184 Chargers fans want a publicly funded stadium, TV station calls this “split” support

I have a busy day today (more on that … Thursday, looks like), so fortunately it was a slow news weekend around here. Though we did get an exceptionally stupid poll, courtesy of KGTV in San Diego:

The issue over how a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers would be funded continues to be divisive, according to a new KGTV poll released this week.

When asked if public money should be used to finance a new stadium, 36 percent responded yes, 47 percent said no and 17 percent were unsure.

That’s a bit worse than “divisive” — an 11-point deficit is “opposition” in most people’s book, even for polls with high margins of error. But more to the point, who was being polled, exactly?

The 15-question poll was conducted by SurveyUSA. 510 fans were polled for each question.

No indication how “fans” was defined (probably “people who answered ‘yes’ to ‘Are you a Chargers fan?’ on a robocall“), but still, if you take this poll seriously, the most reasonable takeaway would be: Even Chargers fans are mostly opposed to public money being used for a Chargers stadium. Still a stupid poll, then, but even stupider article reporting on it.

23 comments on “184 Chargers fans want a publicly funded stadium, TV station calls this “split” support

  1. Very good chance that the Chargers and Rams share a stadium in Inglewood. Hello San Antonio Raiders!!

  2. The survey started with 800 respondents. Those who said “No” (290 of them) were excluded from the rest of the poll. To be fair, most of the questions would not have been of interest to non-fans.

  3. I suspect some non-fans would have been interested in “Should public money be used to finance a new stadium?” Anyway, what’s the margin of error on 510 respondents? And were these by random phone poll, of which geographic area, etc.?

  4. Shouldn’t the poll be 62% oppose spending money (290 non-Charger fans + 209 Charger fans who oppose).

    Also the LOL moment is that 80% of Chargers fans thinks the ticket price is too high. I somehow doubt a new stadium will result in lowered ticket prices.

  5. Prices to high, not for public money for stadium. Want to guess what way the Chargers will go on these issues.

    Maybe SD Chargers can become the LA Chargers again and bring back the horse.

    Now what is a split? if a poll of 1000 people was done and 2 people said yes and 998 said yes, would the press and on-air news report that it was a split? It like not all 1000 against so it must be split?

  6. The Chargers know a public vote will fail in San Diego. They’re trying to get a shared convention center stadium plan that no one wants. More San Diegans would have a favorable opinion of the Spanos family private plane going down in flames with all of them on it.

    AEG loses the rights to the Farmers Field development lease next month. NFL can pick it up and put the Rams and Chargers in there if the league really wants back in LA.

    Naming rights for 2 teams was $1 billion over 30 years (PV = ~$500 Mil), 2 sets of PSLs $400 to $500 Mil, 2 sets of G-5 loans $500 Mil. Set up a tax free “stadium authority” and you just funded the project with the owners keeping 100% franchise ownership and most if not all of their luxury suite money.

    San Diego already has to go to LA to see most concerts(the wife and I are going to 3 just in Sept.), most current Chargers season ticket holders will go to LA 8 times a year,except for the oldies 55 to 60+ with their great LA inferiority complex.

    Bye, bye, Chargers

  7. Why would it be any more profitable for the Chargers to build a stadium in L.A. than to do so in San Diego? Or for the NFL to do so for them?

  8. If the NFL moved all 32 teams to LA, apparently they could get $16bn for naming rights (according to the math above).

    Wow, yeah, I can’t see them not doing that… but what the math above hasn’t explained is why the NFL would just give this (apparently insanely valuable) market to an owner?. Give some thought to how that relocation meeting will go… does anyone think Jerry Jones or Shahid Khan or the Maras will just say “aw heck, let ’em have LA…”? So factor in a huge fee for relocation (LA is more likely to be an expansion market, if it ever is filled) for the Chargers to move back to LA… There’s no guarantee that the NFL gives the second G5 loan (or that a second team will want to give up it’s priority status in their present market to share Los Angeles) either. And they’ll want a $500m relocation fee (which would be less than half the expansion fee they would get for a team in LA) also. So now the Spanos family (in the example quoted) is a billion down on the move. Can they make $100m more a year in LA than they do in San Diego? They’ll need to to make that math work.

    Los Angeles will always have advantages over most other NFL (and other sports) markets. That has been the case since the 1960s… and the benefits of being in a top 3 market have only expanded since the 1990s… when the LA teams left town…

    The NFL has made far more money out of not having a team in LA than they could create in new revenues by putting a team there. I’m sure once every team has a brand new state of the art stadium with ‘state of the art amenities’ clauses in place, they might get around to considering LA. But that is some way away yet.

  9. Doug: Surely if a poll is to be accurate, it needs to be a poll of all affected citizens (in this case, San Diegans) regardless of whether they are Charger fans or football fans in general?

    Polling only fans of a sport or team would be like holding a presidential election and only allowing registered republicans to vote. The outcome would be neither representative or in doubt.

  10. @John Bladen – I think Al Davis has shown that if a team wanted to move there there is nothing really the NFL can do to stop a move. They can sue after the fact, but even then they cannot force a team to go back after they have moved.

  11. jmauro: Al Davis proved that in 1982 and again in 1994/5. Both moves happened before professional sports leagues across the continent made some important changes to their corporate structures specifically designed to eliminate the “independent business” arguments Davis made as part of those cases.

    Since those reorganizations, no team has moved absent approval from their league. In a couple of cases, teams announced that they wanted to move and the NFL did not oppose the move, but there have been no contested moves since 1994/5.

