Stadium Thoughts and Musings... after the meeting.

San Diego's East Village. Will they, or wont they?

As was reported a couple of weeks ago, Chargers brass, including CEO Dean Spanos and Special Counsel Mark Fabiani, had a meeting today with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, as well as other officials from the city regarding the status of the proposed new stadium in San Diego's East Village.

Very few details came out of the meeting, and there was no great pronouncement of a deal in the immediate future, but there was no indication that the participants felt that it went poorly.

After the jump, I will talk about some of the issues that were likely discussed, plus a couple of other ideas that I found interesting.  Much like the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations that are continuing between the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and league owners, I think the best thing here is that both sides are still talking.

To begin, the Chargers and the city issued a P.A. brief that told us almost nothing of value.

Sanders, Spanos Meet to Discuss Downtown Stadium

The Mayor’s Office and the San Diego Chargers released the following statement today regarding this morning’s meeting between Mayor Sanders and Chargers President -CEO Dean Spanos:

Mayor Jerry Sanders and Dean Spanos of the Chargers met today at Chargers Park to discuss the progress of stadium efforts in downtown San Diego. The meeting focused on the future of redevelopment and the proposed changes out of Sacramento, the future of the NFL’s G3 stadium loan program after the League’s Collective Bargaining negotiations are resolved, and financing alternatives in the event that the City and the Chargers do not ultimately have access to redevelopment funding and/or G3 funding. The Chargers and the Mayor’s Office will continue to work together as these important issues are resolved.

Redevelopment.

With the proposals to eliminate all new redevelopment within the state of California, the city of San Diego moved quickly to fast track approximately $4 billion dollars worth of redevelopment projects - the idea being that Governor Jerry Brown said that projects currently being developed would continue to get redevelopment financing, while stopping all new redevelopment after a set date.  The fact remains that the best opportunity for a stadium to get built, using public money, is to have access to redevelopment funds.

The CBA and the G3 Stadium Fund.

Another crucial factor in the plan to build a stadium downtown is the Chargers ability to borrow money from the now-depleted G3 fund, a loan program created by the NFL to aid in new stadium construction.  Not to sound like I'm taking sides, but I'm pretty sure that the owners view the G3 loan program as essential to continue growing the game (and generating additional revenue).  With the CBA currently in limbo, the fund is dry.

Alternate funds.

Without redevelopment dollars or a G3 loan to help the process, funding for a new stadium comes down to couple of other sources, few of which are likely to gain the needed public support:

  • Raising taxes on car-rentals and hotels, which would enrage the San Diego business community.
  • A city/county increase in sales tax, which would go over like a lead balloon in the current economic climate.
  • Selling of existing assets, such as the Qualcomm site and Sports Arena site to raise the needed money (an idea Fabiani has suggested, and an idea that I think needs to be explored further - regardless of the availability of redevelopment and the G3 program).
  • Money generated through sales of Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs).  Just thinking about it made me verp.
  • Significant amounts of private capital - such as a naming-rights deal.

Other Ideas.

Some other ideas have been bandied about today, among them:

  • Centre City Development Corp.'s chief, Fred Haas, desires to build a version of L.A. Live in the East Village.
  • Lastly, a group of San Diego-based Australian architects proposed their version of a stadium, amphitheater, and park in the East Village site.  It's based on the Chargers' lightning bolt logo.

As far as Los Angeles is concerned, a recent meeting regarding the proposed Farmers Filed received solid union support, as would be expected.  They also endorsed the City of Industry stadium proposal - which changed its name  to Golden Crossing last week.

Late Update: AEG has initiated the process for an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Farmers Field.

That's the stadium news for today.  Thoughts and comments are welcomed below.

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