Measure C means so much more to San Diego than just creating a new stadium and convention center.
The latest example came Monday morning when Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that CONNECT ALL - the region's first diversity-focused start-up incubator and accelerator – will be located and open year round inside the proposed downtown convention center and stadium.
Fauloner cited how housing CONNECT ALL at the facility showcases the Chargers commitment to making sure the proposal impacts the local community in an assortment of ways.
"From the very beginning, the Chargers' plan with this project has been very cognizant of how to make this work and provide more than just the opportunity for the team on Sundays," the mayor said. "It's about merging professional sports, our tourism economy and now our business economy (together). It's not only how do we keep the Chargers in San Diego in a world class stadium, but how do we grow our tourism economy? How do we provide new opportunities for San Diegans? That is what we are doing now with technology and innovation by adding CONNECT ALL (as) part of the new stadium. It's the right mix. My job as mayor is to help provide these opportunities, which is why I endorsed (Measure C). There is a lot of excitement, and rightfully so."
CONNECT ALL's Director H. Puentes didn't mince words about the impact that being associated and housed inside the facility will have for the company. CONNECT is the premier innovation and business accelerator in San Diego and has helped create and scale new technology and life sciences companies for more than 30 years. CONNECT ALL's focus is to increase diversity, create jobs and present new and increased opportunities for underrepresented groups.
"This is unbelievable," Puentes said. "The potential for what we are going to do, and what it means for San Diego for the long term by making the stadium more than just a stadium is (incredible). To house groups and business inside the stadium, and to be associated with the Chargers, it's what dreams are made of. To be associated with the Chargers (and the NFL) amplifies possibilities. For us, the Chargers are making a stand. They aren't just talking about the problem with (diversity), but they are going to act on it and try to create solutions."
Spanos is a big believer in helping boost the local economy, and foresees the new facility being able to help, and house, numerous businesses on a daily basis.
"There is going to be a tremendous amount of retail and commercial space inside the convention center and stadium project, and this is the type of businesses we look forward to seeing in our project downtown," Spanos said. "This is just the start and the first business of this type to go into this project of what we plan to be many. The more, the better. This is only the start, and it's pretty exciting for us to think years from now the type of impact this project can have in the community for young startups and businesses."
Paid for by Vote Yes on C, with major funding by Chargers Football Company, LLC.