Stadium Thoughts and Musings: Recent Developments

The potential future site of the new Chargers stadium.

Over the past couple weeks, with the furor over the San Diego Union Tribune's proposal dying down, there have been some interesting developments in regards to the Chargers' stadium situation, as well as other teams who have equally (if not more) tenuous stadium situations.

We'll take a brief look at the latest information regarding the Chargers, the City of San Diego, and now the County of San Diego. We'll also take a brief glimpse at what's happening in other locations, most notably San Francisco, St. Louis, and Minnesota.

More below the jump...

What's happening with the Chargers?

On February 1, Chargers' general counsel Mark Fabiani spoke at a dinner for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). This meeting involves mayors from communities located in San Diego Country, as well as San Diego Country Supervisors. This is the clearest sign to date that the Chargers and the city of San Diego feel that county-wide involvement will be necessary to retain the Chargers.

During the meeting, the following interesting tidbits of information were released...

  • A county-wide vote will most likely take place in 2013, as opposed to November 2012.
  • The Chargers, and the NFL (via the G3 stadium loan program), are expecting to contribute up to $400 million dollars, with a projected total of $1 billion.
  • Once again, the idea of selling or leasing both the current Qualcomm and Sports Arena sites came up.
  • Interestingly enough, in this article by the U-T's Matthew Hall, the Chargers seem to suggest that naming rights will not be counted as part of the team's contribution.

Here's my projected money breakdown. As always, all figures are guesses.

Estimated cost $1 billion.

Chargers Contribution: $200 million.

NFL Stadium Loan: $200 million.

Naming Rights: $150-200 million.

Sale or Lease of Qualcomm and Sports Arena sites: $100-300 million.

That leaves anywhere from $100-450 million as the big question mark.

What's happening with the San Francisco 49ers?

As it stands now, it looks like the 49ers are moving 40 miles south to Santa Clara. The 49ers secured $200 million from the NFL to complete the financing package. According to this article, the other $850 million is being financed in a loan package (thanks to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank) that the City of Santa Clara and the 49ers put together.

Other funding will come from the dreaded "Personal Seat Licenses," and really expensive luxury seating.

What I'm curious about is this loan package, and whether or not the consultants hired by the city of San Diego are exploring similar ideas in an effort to close the financing gap, and avoid public financing.

What's happening with the Minnesota Vikings?

It appears that the Vikings have abandoned their preferred site outside of Minneapolis, due to problems coming up with a viable financing plan.

In recent days, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has expressed his support for the Vikings building a new stadium at the current Metrodome location. This proposal is anathema to both the Vikings and the NFL, who suggest that it would cost the Vikings more than $40 million to play at the Universiy of Minnesota football stadium for 3 years while the Metrodome is torn down and a new facility built in it's place.

There is now some interest in building next to the Metrodome, allowing the Vikings to continue in the Metrodome while a new stadium is built, but it looks like there are complications there as well.

What's happening with the St. Louis Rams?

What, besides agitating the hell out of their fans by agreeing to play in London for the next 3 years?

On February 1st, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau sent the Rams a proposal for extending their lease at the Edward Jones Dome. According to this article, the Rams must either accept or reject this proposal by March 1, and (if rejected) submit a counter-proposal by May 1.

The issue with the Rams lease is simple. The Rams can escape their lease on March 1, 2015, if the Edward Jones Dome is not a 1st tier (i.e. top quarter of NFL facilities) at that time.

Other News...

In his State of the NFL address, Comissioner Roger Goodell reiterated that the NFL does not want to move any teams, and speculated that the NFL could expand to 34 franchises to accommodate any new football stadium in Los Angeles - even thought the league has no immediate expansion plans.

That's all the news that's fit to print, for now.

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