San Diego submits same Chargers stadium plan as six months ago, NFL says thanks for time, we’ll call you

The city of San Diego submitted its Chargers stadium proposal to the NFL yesterday, and — stop me if you’ve heard this one before — it’s just a rehash of where things have stood for a while now, not an actual new bid. The actual 41-page letter can be found here, but it’s the same plan that Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed back in August:

  • $200 million in cash from the city, to be raised via lease revenue bonds (which San Diego officials say won’t require a public vote), then paid off by the city out of general revenues
  • $150 million in cash from the county (which would require a public vote, which couldn’t take place until June)
  • $362.5 million from the Chargers (who could use naming-rights fees to cover part of this)
  • $187.5 million from PSL sales
  • $200 million from the NFL’s G-4 program

Chargers owner Dean Spanos has repeatedly rejected this plan on the grounds that he doesn’t want to have to wait and see how people vote, but it’s the only plan he’s getting, so. Also, right now all three team owners (Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders) have shown little interest in their current cities’ stadium plans, so there’s not much to separate them in terms of who should get to move to L.A. because of their unhappy home life.

As for the NFL as an entity, it issued a carefully phrased statement thanking everyone for playing, and offering them a complimentary edition of the home game:

“All three submissions are generally consistent with our most recent discussions with public officials and task forces,” the statementx read. “We appreciate the leadership that public officials have demonstrated on behalf of the three cities. There is a great deal of information for the three teams and all of NFL ownership to review and consider. At this point, no applications for relocation of a franchise have been filed.”

The first NFL owners meeting to discuss this mess and try to come to some sort of consensus — remember, it takes a three-quarters supermajority for the NFL to decide on relocations — is a week from Tuesday. Sadly it will not be televised, because it would blow The Decision out of the water.


19 comments on “San Diego submits same Chargers stadium plan as six months ago, NFL says thanks for time, we’ll call you

  1. Question: Why isn’t the price of the stadium ever included in the flexible items when trying to get the payments worked out?

    NFL doesn’t want to pay $100 mil extra (and the owner and city won’t budge), why is it not even in the discussion to build a stadium that’s slightly cheaper? $900 million instead of $1 billion still gets the owner a shiny new stadium.

    I’ve always been perplexed that owners can not only demand a new stadium (that the public will own to avoid taxes), but that they can set an inflexible price tag on that stadium that’s never questioned during payment negotiations.

  2. Wouldn’t it have been cool if San Diego, Oakland, and St. Louis, in an act of solidarity, all submitted no plan and said we don’t care if all 3 of the teams go to LA simultaneously.

  3. @scott Meyers – It’s a three person prisoners delemma. They’d all be better off not to play but the one politician who does move would be better off than the other two, and if they all three go they’re equally screwed. It’s a hard problem to solve short of Federal legislation.

  4. “… the one politician who does move would be better off than the other two…”

    How so? The politician who dances and sings “I screwed the taxpayers” is declared the winner?

  5. So, for those of us keeping track at home:

    St Louis: Here’s a free $477M
    San Diego: Here’s a free $350M
    Inglewood: We’ll give you some buses and stuff
    Carson: We’ll remove the toxic waste under your stadium
    Oakland: No soup for you

    About right? Also, three cheers for Libby Schaaf.

  6. Except that the number of mayors who’ve lost their jobs because local sports teams left town is standing steady at zero.

  7. Aqib: As a former Seattle resident, I’ll assure you the Sonics had nothing to do with Greg Nickels’ loss.

    In fact, the main reasons for his loss were poor handling of a snowstorm, and approving an expensive tunnel through downtown to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The year before voters had rejected the exact tunnel he agreed to. At the same time voters had rejected the use of any public funds for a Sonics arena. As Nickels had done what the voters had decided, the Sonics were a non-issue.

    The moral of the story was not “don’t let your sports teams leave.” It’s “don’t spend tax money on the things your voters explicitly rejected.”

  8. Yeah, I’ve heard that from multiple Seattle residents. Losing the Sonics was way down the list of reasons people hated Nickels.

  9. And why would mayors care if they don’t get reelected? They will just wind up making more money after office being pundits, lobbyists, lawyers, whatever…

  10. “They will just wind up making more money after office being pundits, lobbyists, lawyers…”

    Then why would they go to the trouble of trying to get reelected? You’ve simplified things a bit too much.

  11. Problem is that the cost of a new NFL stadium by 2019 would be in excess of $1.6 Billion. See Atlanta Falcons experience whereby an initially presented as $900 Mil. cost stadium has become a $1.56 Billion expenditure cost and running.

  12. ChiGuy:

    It’s a very good question. I see no-one has tried to answer it above… I suspect because the only answer is “because they can demand whatever they want and the people who pay for it aren’t even permitted the right to question same”.

    I’ve long believed that the only reason we have the kinds of sports palaces being built today is because someone else is paying. If the owners were required to pay for their own facilities (keep in mind when I say this that in the 1970s one of the reasons the Dodgers were considered the model sports business was that they owned their own stadium… this is almost certainly considered a major encumbrance for their business today) new facilities would still be built, but only with those amenities that could ultimately pay for themselves through increased revenue.

    Golden bathroom hardware and HD screens on walls that no-one ever sees might seem like they are necessary when someone else is paying, but you’d never budget for them with your own money.

    This type of thing is true of construction companies as well. Apart from inflation (both labour and commodity inflation), the main reason a stadium that could have been built for $250m 15 years ago now costs at least $1Bn is that everyone involved knows if they put a ridiculous price tag on their work/time/level of finish some idiot politician will lobby for it and some other idiot politicians will back it, thus forcing the taxpayers to pay for it.

    You couldn’t built JerryWorld or the new Yankee stadium for $250m no matter how frugal the contractors… but then, if Jerry or George had to carry a mortgage on the buildings, neither would ever have been built as they were.

  13. Don’t you love how we play the game? We like to leave little clues around. “At this point, no applications for relocation of a franchise have been filed.” When we need your dough, all kinds of wheels are spinning and balls are in the air. But when it’s time to plan the next phase of the extoration game well, hey, we’re taking a break from all this moving biz, lol. I’ve been teaching the finer points of the public stadium cash grab long con here for a while. Maybe it’s going to sink in one day…

    BTW, golden bathroom hardware is a must, John In fact solid gold is always better than plate – just a little insight from your friendly local publicly-funded palace dweller.

  14. @Keith,
    “They will just wind up making more money after office being pundits, lobbyists, lawyers…”
    “Then why would they go to the trouble of trying to get reelected? You’ve simplified things a bit too much.”

    They go to the trouble to get reelected because they are in love with power and prestige of the job. When they leave office, either voluntarily or because of losing elections, they then must live with the awful circumstances of more money, and probably less power/prestige.

  15. As of this morning our official relocation fee is 550 million bucks. Anybody moves, we all wet our beaks in that L.A. gravy. Not that I think it’s happening but hey, if it does I’ll be face first in the trough filling up baby!