The city of San Diego has issued a new stadium proposal for the Chargers, a proposal that Chargers execs immediately dismissed as unworkable because it would require voter approval of a tax increase, and — wait, didn’t we just do this once before? We did? That’s what I thought.
Anyway, the latest funding plan from Mayor Kevin Faulconer, if anyone cares:
- $200 million in cash from the city (raised via bonds)
- $150 million in cash from the county (raised who knows how)
- $362.5 million from the Chargers (from “net Stadium revenues,” i.e., out of their pockets)
- $187.5 million from PSL sales
- $200 million from the NFL’s G-4 program
That’s $1.1 billion, which is not actually as much as the $1.4 billion that was estimated in the previous plan, but all these construction cost numbers are fictional anyway, so why not? In the latest plan, the Chargers would be responsible for all cost overruns and all operations and maintenance costs — apparently Faulconer read that Voice of San Diego article too — and the city would not be on the hook to cover any shortfall in PSL sales, unlike the 49ers deal in Santa Clara, plans in Carson, and the disaster that hit Oakland with huge losses in the Coliseum renovation for the Raiders.
So we’d be looking at a semi-hard cap of $350 million in subsidies, as opposed to at least double that before, which is a step in the right direction. It’s not entirely clear from the mayor’s Powerpoint whether the team would still get $180 million worth of free land from the city, or whether there would still be a property tax exemption thanks to the public owning the stadium (but not any of the stadium revenues, which would all go to the Chargers), or who would get money from naming rights, or lots of other details. But still, at least the total public cost has come down a bit, thanks mostly to ditching the sale of another $225 million in land to a developer and pouring that into the pot as well.
Whether the reduced public cost would be worth it to San Diego is another story — but then, given that the Chargers owners have already rejected this plan, it’s probably a moot point. To me this still looks like a potential lose-lose for both sides — both San Diego taxpayers and the Chargers ownership could end up with red ink on their hands — which isn’t surprising, really, given that $1.1 billion is a hell of a lot of red ink to sop up with just the proceeds from selling snazzier luxury seating and the like.
Anyway, Faulconer’s report also included some new renderings of what the stadium vaportecture would look like, to distract you from all those numbers: