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'Red flags galore' in San Diego's audit of Qualcomm Stadium

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 18, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    If Chargers depart, S.D. owes $27 million

    By Ronald W. Powell
    Monday, May 18, 2009

    A recent audit of Qualcomm Stadium not only showed that the city is losing more than $12 million a year on its operations but pointed to deeper red ink ahead if the Chargers bolt after the 2010 season.

    If that happens, the city would be left with debt of more than $27 million for stadium renovations made in 1998, no professional football team and an aging facility.

    “I see this audit as a call to action,” Councilman Carl DeMaio said. “There are red flags galore.”

    The report by the City Auditor's Office was released this month. It is scheduled to be heard by the city's Audit Committee June 1, at which recommendations – including creation of a business plan for the stadium – will be discussed.

    City officials finally may have to focus on the future of Qualcomm Stadium.

    Mayor Jerry Sanders and other officials have been content to watch the Chargers focus on getting a new stadium in Chula Vista for the past 18 months. Progress there is stalled, although the Chargers say they remain interested.

    If the team moves to another location, the city would be able to take control of the 166-acre Mission Valley property and possibly make millions by selling it, leasing it or developing it.

    The team is committed to playing at Qualcomm Stadium next season, but can explore a relocation deal with other cities between Feb. 1 and May 1 and in every succeeding year, until its lease with the city expires after the 2020 season.

    As part of its exit agreement with the city, the Chargers must pay off all remaining debt from the 1998 renovations if the team leaves after this season or next season. Currently, that amount is $56.2 million.

    After the 2010 season, the team could leave by paying $25.8 million, and the city would be responsible for the remaining $27.1 million.

    “We hope to play there in 2010 – that's our goal,” said Mark Fabiani, the Chargers general counsel and spokesman on the stadium issue.

    Beyond that?

    “I can't foresee the future,” Fabiani said. “I don't have a crystal ball, but, as I've said before, we're closer to the end of this thing than the beginning.”

    To operate Qualcomm Stadium, the city has spent millions more than what the 42-year-old facility generates in revenue. In 2006, the deficit was $8.6 million; in 2007, $6.8 million; in 2008, $13.6 million. This year the deficit is projected to be $12.4 million.
    The city is mostly using hote
    l room tax revenue that otherwise would go to the city's general fund to pay for police, fire and other daily operations.

    “Every dollar we spend at Qualcomm could be used somewhere else,” said Councilman Kevin Faulconer, chairman of the Audit Committee. “That's why we need to make sure Qualcomm runs as efficiently as possible, and why we need a business plan for where we are now and what prospects we have for the future.”

    With the the Chargers moving closer to the time the team can leave town for a discounted price, Faulconer said talks on the stadium's future should “begin now rather than a couple of years from now.”

    Sanders did not return a call seeking comment about the audit.

    Darren Pudgil, a Sanders spokesman, said the mayor agrees with the content of a six-page response to the audit by Jim Barwick, director of the city's real estate assets department. Barwick said a business and marketing plan for the stadium would be prepared for the mayor and council in six to nine months.

    “The fact that the contract is not a good deal for taxpayers is the least-kept secret in town,” said Pudgil, referring to the Chargers lease. “It predates this mayor, and there is little we can do about it.”

    The city has been trying to attract more revenue-generating events to the stadium – from concerts, to Supercross to tractor pulls – but those efforts have lagged in the hard-hit economy, city officials said.

    Fabiani said the audit makes the case the Chargers have been making for seven years – that the city is spending an enormous amount of money on an aging stadium and losing potential millions in sale or development of the property. He said that if a new stadium site includes a pad for a new sports arena, the city would have about 250 acres of potential new revenue.

    “There should be a better solution,” Fabiani said
    .
    DeMaio said the audit shows something entirely different.

    “What the audit shows is that Fabiani and his friends were very good at shaking us down,” DeMaio said. “I'll bluntly admit that it's not the Chargers' problem. They asked for the world and the politicians gave them the sun, the moon and the solar system.”

    DeMaio is referring to the team's renegotiation of its Qualcomm Stadium lease in 2004.

    At the time, the team agreed to drop a much-reviled “ticket guarantee,” in which the city had agreed to pay for unsold home game tickets – an amount that reached $36.4 million between 1995 and 2003 – in exchange for several concessions, including payment should the team depart.

    Another concession was to allow the team to pay a flat $2.5 million in rent annually. Under the old contract, the annual rent would have increased in 2007 to $7.2 million and up to $9.9 million by the time the lease expired.

    That wouldn't have covered the city's operating deficit, but would have significantly closed the gap.

    “Unfortunately, we've got a lopsided lease,” said Councilwoman Donna Frye, who opposed the 2004 agreement. “I believed the deal wasn't in the public's best interest, and the evidence is before us today.”

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stor...26-red-flags-galore-city-audit-faci/?chargers

    Online: Read the city auditor's report on Qualcomm Stadium at

    uniontrib.com/more/documents
     
  2. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

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    GET IT DONE!!!!
     
