San Diego unveils stadium plan to keep Chargers from leaving

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SAN DIEGO -- A new football stadium for San Diego should be financed with a mix of financial contributions from the city and county of San Diego, the Chargers and the NFL, plus bond and land sales, a nine-member advisory group appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer recommended Monday.

A report released by the group two days before its deadline said no new taxes would be included, so that a two-thirds vote of the public would not be required. Funding sources would exceed $1.4 billion, according to the report.

"We developed a financing plan that would actually succeed in this unique San Diego environment, ensuring that it is fair for the Chargers and other tenants, fair for the city and county, and fair for taxpayers,'' said Adam Day, chairman of the Chargers Stadium Advisory Group.

Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group Unveils Finance Plan

"Our plan is the first of its kind, and it should jump-star negotiations between the Chargers, the city and the county,'' Day said, adding that the recommendations provide "a fair and workable path to a new stadium in San Diego.''


"That’s exactly what I wanted which was a menu of options," said Mayor Kevin Faculoner.

Faulconer said the plan provides a first step from which his team can work from.

"For the first time we have a starting point that makes a lot of sense and I’m looking forward to beginning negotiations," said the Mayor.

He said he has put together a team of outside experts, a city/county team and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to review the plan submitted by the task force.

"I’m sure there’s some of the ideas in this framework that will make it some that may not," said Faulconer.

He said despite the no public vote required in CSAG's financing plan, he would be moving forward.

"I remain committed to the public vote, I think it’s the absolute right thing to do and I’m convinced San Diegans will support a fair plan that makes sense," said Faulconer.

The task force has already recommended that the new facility be located adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium, which would be razed to make way for the development and a park alongside the San Diego River.

"They didn’t overstate numbers or understate numbers to make the argument, they’re very realistic," said Kris Michell, President & CEO of The Downtown San Diego Partnership.

Michell's organization had lobbied for the new stadium to be located in the East Village and lost, but she praised the plan.

"I think by far it is the best proposal I’ve seen in the 13 years we’ve been in San Diego," said Michell.

Michelle called it a win-win for everyone, Charger fan or not.

"We could actually solve the problem keep the Chargers in SD and have extra money for infrastructure, potholes and things like that," said Michell.

"It provides wiggle room, it provides room to grow, it’s extremely fair, anyone who’s not excited about this should be," said Shawne Merriman, Pro-Bowler and Former San Diego Charger Linebacker.

Merriman has been working closely with the task force and has been in contact with Charger owner Dean Spanos, he said he did not see any room for rejection with the plan submitted by CSAG.

"How can’t you, you know? It’s a great, great plan," said Merriman.

The next step will be for the Mayor and his team to begin negotiations, Faulconer said he is aiming for June 1st.  The city and county of San Diego jointly hired Nixon Peabody, which has consulted on 25 stadium projects, and Citigroup, which has been involved in raising money to build stadiums recently in Atlanta, New York and Orlando.

Mark Fabiani, Lead Counsel for the Chargers said CSAG's plan is now in the hands of its' Stadium Development team.  The consists of finance, land and legal experts and it is under review.  He did not give any indication of how it was being received.

The Chargers have been pushing for a new playing facility for more than a dozen years, and have recently taken steps to build a joint $1.7 billion stadium with the rival Oakland Raiders in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson. The proposed 72,000-seat facility off the San Diego (405) Freeway is considered to be a backup plan for both teams in case they aren't able to forge agreements in their current cities.

Also, the owner of the St. Louis Rams is planning to build an 80,000- seat stadium in Inglewood, another Los Angeles suburb.

The funding breaks down to:

  •  $300 million from the Chargers;
  •  $200 million from the National Football League;
  •  $225 million from the sale of 75 acres of Qualcomm Stadium land to a developer;
  •  $173 million of bondable construction capital from the team's rent;
  •  $121 million from the city of San Diego;
  •  $121 million from the county of San Diego; and
  •  more than $100 million from fans in the form of personal seat licenses, and surcharges on parking and tickets.

26 comments

  • Fed up

    Haven’t repaved my road in 25 years but we can find a billion for 8 football games a year. Total corruption, please leave and take the billion to fix our streets.

      • Gene

        B.S. on the road repair propaganda. Falconer is a loser mayor and a puppet for Sanders, Goldsmith, and Manchester! The poor get screwed and the rich get richer!

      • Fed up

        Apparently you didn’t read the part about the 25 years and yes I’ve called about the time frame. Guess what? Your mayor has pushed my street off another 2 years from the current timeline. It’s the same story decade after decade. Promise something to give the people a warm and fuzzy, don’t deliver, say something clever when it doesn’t happen like “budget constraints” or “moving forward” Then recycle same scenario for next election. Thanks for being blind to political tactics. You going to believe what they say on TV or your own eyes.

