Consultant to San Diego: All the other cities fund NFL stadiums, you should too!

The San Diego Chargers have announced they won’t be opting out of their Qualcomm Stadium lease this fall, an action that comes as exactly zero surprise, since no new stadiums (including the proposed one east of Los Angeles) would be ready in time for them to move this year anyway. Add in that the penalty the Chargers would have to pay to break their lease plummets from $53 million this year to $26 million in 2011 and … why is this worthy of a 600-word news story again?

Also falling in the dubious news category is the report given by “sports financing consultant” Mitchell Ziets yesterday to San Diego development officials, in which he concluded that significant public financing would be needed for a new Chargers stadium. His evidence? The 11 NFL stadiums built since 2002 had an average of 55% of their costs paid for by the public. He added that a new stadium would only work “if it makes sense for everybody,” but apparently didn’t actually attempt to calculate, say, what a stadium would cost or how it would benefit the city.

Given that the city of San Diego is paying Ziets $160,000 for his consulting services, you have to hope Ziets bought a really nice calculator to come up with that 55% figure. Though I suppose it’s still more exhaustive research than reading Bret Easton Ellis.


7 comments on “Consultant to San Diego: All the other cities fund NFL stadiums, you should too!

  1. Given the NFL is a monopoly, with at least ten franchise owners who are billionaires, why can’t they pool together their financial capital and lend each other sufficient funding to build stadiums that primarily benefit their organizations? The days of depending on taxpayers are over.

  2. The population of San Diego (the city) is 1.2 Million, more than 10 times the population of Santa Clara, the city the 49ers are trying to squeeze for a $114 million direct subsidy plus $330 million more in high risk funding from Santa Clara’s Stadium Authority.

  3. With the chance of a lockout in 2011 growing by the day any talk of new stadium construction is asinine. Nothing should happen until that is resolved.

  4. The NFL’s union contract expires after next season, and speculation is that the league will lock out the players in an attempt to get concessions. The players union chief recently said the chance of a lockout was “14 on a scale of 1 to 10.”

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