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.