  3. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    I think it's funny how some people were mad at the Chargers for consenting to that lease agreement. In actuality, they should be mad at the politians that proposed it. The Chargers would have been stupid not to accept it. Chargers couldn't help it if the city was run by dumb ****s.
     
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  4. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Seriously - don't shoot the Bolts for taking a sweet deal - the moron who let it happen on the city's side was the real problem. I used to know his name, but he's since been "let go" :lol:
     
  5. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I'm inclined to agree that if one side is offering such a ridiculously good deal then why the heck would you not take it
    but having said that, as Demaio said, its time to fix that ASAP
     
  6. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    LOL in the faces of the politicians who try to act as if the city is being screwed by the Chargers.

    NO, you screwed yourselves. Now, either stop being finger pointing babies and own up to your stupidity and get a new deal/stadium done, or prepare for an even bigger mess when the Chargers finally say FUK DIS **** and bail in 2 years.
     
  7. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    • Like Like x 1
  8. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Save the Murph...
     
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  9. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

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    New City hall Approved


    Figures the dumb *** leaders of the City would approve new accommodations for themselves, but fail to invest on potential revenue for the city with a new Chargers Stadium. :tdown:
     
  10. SecretAsianMan

    SecretAsianMan New Member

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    I'm starting to wonder if the whole thing has dragged on for so long that it's too late to get anything done. Between the hurt feelings and bad economy I'm not sure this whole thing will be resolved.
     
  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Proposal for Qualcomm site opposed by mayor, Chargers

    Qualcomm focus of redevelopment

    By Matthew T. Hall
    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    A local developer's plan to build homes, offices, shops, hotel rooms and a new Chargers stadium at the team's current site in Mission Valley has met resistance from the people whose support it most needs: the team and the mayor.
    Two weeks after developer Perry Dealy privately showed Mayor Jerry Sanders blueprints for redeveloping San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium site, Sanders' office is raising concerns and other politicians sound skeptical or unenthused.
    Sanders declined to comment yesterday, but his spokesman Darren Pudgil said Dealy's idea “appears to be very dense for the site” and added, “If this doesn't work for the Chargers, it just doesn't work.”
    If that left the door open a small crack, Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani quickly closed it. Fabiani dismissed the proposal as outlandish in one of several online comments he acknowledged posting at the end of a San Diego Union-Tribune sports column by Tim Sullivan outlining Dealy's plan.
    In an interview, Fabiani elaborated, calling the proposal “a complete waste of time” because of its density and the upfront costs and delayed revenues of staggered construction. He also cited the legal challenge of designating the booming area blighted to turn it into a redevelopment zone, as Dealy envisions, to direct tax revenue toward a stadium and infrastructure.
    Councilwoman Donna Frye, whose district includes Mission Valley, said that last concern is reason enough to question a proposal she has not even seen.
    “If the whole proposal turns around the area being declared a redevelopment area, you have to comply with state law,” she said. “Mission Valley's not blighted.”
    Dealy did not return repeated calls yesterday.
    While Dealy and his development team have not met with Frye, they arranged meetings with Sanders and Councilman Carl DeMaio, whose presentation came Friday.
    The plans being pitched by Dealy, a former executive for developer Doug Manchester, call for about 5,000 residential units, 3.5 million square feet of office space, 500,000 square feet of specialty retail, 1,000 hotel rooms, 500 units of San Diego State student housing, 100,000 square feet of SDSU classroom and office space and 30 acres of parkland. They are grander in scale than plans the Chargers shelved in 2006 upon deciding they didn't pencil out.
    DeMaio, one of the City Council's budget hawks, reserved comment on the new proposal. But he reiterated his general position that any proposal must not be subsidized by taxpayers. He added that the city seems ill-equipped to receive any Chargers proposal now because it has not focused on the issue for so long.
    “I think he's starting the conversation again,” DeMaio said of Dealy. “And I'm glad to see that, but the problem is, where do you put those ideas?”
    Banker Tom Wornham, incoming chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, was enthusiastic about Dealy's plans, calling them “chapter 12 of the same book that we've all been trying to write over the last decade.”
    “Just the fact that we're talking about using city of San Diego assets again is a real positive,” he said.
    Chula Vista Councilman John McCann, a booster of moving the Chargers south, said he remains optimistic the team will relocate to his city's bayfront.
    “We've always known that the Mission Valley site would bubble up again, but our main focus is to try to put together a good project in Chula Vista,” McCann said. “We're still focused on what we can do.”
     
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  12. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Seriously, the sooner everyone prepares for and accepts the eventual departure of the team from San Diego the better.
     
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  13. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Accept this!!!

    :bananafinger: :icon_finger: :bananafinger: :icon_finger:


    Besides... what is they move to San Antonio instead of LA? Ever think of that?
     
  14. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I think the original plan was the best but it looks like it won't work out.

