SAN DIEGO-Construction activity on a Downtown ballpark redevelopment projectwill halt Oct. 2 until a long-term financing plan can be put into place, the Padresand the city have announced.

In a joint press release, the baseball team and city leaders said a design and construction fund will be empty by the end of this month, forcing developers to halt work at 7 a.m. on Oct. 2. A shutdown would also likely slow at least some of the ambitious commercial development plans for the area.

“We hope that the suspension is a short one and that we are able to hold theoutstanding development and construction team that we have assembledtogether and complete this important project,” says Larry Lucchino,president and CEO of the San Diego Padres. “However, at this time we see noway to secure additional temporary cash infusions without a comprehensivefinancing plan in place.”

A city source tells that the delay could last well intonext year, when a new mayoral administration replaces that of Mayor SusanGolding. Though polls show that most city residents favor the project, Golding says she won’t permit any more public cash to be pumped into it.

“This is obviously a setback for the Padres, the city and the voters of SanDiego,” Lucchino says.

The San Diego City Council approved the sale of bonds for the ballpark atthe end of January. But numerous legal challenges by opponents–and a pendinglegal investigation into allegations that city officials illegally accepted perksfrom the Padres–have stalled the bond sale.

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