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What people said about the First Craft Beer Debate

A few of the people who came have sent some very thoughtful feedback (and, blessedly, data links) after the event.  Sam Ollinger of Bike San Diego said she “appreciated the civility” of the event.  The goal isn’t to change minds, but to inform in a fun, civil way.  And to enrich the discussion with new perspectives.  The following comments came from people who attended the first craft beer debate.

Nancy Graham sent the following:

“I asked the pro-stadium side if their proposal was really economically viable based on the fact the redevelopment agencies are no longer a source for financing, and the two sites they want to sell have significant constraints including an underground fuel plume and height restrictions.

End of redevelopment article  – Fuel plume under Qualcomm stadium article – Background on the coastal zone height limit that applies at the Sports Arena site

I asked the anti-stadium side if redeveloping the Qualcomm site would be a good way to solve some of our other challenges in the community, such as using it to alleviate the existing pressure on SDSU.

Article on Possible reuse of existing Qualcomm site by SDSU”

Also, Lee Pacheco sent this nice and helpful note:

From: “Lee Pacheco” <>
Date: Thu, Sep 13, 2012 12:47 pm
Subject: Follow Up from Craft Brew Debate

I wanted to follow up and thank you for your work putting the debate together.  I think Greg was great and the panel did a good job to present points.  I definitely pondered both sides and where a lot of their shortcomings were.  It routinely saddens me that there is so much emphasis on fighting over getting the most for yourself instead of figuring out something that will help everyone.  Roughly 12MM sq ft (270acres to sq ft calculated on Google) are available with the old Q and Sports Arena (which is nasty, a colleague recently found mold on seats when visiting for a concert.)   12MM sq ft seems like quite a bit of material to generate more revenue to close the gap.  Anyway, thanks again, Lee

And this follow up note: The acreage was mentioned before, but shows the Q at 166 acres.  I can’t find a citation for the Sports Arena, but the size used in the debate was 100 acres.   1 acre to 43,560sq ft,  266* 43,560=11,586,960acres (number lower than 12MM based in 166acres instead of 170acres)  I’m not in real estate but $30/sq ft for land (located in the middle of desired and developed areas) should be doable…   Seems like the $400mm from the NFL/Chargers, plus naming rights/advertising dollars, and repurposing/selling this land should leave a relatively minor shortfall. 

Very good information, thank you for sending!

Great Stadium Debate a Success, what’s next?

For those who missed the Great Stadium Debate, not to worry a video of the event will be posted on this site as soon as it’s done.  A great time was had by all and most importantly the audience and the panelists had an opportunity to exchange in a more relaxed forum than your typical debate.

As mentioned last night, the plan is to follow up with similar debates (provided we find sponsors to help underwrite) on topics ranging from education to water or infrastructure equity and planning. We may even tackle an actual beer topic – mass production versus craft brewing (yes, I’m biased, but the debate could be interesting).  We’ll follow the same format of taking a controversial position, having some fun, and providing a forum for people to walk away with information they can share with their friends.

The better informed we are as citizens of the region the better our decisions will be–and we’ll be able to have meaningful participation in city and county decisions.  And with San Diego becoming one of the premier international destinations for craft beer, this is a great way to open public issues to more people. 

Thanks for dropping by, please feel free to read some of the background posts! Cheers.

National University lends a sports fan to the Craft Beer Debates

Although the purpose of these debates is to make local issues more approachable, there’s no avoiding that whether to build (and publicly pay for) a stadium in downtown is a complex issue. One of the panelists who focuses on making complex issues understandable in his work as President of National University Institute for Policy Research is Erik Bruvold, let’s meet him. Read more…

A proud Fronterizo joins the Great Stadium Debate

As part of the Craft Beer Debates, we’ve brought together four important perspectives on the issue of publicly funding a Chargers stadium downtown in San Diego.  One of the panelists has a long history of working hard to give voice to the voiceless. Since a downtown stadium would impact large, predominantly Latino communities south of downtown, including a panelist who lives in Logan Heights was an important part of this process.  Let’s meet Christian Ramirez of Equality Alliance San Diego. Read more…

The Great Stadium Debate – No thanks, save my money

It feels odd even fixing my hands to type this post.  Growing up–actually well into my early 30s–you could not have convinced me there was any reason not to build my Chargers a Taj Mahal.  But if we’re going to have an actual craft beer debate, we need two sides, right?  And I’ve come to learn there are some pretty decent ideas on the dark side as well.  So before we get to September 12th and start mixing quality craft beer with some healthy back and forth, I thought I should put up some useful information from the “not my tax dollars” crowd.  Here goes… Read more…

Local guy makes good at Coronado Brewing Co.

One of the great things about San Diego’s craft beer community is how approachable even the most successful brewers often are.  And many of the long-time brewers are from San Diego, so it’s really a homegrown affair.  In recent times, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, through Brewtech, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, through tasting room legislation, have really supported this exploding San Diego industry.   The local Brewer’s Guild is a cool group that helps support the craft beer industry in San Diego and  I recently sat down with its President, Shawn DeWitt, co-owner and Director of Brewery Operations at Coronado Brewing Company.  Here’s his take on being part of the local passion. Read more…

Great Stadium Debate Background: Build it already

Full disclosure, I am a lifelong Chargers fan.  I mean a REAL lifelong Chargers fan.  The kind who had to race home from church to listen to the radio when there were local blackouts.  The kind who held out hope that Billy Joe Tolliver was going to be our quarterback of the future.  Heck, the kind who refers to the Chargers as “our” even though I’m not on the payroll.  And, of course, the die-hard fan that still swoons for Dan Fouts but also fondly remembers Kellen Winslow, Stan Humphries, Natrone Means, Little Train, Leslie O’Neil, Burt Grossman, and even had hope when we signed Jim McMahon.   Okay, enough with puffing up my street cred, this is about providing information.  So here goes… Read more…

A little local craft beer history

My inner nerd, itching to surface, came across this gem while doing some research. Yes, that little bit of awesome history is courtesy of the San Diego Historical Society, who maintains some pretty amazing stuff.  If you know of any good trivia or links about the origins and evolution of craft beer in San Diego, please share.

The Great Stadium Debate: Introducing the Panelists

Photo of Qualcomm Stadium where the Chargers currently play home games in San Diego

The first Craft Beer Debate, moderated by charismatic Stone Brewing Co. CEO & Co-founder Greg Koch, will be held on September 12, 2012, at Slater’s 50/50 in Liberty Station. Fun and craft beer will be had by all.  The resolution that will be debated: 

Should we have a publicly funded football stadium in downtown for the Chargers?

In addition to highly encouraged audience participation (like this), we have a great panel lined up.  They include Read more…

City of San Diego Budget for Qualcomm Stadium

For those brave enough to ask, I thought I should actually post a link to the city of San Diego’s recent budgets for Qualcomm Stadium.  Here’s the thing, I’m not an accountant, so it’s way beyond my expertise to interpret all this.  But I’ll keep it short and give  a few items to help if you feel like looking… Read more…