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Chargers change tack on stadium

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Taxpayer money needed, team says

    By Matthew T. Hall, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Friday, December 11, 2009



    For nearly seven years, the San Diego Chargers have said they would build a new stadium without taxpayer money. Now, they’re calling an audible.
    “It’s almost certainly going to involve some sort of taxpayer money,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani, head of a stadium search since 2002, said yesterday.
    The shift is significant for the team, which has continually expressed a desire to finance stadium construction privately and acknowledged via Fabiani the difficulty of getting public support for any kind of taxpayer subsidy.
    Fabiani and Jim Steeg, the Chargers’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, were in Rancho Bernardo yesterday to address a forum of the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce at Sony headquarters. Steeg touted the team’s value while Fabiani talked of a new stadium.
    Mayor Jerry Sanders has long said he would oppose using public funds toward construction of a new stadium but has stayed quiet on the topic lately. He declined an interview request through a spokesman yesterday.
    Last month, after Sanders made construction of a new stadium a priority, the spokesman said the Mayor’s Office is looking at all ways that cities have helped with stadium construction, including borrowing money against future redevelopment revenues downtown.
    Councilman Kevin Faulconer, whose downtown district includes the Chargers’ envisioned East Village site, didn’t rule out the use of redevelopment money.
    “It all depends on the details and whether it’s good for taxpayers and the downtown area,” Faulconer said. “I think people have an open mind about the potential of a Chargers stadium downtown, but the financing issues are going to be a very important driver on this.”
    Part of Steeg’s presentation dealt with the shortcomings of Qualcomm Stadium, which the team considers outdated after 42 years. He listed game-day traffic jams, narrow concourses, aging scoreboards and sound systems, cramped locker rooms and inadequate suites, lounges and advertising space as well as the league’s refusal to play future Super Bowls in San Diego.
    Then, Fabiani updated the crowd of 40 to 50 people on early efforts by the city and team to evaluate a potential site east of Petco Park.
    Because it’s in the downtown redevelopment area, officials would be allowed to borrow money against future property taxes to help finance a stadium.
    Fabiani said a stadium could be built downtown for $700 million to $800 million. Earlier plans had the Chargers and the National Football League contributing $200 million apiece to a stadium, and the gap bridged by revenue from nearby ancillary development, such as hotels, condominiums and retail.
    The team is dismissing that concept because of the poor economy and the small size of the downtown site, which is bounded by 14th, 16th and K streets and Imperial Avenue. Plans call for a 62,000-seat stadium that could be expanded to 72,000 seats to accommodate Super Bowls. It would abut the street, with little room for other development.
    Fabiani said the team has “no interest in obscuring” its shift on public financing because it still intends to ask voters about the ultimate proposal at the ballot box.
    “We have no interest in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, even into the millions, on this site, and then finding out that nobody wants to support it,” Fabiani said.
    He also said the league’s financial support is not assured because the fund it created for such purposes has been drained.
    The city’s downtown redevelopment arm, the Centre City Development Corp., is paying a consultant $160,000 to study how to finance the construction.
    Two years ago, that consultant, Mitchell Ziets, talked to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal about stadium deals and public-private partnership trends.
    “You’re seeing less appetite from taxpayers and political officials to put public money in,” Ziets said. “Folks are getting a lot more creative about how they’re packaging and dressing up public money.”
    Ziets, who declined to discuss his contract last month, did not return calls for comment yesterday.
    Taxpayers have often helped foot stadium projects. The $474 million Petco Park was built with $300 million of taxpayer money, and the Dallas Cowboys’ new $1.15 billion football stadium, where the Chargers play Sunday, was completed with $325 million of public funds.
    Yesterday CCDC Chairman Fred Maas said it was premature to talk specifics but that any successful plan to redevelop the site — for a stadium or anything else — should involve public money.
    Maas attended a private meeting with Sanders and Chargers president Dean Spanos in October and one with the mayor and two county supervisors on the downtown site last month.
    Any redevelopment “is going to require some public expenditure of redevelopment dollars, which in pure terms are public dollars but are dollars that have been designated to cure blight in the urban core,” Maas said.
    A push to use public money would face opposition from Donna Frye, the longest-serving member of the San Diego City Council, whose district includes Qualcomm Stadium.
    Discussing the mayor’s private stadium meetings recently, Frye said, “My main point will always be that the taxpayers don’t foot the bill. We cannot afford to pay for a Chargers stadium. The city can’t afford it. That would include any money from the redevelopment agency.”
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Stadium Search Update

    Mark Fabiani, Special Counsel to the President
    Posted Dec 11, 2009

    The latest update on the search for a new San Diego Chargers Stadium

    Over the past week the Voice of San Diego and the San Diego Union-Tribune have both published stories about how a stadium in downtown San Diego might be financed. The Chargers have also discussed the issue at a variety of community forums during the last several months. Here is a summary of the Chargers’ position:


    • The Chargers’ previous attempts over the last seven years to privately finance a stadium all involved very large sites that could accommodate both a stadium and a related development project – the profits of which would help pay for the costs of the stadium.
    • These large sites included, among others, the existing Qualcomm site (166 acres), the Chula Vista Bayfront site (130 acres), and the Oceanside drive-in and golf course sites (combined 165 acres).
    • The downtown San Diego site now being considered is just over 10 acres – making it the smallest stadium site in the NFL. As a result, the site will accommodate, at most, the stadium, without any opportunity for the related development to help pay for the stadium.
    • For that reason, the successful development of a stadium at the downtown site will require sources of funding other than what might come from a related development, in addition to a $250 - $300 million investment by the Chargers and the NFL.
    • It is too soon to say what other funding sources may be available. That is the subject of a CCDC-sponsored study by stadium finance expert Mitchell Zeits.
    • Nonetheless, we believe it is important for everyone to understand that the downtown site might require some sort of taxpayer subsidy.
    • Such a subsidy would only be possible if voters agree that an investment downtown will result in significant returns for taxpayers elsewhere. For example:
    - Would a taxpayer investment downtown result in the city of San Diego saving the $300 million or more that taxpayers will pay through 2020 to maintain the Qualcomm site?
    - Would an investment downtown allow the city of San Diego to sell, lease or otherwise generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue from the 166-acre Qualcomm site?
    - Would a taxpayer investment downtown allow the city of San Diego to make better use of the 100 or so acres it owns in and around the Sports Arena site?​
    • These are all open questions, and ultimately voters will decide whether a public investment in this project makes sense.
    • The Chargers believe that, at this early stage of the process, it makes sense to continue to explore these ideas to see where they might lead.
     
  3. PB Bolt

    PB Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Donna Frye's name should have come up long before the last paragraph. Therein lies the rub.
     
  4. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Donna the Stadium Killer....
     
  5. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

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    "Introducing your 2012 Los Angeles Chargers!"
     
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  6. PB Bolt

    PB Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Don't hold your breath on that one. I'm surprised LA has been able to keep the girls in that town.

    http://www.lflus.com/latemptation/
     
  7. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    Problem with LA is that Roski will want partial ownership (I'd imagine a significant portion) of any team going there, and I just don't see the Spanos wanting to give up a portion of their team for a stadium, it's clear they want to keep the team in the family (really the only thing missing is a Spanos coaching the team).
     
  8. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Thank You!
    I've been saying the same thing,but no one want's to listen.
     
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  9. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    You and everybody else here.
     

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