        • Jav

          Fed Up, I completely agree on the political tactic BS, its a problem at the National level not just SD. However, if they didn’t spend the money on a stadium and they “said” that the money would all be going to “street repair” then what, the same exaxt thing would happen; mis-appropriation of funds, corruption, missed deadlines and the list goes on. At least with the stadium, it is in one location, very visible, a tangeible asset we can ALL keep an eye on progress and make sure they are coming through with all of their promises. Besides the only roads the City is responsible for are city roads not highways, thats the State’s responsibility. Last time I checked, the State is in the same budget predicament, good luck getting them to spend money on road repair.

    • Jav

      The City is not paying $1b to put up the stadium, they are paying $121m and the County will also put up $121m. Since it is not going to a vote (the City knows it will never get 2/3 vote), they are more than likely going to sell the $242m back to the public as a revenue bond. In this instance, users of the stadium will bear majority of this cost, similar to a toll road. Maybe if you read the article you might have picked up on that. Or, maybe you did read it however, you are not intelligent enough to make that connection. If you really want “your road” fixed, go to Home Depot and buy a bag of asphault and fix it yourself, because I could care less about “your road.” Or move to Texas, I heard they have the best roads on earth.

    • cris

      Absolutely right……let those who want the bolts to stay pay for it…..it’s a minority, we need the money for so many other important things. Like streets…….corruption %100

    • Justin

      Well, actually they have already started on repaving the roads because in my neighborhood they already finished a few blocks.

  • Gene

    Here’s a GREAT IDEA!!! The Chargers are worth a estimated 900 million to 1 billion dollars. How about if the city of S.D. BUYS the Chargers and keeps Qualcomm the way it is and uses it for all games, etc. That way the city (taxpayers) controls the team AND the stadium and can do what is in the best interest of the TAXPAYERS and not Spanos !

  • James

    $242M for a team that’s never won a super bowl. $0 is more appropriate. In the meantime the city is still planning on making you drink toilet water.

  • What a waste of money and manpower!

    We have some of the worst infrastructure, crappy roads, wasteful county and city officials, corrupt cops, will be drinking potty water soon. A stadium is exactly what need as long as it matches the Farris wheel! They are lying about funding! Look at the downtown park where the costs for security were not disclosed and now we are paying 1.2 million per year extra! Guaranteed they are doing a slight of hand to keep this off the ballot! We will be cornered into increased taxes, fees, bonds, and assessments who’s burden will be bore by everyone from the millionaire to the welfare recipient!

  • What a waste of money and manpower!

    They are lying! If they are keeping it off the ballot they are hiding the true cost of the stadium! A simple downtown park costs us an additional 1.2 million per year guaranteed a stadium will equate to a prison favor and San Diego will be wearing the kool aid! 1.4 Billion !!! Why would anyone waste this on a perverted seasonal pleasure and not give our children better schools, build better reservoirs, and secure our and our children’s future?

  • SoCalMediaSurfer-MiccilinaPiraino

    Do they mean the San Diego River in Mission Valley, the same river that FLOODS when it rains more than an inch? YAH RIGHT, OMG, Funny, No Thanks. They are really drinking that koolaid and expecting us to think this is a great idea, all that money? HAVE THEY BEEN OUT OF TOWN EVERY TIME QUALCOMM HAS BEEN UNDER WATER?

  • Put it to a vote!!! City Officials - Don't abuse the system!!!

    This will divert money from real projects and force San Diego to utilize bonds to pay for future and necessary projects! Do they think we don’t get it?? An assessment is a tax! It’s a way they levy a tax without putting it to a vote. We will feel this in our pockets one way or another and will probably feel it in our seats as we are bumping down the same junk roads, and drinking contaminated water. Bonds divert money away from our future! Selling off our assets to developers is similar to taking money out of our hands. This is our property we paid for it in the past it is not fair they undertake a project of this magnitude without a vote.

  • Put it to a vote!!! It's only fair.

    I can’t believe 1 that the chargers are on he hook for only 300 million seeing that they are the (nearly) users! We the people are on the hook for the other 800 million! We are not getting a square deal! The committee accomplished their goal. They figured out a way of 1 sidestepping the democratic process and 2 funding a stadium though bankrupting San Diego!

  • cris

    The whole Carson deal is just a scam to create the illusion that people care and get a few fired up….to justify this ridiculous project to make more rich people richer….screw them bolts…..they don’t even care to win…ever

  • taxpayer

    I just don’t agree that the city needs the Charger franchise.
    There are plenty of issues related to infrastructure and services yet to be forwarded due to lack of $.

Comments are closed.