SD issues new funding plan for Chargers stadium that’s slightly cheaper, Chargers hate on it even more

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:

stadiumconcept007Um, yeah, that’s pretty distracting, all right. I guess once fans start falling to their deaths from those Jetsons space-bridges, no one will remember who paid what for the whole mess, right?


22 comments on “SD issues new funding plan for Chargers stadium that’s slightly cheaper, Chargers hate on it even more

  1. Regarding
    “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.”
    I think ‘red ink’ should be changed to ‘less green ink’. If the Charges truly need a new or renovated stadium to stay in business, then Spanos can easily pay for the full cost of it. If they don’t need it, then they can continue to play in the ‘dump’ known as Qualcomm Stadium.where they averaged over 65,000 per game in attendance during the 2014 NFL season.

  2. So…the CSAG was…a big waste of time. Kind of like what the Chargers said it was back in January.

  3. The attendance isn’t an issue these days with the fat contracts handed to the NFL for broadcast, merchandise and other things. So the whole point is to get someone to pay for the luxury boxes and hand over the money to the owners. I’m sure there’s a plan to sell off the Chargers once the stadium is built but nobody is blinking.

  4. The stadium itself would likely provide red ink. Yes, the Chargers could cover that out of their profits, but as you note, Scott, then they might as well just stay at Qualcomm.

    At this point, NFL teams could probably make money playing in vacant lots and collecting TV checks. Not as much money as by selling tickets, too, but real money.

  5. Yes, it is a testament to the bravery of the 65,000+ fans per game who risked their lives going inside decrepit Qualcomm.

  6. Ok, now I think you’ve hit on a key piece of the funding puzzle here Neil… If the fans who plummet to their deaths from the Jetsons bridges are all lifelong (ahem) charger fans and agree that any proceeds of the lawsuits their survivors will surely launch can be retroactively used to pay for the stadium that caused their deaths….

  7. At least the pictures include parking, something most stadium renderings don’t have. The pictures also include lots of sideline and endzone clubs and suites, so you’re regular seats are going to suck. In conclusion, your tax money will go to a stadium that most will rarelly use (most fans watch on TV), and most of the few that go to the stadium will not have better seats!

  8. I have a few questions:

    1) Does anyone know how much the land is really worth?

    2) If the Chargers leave and Qualcomm is imploded what would the land be used for?

    3) Does the city make money on the bowl games played there?

    4) Can we just let them go to LA and call them the Southern California Chargers?

  9. 1) Not without putting it up for sale and seeing what bids you get. $180m was the task force’s own estimate.

    2) Anything you want.

    3) SD breaks even on non-Chargers events, pretty much: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/land-use/how-san-diego-loses-so-much-money-on-qualcomm-stadium/

    4) You can call them whatever you please. If they think your patronage is at stake, the Spanoses might even go along with you.

  10. With regard to the alternate use question, I ask becauase I haven’t been to San Diego since 1988 and even then I was only there for a few hours. Consequently I don’t have any idea what is going on in San Diego development wise. Are their corporations there other than Qualcomm looking to expand and therefore could use the land. Is there a housing shortage? Does SDSU need to expand its campus? Or is it going to sit empty for a few years (like ironically the Carson site is) until someone comes along with an idea for it. Also, if we don’t know what else it can be used for than we can’t really say its worth $X.

  11. The Chargers wanted the downtown site and are basically pissing on the Mission Valley plans like spoiled children. I’ve been a season ticket holder since the 60’s and feel the chargers may as well leave at this point. If a new stadium is built, ticket prices are going to sky rocket, PSL’s are going be exorbitant and concessions, which are already a league high, are going to be unrealistic. I’m spending roughly $500-$600 every home game ($165/ticket x2, $40 parking permit, ±$150 food/beer). The Chargers don’t care about the fans. The Chargers care about the $.

    Laughing at the thought that 100’s of millions of tax dollars isn’t good enough? Piss on you. NFL owners that care about their cities (Kraft’s, Rooney’s, Allen’s) handle these situations with class and support those who shell out their hard earned money to support the local team. They make these deals work and speak to the people directly. They don’t hide behind a political stratagist / crisis manager – Mark Fabani.

