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Economic Impact Study on Convadium Reveals Wide Array of Economic Benefits

The economic impact study authored by two prominent San Diego economists has demonstrated that the proposed downtown “convadium” project would have a wide array of economic benefits for San Diego workers and residents.

The study, authored by Dr. Alan Gin and Dr. Murtaza Baxamusa, was funded by the San Diego Chargers. “The Chargers gave us complete freedom to do our research over the summer months and to come to whatever conclusions we believed were warranted,” said Dr. Alan Gin. “The study we are releasing today is the result of three months of intensive work by Dr. Baxamusa, our research assistant Kelly Allende, and me.”

The final study uses replicable and academically accepted methods, conservative assumptions and robust government data, so that the findings are independently verifiable.  It identifies three specific areas of economic impact: (1) The impact of the construction of the project; (2) The impact of the Chargers’ operations in San Diego; and (3) The impact of additional conventions and meetings through the use of the convadium as an expansion of the Convention Center.

Construction Impacts

According to the economic impact study, “the estimated total employment impact for the construction of the convadium is 15,000 jobs, of which roughly 12,400 are direct and 2,600 are indirect and induced. The vast majority of those jobs will be in the construction sector. The construction of the convadium will increase regional output by a total of $2.1 billion, increase labor income by more than $800 million, and will have a value-added impact of $1.2 billion.”

Impacts of Chargers Operations

The study also analyzed the impact of the Chargers’ operations on the local economy and found that “the regional impact of the Chargers’ operations is $126 million for output, $67 million for labor income, and $96 million for value-added.” The study also noted that “this economic impact is likely underestimated due to lack of data on expenditures by visiting fans of the opposing teams and on expenditures by Chargers’ players in the local community.”

Impacts of Additional Conventions and Meetings

According to the study, “the regional impact of the Convention Center expansion portion of the convadium is $272 million for output, $110 million for labor income, and $150 million for value-added.”

The Study’s Conclusion

The economic impact study concluded that “the total permanent effect of the convadium is the combination of the impact of the Chargers’ operations in San Diego and the impact of the Convention Center expansion. Employment impact is an increase of more than 6,400 jobs, of which more than 4,200 are direct and 2,200 are indirect and induced. The combined direct expenditures of more than $300 million will have a total estimated impact of nearly $400 million on regional output, $176 million on labor income, and $246 million on value added.”

Carol Kim, Director of Community Impact for the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, applauded the findings of the economic study.

"The convadium will result in thousands of new good-paying jobs for San Diegans, plus new apprenticeship training opportunities for community members to 'earn while they learn,' receive full family medical coverage, retirement benefits, and enter into a life-long middle-class career without college debt. This is a clear boost to our economy and a benefit for our communities,” said Kim.

About the Study's Authors

Dr. Alan Gin is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and his Masters of Arts and Ph.D. degrees, both in Economics, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Gin’s primary area of research is in urban economics, and he is best known for developing and publishing the University of San Diego’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County. He has been interviewed numerous times in the local and national media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsweek.

Dr. Murtaza Baxamusa is the Director of Planning and Development for the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council Family Housing Corporation, and teaches community planning at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC). Dr. Baxamusa received his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Planning from USC, and a Bachelor’s (Honors) degree in Architecture from the Indian Institute of Technology. He also serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Middle Class Taxpayers Association. He is a planner certified by the American Planning Association, and published peer-reviewed scholarly articles that are frequently cited on the topic of community benefits agreements.

Katelyn Allende is a Research Assistant, and a senior majoring in Economics at the University of San Diego.

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