    If they move out of San Diego, I'm not supporting them.
    I don't know any Baltimore Colts fans that became Indianapolis Colts fans.
    You can bet your *** that Cleveland Browns fans didn't become Baltimore Ravens fans.
    St. Louis Cardinals fans didn't become Arizona Cardinals fans.

    Though LA Raiders fans are still Oakland Raiders fans. So I now understand the mindset of fans that criticize San Diego Chargers fans!!! :yes:
     
  15. -Scar-

    -Scar- thedoomship.com

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    :tdown:
     
  16. -Scar-

    -Scar- thedoomship.com

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    No..


    ****in...


    Way...

    No Matter What I'm Gonna Be Forced To Support Them....I Can't See Myself Going To Another Team....And If So...Who? I Just Can't Even Imagine Myself Cheering For The Raiders....It Would Take A Moving And Changing Of Team Name For That To Happen...


    I Kind Of Understand You Tho...

    :unsure: I Just really Like To Banish The Thought And Pray We Win A Super Bowl...That Would Be All It Takes To Inject The Revenue Into This That Is Needed....


    I have A Friend Who Was A Lifelong Browns Fan (oh the heartache) And Just Recently Said If The Browns Get Mangini He's Renouncing His Fanhood...Because He Knows Mangini Will Ruin The Team...So Far He's Been Right...So I Can't Blame Him...


    He's Now A Steelers Fan....And Absolutely Hates The Browns...



    I Just Dont Know If I Can Do That....Even If They Leave As Long As Its Only Los Angeles Or Somewhere In Southern California I'm Cool....



    Anything Else Tho...:unsure:
     
  17. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    Take a chisel and hammer because that is the only way you are saving anything.

    The Chargers have no interest in staying in San Diego.

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/28/bn28stadium-plans-unveiled/

    [​IMG]

    Look at the flippant way the Chargers mouthpiece says this billion dollar project can not be done in the present location of Mission Valley.

    I will not spend one more dime on the Chargers until I know this team is staying or going.

    It appears the Chargers do not give a fuc and are just waiting to buy down their exit fee.

    Not once have the Chargers offered to pay for the land. They also said they could not get developmental partners (when the F'N local Indian casino said they would help) and it fell on deaf ears. No fans really called out the Chargers. The tired excuse of the big bad San Diego City Attorney blah blah blah....all bullshit.

    You even told me they said the deal would not pencil. It pencils and building densities can be changed through re- zoning.

    F-this noise.

    The Bolts deliver or else adios. They are gone. This article just reinforces what I have suspected.
     
  18. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Nothing against your friend but that's a little crazy. I certainly understand the frustration but they'll still be the "Cleveland Browns" for a very, very, very long time.

    As long as they're the "San Diego Chargers"... they'll always be my team. If they moved up north and became the "Southern California Chargers"... (I think) they'll still be my team.

    They become anything else besides those two... I'm finding a new team but it won't be the Retards, Quiefs, Donks, Ponies, Patsies, Gnats, etc.
    Hell... if I can get the coverage, it might even be a CFL team!!

    I've had it with the "No Fan Loyalty" policy!!!
     
  19. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    To play devils advocate

    City hall is older then Qualcomn and is far worse off concerning codes, fire safety, etc then the Q is. They've technically needed one more then other places have. Anyone ever been there? Its the city equivalent of a toilet.


    But yeah having said that
    **** this ****!

    And I won't accept the Chargers leaving until the moving vans arrive, so :trout::icon_finger::beat: you who lose faith
     
  20. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

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    They have to know that as soon as we build a stadium the revenue will be flying in!

    Superbowls...
    College Bowls...
    Potential as a site for a world cup bid...

    They all want to come here but we have nothing that's state of the art...
     
  21. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    The most recent Qualcomm site project was a pipe dream from the word go. The sheer amount of real estate both commercial and residential would CRIPPLE the infrastructure even if improved.

    After recent events and discussions my faith in the Chargers staying in San Diego has strengthened significantly. If I were to put money on it, I'd say they will end up downtown near Petco but MV is looking more viable again so who knows :icon_shrug: - Not feeling too good about CV b/c it really depends on the state getting off their money wasting asses and actually doing something :p

    That said - if you want the Chargers to stay make your voice heard :yes: The Spanos family and the Chargers organization WANT TO STAY IN SAN DIEGO. I cannot emphasize this enough you guys, it's not lip service, it's real. Trust me. Speak up - comment about your desire for the Bolts to stay on online articles - call/email/write local representatives - get educated on the different proposals and events surrounding the situation - not only will it ease your worries but it does make a huge difference! :abq2:
     
  22. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I used to believe that but now I'm starting to have my doubts.
    I understand and agree that this City Hall plan seems like a pipe dream but why completely dismiss it? Why not just say "if you make it happen... we're in?"
     
  23. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    But reading this thread - for the first time in my life - I was
    thinking about following my team,THE BOLTS, to another city.
    If the political leaders and the economy players of the city
    don't support the search for a new stadium, I can understand
    if the Spanos Family is looking for a better place to stay.
     

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