    All these years of supporting the Charger franchise – not a single super bowl. Not a single show of appreciation. It’s all about the money and as far as I’m concerned, beat it losers. Sunday ticket is $400. I can put the $5K I’m saving on my season tickets toward the ticket and a couple 80″ 4K TV. Leaving me just enough money to pick a new team and buy some fanfare.

    I hope the Carson deal falls through and the Chargers are forced to crawl back to the city of SD. When that happens, I hope Mayor Faulkner unzips his pleated slacks, points at his dode and makes the #selfie duckface.

    Win a Super Bowl, Get a Stadium.

  12. Most important question – Is Spanoses the proper form of the plural of Spanos?

  13. 2) If the Chargers leave and Qualcomm is imploded what would the land be used for? Anything you want

    I don’t think this is strictly true. The Qualcomm site sits on the flood plain for the San Diego River and in moderate rains floods. Which for a parking lot isn’t an issue but for a shopping center or housing would be an issue. Most of the site would be unsuitable for anything but parks or parking lots.

    Also it there is an underground water storage area under the parking lots as well that limits what can be done on the site if the stadium is replaced.

  14. So how were they planning on using the parking lot for development? That wasn’t just part of Faulconer’s original plan, but the Chargers’ as well, once upon a time.

  15. The 160 odd acres currently occupied by Qualcomm stadium and its parking lot could probably go for a cool billion IF it was zoned correctly and the fuel spill were cleaned.

    Right now, there may or may not be a gasoline plum thanks to a half dozen fuel containers which have been sitting on the site for decades. However, there are those that claim the plume has been cleaned and they have the test results to prove it.

    As far as zoning is concerned, the land is currently only zoned for a stadium and changing it is supposed to be costly.

    Anyways, San Diego is notoriously bad at negotiating good prices for the land it has. Honestly, Kevin Faulconer will probably sell it for magic beans if he’s given the chance.

  16. @Neil – You can put buildings on stilts like they did with the Mission Valley Mall, but, it adds to the cost.

    I always assumed that those buildings as vaporware that just plain wouldn’t get built and the parking lots would remain. All the development plans I saw didn’t have remotely enough parking for a San Diego development. And I have no idea on how stadium would even work in that area without acres of parking. There is no way the Trolley could bring enough people in and out in sufficent numbers.

  17. Didn’t the Chargers make other proposals over the years where they had offered to pay significantly more of the costs?

  18. @Aqib – Not really. They offered to build it themselves if the city gave them a bunch of free land to build it on, plus the entire Mission Valley site to redevelop and sell. I think they also offered to build one with a $500 million gap in funding that they wanted someone else (read the city/county/state) to fill.

  19. “Spanos” looks like a Greek cognate, so the grammatical plural may be “Spanoi,” As a bonus, then, when you get irritated by their antics you can say “these guys really put the ‘annoy’ in Spanoi!”

    On another note, can anyone else not even, like, visually parse that architectural drawing? What is even where in that? What part of a stadium are we looking at? Is part of it a hologram or something?

  20. It’s the “gateway activation.” Which if I’m not mistaken requires all six of the Infinity Stones to put into effect.

  21. My prediction of the ultimate result of the NFL/LA shuffle:

    1. Rams announce move to LA for 2016, will play in LA Coliseum until Inglewood Stadium is built
    2. Chargers announce partnership with Rams, rebranded as “Southern California Chargers”. Depending on whether the LA Coliseum will take two teams, they’ll play there as well. If not, they’ll play several lame duck seasons at Jack Murphy until the Inglewood Stadium is built.
    3. NFL throws a bone to San Diego, agrees that the Southern California Chargers will play two home games a year in San Diego. Games will take place at Jack Murphy if SDSU wants to keep upkeep on it after the Chargers bolt. If not and Jack Murphy is leveled, games will be played somewhat awkwardly at Petco Park.
    4. Carson remains the home of the Carson Landfill and nothing else.
    5. Raiders leave Oakland in 2016 for…..St. Louis. They play at the Edward Jones Dome pending construction of the St. Louis riverfront stadium.
    6. Oakland, you’re out. Please pack your bags and leave.