Goldman Sachs has secret plan to control NFL team relocations, or something

Vampire squid sighting! Sharp-eyed readers might already have noticed that when the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced their Carson stadium plan, neither team’s execs actually took the stage, but a guy from Goldman Sachs did. Now, the Voice of San Diego theorizes that the firm is even more intimately involved in the plan to move the Chargers north:

SportsBusiness Journal’s Daniel Kaplan, citing unnamed sources, reported Monday that Goldman Sachs will finance the Chargers’ costs of moving to L.A. by covering “any operating losses suffered by the team in the first few years in that city as well as costs for any renovations needed in a temporary venue.” If they relocate, the Chargers are expected to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum or the Rose Bowl while a new L.A.-area stadium is under construction…

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs managing director Greg Carey is advising Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s task force on building a publicly funded stadium to keep the Rams from moving to Los Angeles. The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority hired Goldman two years ago to find ways to keep the Rams, or at least NFL football, in St. Louis.

The Voice’s Beau Lynott puts all this together to suggest that since Goldman would make more money on a Carson stadium than a San Diego one (since it would cost more and require more private lending), and keeping the Rams in St. Louis would mean they’d get to help finance two stadiums instead of one, the firm is secretly trying to maneuver that scenario into happening. Or not secretly, maybe, but … fiendishly? Yeah, “fiendishly” sounds about right, even for things that Goldman Sachs just does as a matter of everyday business, because come on, people, Goldman Sachs.

Meanwhile, the Carson stadium backers launched a ballot initiative on Wednesday, which means they’re now looking at an Inglewood scenario: Either hold a public vote this summer, or have the city council just vote it in once the ballot signatures are collected, thus avoiding both the normal environmental review and an actual vote. Three guesses which one the Chargers would like to see.

I’m still having a really hard time finding the exact language of the Carson proposal or figuring out what’s being proposed — an attorney for the project promised that “not one penny [of city money] will go into the project,” but everybody says that. If anyone does manage to track it down, can you throw a link into comments? Thanks!

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9 comments on “Goldman Sachs has secret plan to control NFL team relocations, or something

  1. It wouldn’t surprise me if the financier of large public bond programs also had its hands in a multitude of shady development dealings.

  2. At some point we’re going to dispense with the actual playing of games since they’re a best tangential to the stadium and arena funding lifecycle. Like the Moai statues on Easter Island, future generations will marvel at the culture who squandered so many resources on monuments of so little true value.

  3. Hi Jason,
    I think you are on to something. It they stop playing the games, the stadiums will last longer.

  4. Carson Initiative detail (309 pages)

  5. Man, that’s an infodump and a half. People signing petitions aren’t actually expected to read all that, are they?

    It specifies no public money for construction or operations, which is good. Presumably it won’t be used for land purchase, since that’s supposed to happen before anything does with the initiative. My main concern, then, would be tax breaks — I know the stadium is supposed to be publicly owned, so presumably not subject to property taxes, but would the surrounding mixed-use development? What about land cleanup costs, since it’s an ex-landfill?

    It’s a good start, in other words, but I’d like to see an actual MOU.

  6. Goldman’s a blade in our swiss army knife, nothing more. We are the handle and they are the tool, as with all things NFL.

    I love the smell of public stadium cash in the morning!

  7. Carson residents have spent nearly $100 million, of redevelopment funds, on remediation of the landfill.

    Google “Sandy Mazza” in the Mercury News.

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