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California tough on new stadiums

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/09/07/sections/sports/nfl%202005/article_664238.php" target="_blank">OC Register</a>

    The NFL has experienced an unprecedented stadium boom over the past 14 years. Since 1992, 19 stadiums have been built from scratch or significantly renovated. Three more state-of-the-art facilities are on the way.

    They aren't going up in the state of California.

    California is home to one-third of the remaining "old" stadiums. It isn't a coincidence.

    Generating public support for stadium projects is particularly problematic in California, whose residents have a history of opposing tax increases and subsidies.

    "We simply don't have the public-sector support to throw time, resources and money at stadiums as other states do," said David Carter of the Los Angeles-based Sports Business Group.

    The Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers play in three of the oldest stadiums in the league. All opened in the 1960s.

    The three teams also rank in the bottom fourth of the NFL in stadium-generated revenue, according to Forbes magazine. Fourteen of the top 16 have new or significantly renovated stadiums.

    "In five years we're going to be right at the bottom," predicted Mark Fabiani, who is spearheading the Chargers' effort to replace Qualcomm Stadium. "That's not a place you can afford to be in the NFL. Our cash flow is so far behind a team like Denver."

    Unlike the money from the league's national TV contracts, clubs do not share most stadium-generated revenue. So teams such as the Washington Redskins, who rank first in revenue, can more easily afford to pay multimillion-dollar signing bonuses to free-agent players.

    Of the California teams, the Chargers are most aggressively pursuing a new facility. Their quest is complicated by political and financial strife in the city of San Diego.

    The city played host to the Super Bowl in January 2003, but NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league's showcase event - which can pump millions of dollars into a local economy - likely wouldn't return without a state-of-the-art stadium. The same goes for the Bay Area.

    "Until we make a material move in this state," Carter said, "don't expect a Super Bowl unless it's part of a contingency plan for another market."

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