San Diego misses deadline for January Chargers stadium vote, still plenty of other months in the year

San Diego officially isn’t holding a referendum next January on Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Chargers stadium plan that absolutely everybody hates including the Chargers owners: The deadline for scheduling a referendum was last Friday, and it wasn’t scheduled, because see above re: hate.

So now what?

“While it’s no surprise that the Chargers have allowed today’s deadline to pass for a January 12 special election,” said Faulconer, “San Diego can still hold a public vote on a new stadium during the normal election cycle in June or November – if Chargers ownership is willing to work in good faith with their hometown.”

Take out the passive-aggressive snipe at the Chargers ownership (Chargers execs responded with their own passive-aggressive snipe in return — this is what passes for negotiations in San Diego these days), and San Diego is basically in the same position as St. Louis and Oakland with the Rams and Raiders: If the NFL decides this winter to let teams move to L.A. if they don’t have stadium deals in place in their current homes, they’re probably screwed; if it decides to give everybody some more rope and kick everything back a year, there’s still plenty of time to work out a deal that their team can live with.

Though given that “deal that their team can live with” probably means “deal that costs local taxpayers ungodly amounts of money,” the city or cities that lose their teams to L.A. might end up the biggest winners, financially, at least. These things never end well.


9 comments on “San Diego misses deadline for January Chargers stadium vote, still plenty of other months in the year

  1. What really happens if the Chargers and the Raiders “win” the right to go in on a new stadium in Carson (or some other suburb to be named)? Is that the moment when they realize “Holy cow, now we gotta spend a bunch of our own money on this thing?”

    How exactly are the Chargers going to finance a supposed $1.8 billion stadium when they can’t or won’t come up with a fraction of that to stay in San Diego?

    Seems to me that the city of San Diego ought to tell the Chargers, “We’ll match whatever subsidy you’re getting from Carson.” I’m sure there are some public dollars involved in the Carson thing, but is it anywhere near what the Chargers are turning down from San Diego?

  2. The claim is that they can get a lot more in PSL sales in Carson. Plus splitting the cost two ways would bring it down a little per team, though of course they’d split revenues, too.

    I don’t see the math penciling out, myself, but we won’t know unless and until San Diego calls their bluff.

  3. Why would San Diego promise to match what another location is offering? The question is what amount of subsidy will work out well for San Diego, and that has nothing to do with whatever money Carson is putting on the table.

    And in that vein, is there any convenient chart or anything that shows the numbers that a city should be willing to kick in? Neil, you recently mentioned that the SF Giants’ stadium turned out pretty well for the area because it involved only about $20 million in subsidies. There’s surely some amount of money that is worth “investing” to keep a team from leaving; it’s just presumably far lower than what cities too often kick in.

  4. JLR: It’s going to vary too much city to city, and project to project, and depending on what the team’s lease looks like, etc. There’s no substitute for calculating it on a case-by-case basis, I’m afraid.

  5. San Diego is asking the Chargers to pitch in more money than half of the $1.7 billion the Carson stadium will cost. The city “contribution” of $150 million is a revenue bond tied to the Chargers rent and the county has no idea where they would get their $200 million. It’s a joke, there was never any intention of building a new stadium, it was a political ploy.

    Carson will be funded just like Metlife stadium, primarily from 2 sets of PSLs, 2 NFL G-4 grant/loans, and naming rights for a 2 team stadium. Chargers/Raiders will get more on naming rights for a venue that can be used year round. The Giants/Jets were going to get more money from Allianz but the JDL shut that down.

  6. The NFL needs San Diego more than San Diego needs the NFL.There is plenty to do there and the lack of an NFL team won’t hurt as much.That being said if the city of Oakland loses the raiders again it will be devastating.They have almost no tourism there it’s all San Francisco .

  7. Actually, Jack London Square is a pretty hopping tourist district. And I doubt many Raiders fans ever go anywhere in Oakland other than the highway and the parking lot, so not sure how much benefit they are to the Oakland economy.

  8. I’d love to see the Raiders stay in Oakland as the majority of their great history is there.Buuuuuuuuuuut I know how the NFL works now and it’s $$$$$$$$.I also think the city of Oakland is doing all they can to push them out of Oakland and prefer to keep the A’s.

  9. San Diego has NEVER had any honest intention of getting a new football stadium built here in SD! It can’t afford it any more now than they could 14+ years ago when negotiations began. The biggest problem for SD is that it is an economic dead zone: no major widespread hometown industry, huge transient population in the military, virtually insignificant as a financial base, etc. SD can’t even afford to retain the services of the team without a new stadium so what makes people think they could do it while building another one? It’s a stupid pipe dream to simply expect the Chargers to pay for a stadium in this literal dead end town when Goldman-Sachs is willing to do the paying up in Carson. The city acts as it it has the upper hand except there is no legal reason requiring the Chargers to stay in SD since they’re free agents. The city has ZERO leverage and they’re faking this entire “fight” simply to keep up appearances and not get revenge-voted out! Hell, the worst thing that could happen to SD is to have the Chargers agree to stay in SD but there’s no way in Hell they’d bend over and take it up their backsides by agreeing to pay more than $200 million total towards any SD stadium. They’d be better off dismantling the team altogether at that point… The city would be left holding the bag for the cost, no financier will step in to carry the load, and the NFL isn’t stupid enough to pour more money into a dead market.