  12. @ Neil

    I explained perfectly why building a shared stadium in LA will be cheaper for the Chargers’ and Rams’ owners than building in their current markets. You disagree?

  13. JohnOgre: If you’re saying that building a shared stadium is cheaper than building a non-shared one, sure. It doesn’t have anything to do with L.A., though. And you’re not likely to be able to get double the PSLs, since they won’t both get buyers rights to concerts and the like — I haven’t looked at what the Jets and Giants got total from PSLs, but I imagine it’s less than if they’d both built separate stadiums. (Not enough to make separate stadiums worth spending on, mind you, but less.)

  14. @ Neil

    Jets and Giants goal was to raise over $700 mil


    I guarantee my $400 Mil total was far below what was raised in NY, during the “great recession”, for a shared stadium that can’t be used year round.

    Thanks for admitting that you don’t read the posts before you respond and you can’t be bothered to do any research. This site has so much potential. A shared stadium anywhere? Yeah that’s reasonable, it’s not my fault you didn’t read my post before your knee-jerk response.

  15. JohnOgre: I do read the posts. I misread yours, clearly, and for that I apologize. It’s one reason I usually try not to get into detailed arguments that late (or this late) at night.

    I still think you’re being overly optimistic with the revenues — your Sports Business Daily link doesn’t resolve for me, but this article makes it appear that the Giants and Jets got less than $350m combined for PSLs:


    I’m probably overdue for a “Can a two-team stadium work in L.A.?” post (or article), and I’ll try to set aside some time for that. It’s going to have to wait for daylight hours, though.

  16. NYpost is not a credible source. AFTER TAX???

    The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (a tax-exempt state authority) owns the stadium. I know the Jets/Giants didn’t reach their goal but even those NYP figures pre-tax would be about $600 Mil which is the figure that I remember. Clearly the Jets/Giants raised a lot more than my conservative $400 Mil figure, during the “great recession”, for a shared stadium that can’t be used year round.

    I’d be interested in a well thought out discussion as long as you aren’t one of those “$500 Mil relocation fee” nonsense believers. People should at least understand that the NFL can pick up the “Farmers Field” development rights if they’d like when AEG loses them next month.

  17. Neil

    From your link “The Giants have fared better selling PSLs — with merely 1,500 remaining — and said Friday they are not cutting prices.” and “Several NFL executives earlier this week told The Post they wonder if the Jets poor PSL sales — which have created a shortfall of roughly $100 million in revenue…”

    So it does look like the Jets/Giants brought in about $600 mil from PSLs during the “great recession” for a shared stadium that can’t be used year round. And why wont 2 teams in LA raise $400 mil?

  18. @Neil

    You deleted my detailed post pointing out why “$500 Mil relocation fees” is nonsense and the factual numbers on revenue dilution for why the NFL isn’t going to expand. Did my facts not fit your agenda?

  19. I didn’t delete it — it never made it past moderation because it contained multiple personal attacks against another commenter. You’re welcome to repost if you can keep from getting personal.

  20. And here’s another article (from the NY Times instead of the NY Post) referring to the proceeds of the Giants and Jets sale being about $350 million “after taxes”:


    I’ll have to check, but my guess is that since it was the teams and not the NJSEA selling the PSLs, the proceeds became taxable? Why the tax rate would be 50% I have no idea, though.

  21. Where’s the proof that taxes were paid on PSLs? That link surely isn’t sufficient. I know the NJSEA owns the stadium, it would be incredibly stupid not to sell the PSLs through the NJSEA.

    These writers don’t know what they’re talking about, I had to dig to find proof that the NJSEA actually owned the stadium. I bet they connect private financing to private ownership, sports writers aren’t worth their weight in sand.

    Here’s another link that mentions “after-tax” but it also states “Both the Giants and Jets will be co-owners of the 82,500-seat stadium.” which is obviously not true.


    Well anyway the Jets/Giants raised about $600 million, my $400 million is more than reasonable. We both know that a tax free stadium authority can be set up in CA to avoid taxation.

  22. The problem with having a public stadium authority sell the PSLs, as Santa Clara did for the 49ers, is that then if the PSLs don’t sell, the city is left holding the bag on that piece of the stadium debt. (If the stadium authority were to give the PSL proceeds to the team, then they’d be taxable.) It wasn’t a problem with the 49ers; when Oakland tried to do it to pay for Mount Davis, it was a disaster.

    It’s possible that L.A. could be talked into doing this for a team (or teams), on the Santa Clara model. But it’s not as simple as “just have the government sell the PSLs and then the taxes go poof and everybody’s happy.”

  23. I like how these articles and columns always ignore the fact that the CURRENT stadium in S.D. is 100% publicly-funded and is losing the taxpayers money every year. The Chargers have offered to put about $500M in combined private money toward a new stadium, and to negotiate a lease that is a better deal for the city, benefitting both sides. The reason why nothing gets done is that people insist on viewing this as some massive taxpayer giveaway to the Spanos family, which it is not.

    Meanwhile, San Diego’s inaction for the past decade has squandered more than $200M in tax money on “maintenance” of Qualcomm Stadium, and if the Chargers are allowed to leave, the city will be stuck with an empty hulk of Qualcomm stadium without the tenant that pays the lion’s share of the rent there. The city might not even be able to afford to tear it down if they left.

    San Diego is incredibly foolish not to have already negotiated in good faith with the chargers, and can REALLY screw things up if they let them leave. The only upside to the Chargers moving to LA will be the end of every politician’s career who allowed it to happen on their watch.