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Padres Get Ballpark Project Help

September 21, 1999

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ The San Diego Padres hired two executives to help with their downtown ballpark project, including former city manager Jack McGrory.

McGrory was named executive vice president-chief operating officer. The Padres also hired Bob Vizas as vice president-special counsel. Vizas is currently a San Francisco trial lawyer.

McGrory has been in private business since resigning as city manager in September 1997. During his tenure at city hall, the City Council agreed to a controversial $78 million expansion of Jack Murphy Stadium to accommodate the NFL’s Chargers. When a portion of the deal hit a snag, high-tech company Qualcomm stepped in with $18 million to help complete the project in exchange for putting its name on the stadium.

The Padres say they can’t survive financially at Qualcomm, which seats 70,000. A $411 million downtown ballpark was approved by the voters in November, shortly after the Padres were swept in the World Series by the New York Yankees.

The ballpark, part of a $1 billion redevelopment project, has run into opposition and is being held up while an environmental impact report is completed. If the City Council approves the report, the Padres can proceed with property acquisition, demolition and site preparation toward a 2002 opening.

McGrory will serve as president of a company that will be formed to handle the development activities the Padres are responsible for.

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