowl expansion seating, allows for views of the downtown skyline from within the stadium. Credit: MANICA.

The intimate and compact design of the seating bowl pulls every spectator as close to the event as possible. The grand opening on the West end of the bowl, utilised for temporary Super Bowl expansion seating, allows for views of the downtown skyline from within the stadium. Credit: MANICA.

Facts & Figures

The Convention Centre:

  • 260,000sqft of exhibit hall space, including 100,000sqft of open-air, pillar-less exhibit space with unconstrained vertical clearance
  • What will likely be the largest ballroom in the United States, at more than 63,000sqft
  • A 100,000sqft Sky Garden with cabana-style meeting rooms, above and beyond the exhibit hall and ballroom space
  • Operable roof canopy
  • All the necessary pre-function, food service and back-of-house facilities

The Stadium:

  • 61,500 spectator seats, including general admission, club seats and suites
  • Expansion capacity of 72,000 for the Super Bowl
  • Cutting-edge video boards
  • World-class restaurants, outdoor dining experiences and premium clubs and suites
  • Phenomenal sightlines
  • Ability to host other major sporting events and concerts ranging from 20,000 to 61,500 in capacity