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San Diego Submits Final Stadium Offer

Today was the NFL's deadline for San Diego, St. Louis, and Oakland to submit their final stadium plans. Did San Diego offer anything new?

In a word... No.

This is not a surprise. The proposal coming from San Diego is essentially unchanged since the initial offer made back in August.

The primary change since then is that any opportunity for a public vote before the NFL's relocation decision has been lost, and that any public vote on a stadium in San Diego could not take place until June 2016 at the earliest, or possibly November 2016.

Recapping the City's Offer

The City's Offer was to help provide funding for a new $1.1 billion stadium in Mission Valley. Here's a rough breakdown of the financing, contained in the City's Final Offer to the NFL.

  • $200 million from the City via Lease Revenue Bonds.
  • $150 million from the County in cash.
  • $200 million from the NFL via the G4 Stadium Loan Program.
  • $187 million from Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs).
  • $363 million from the Chargers.

In my review of the City's offer back in August, I indicated concerns about the amount of money needed to be raised by selling PSLs. Research performed by the Citizen's Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) indicated that approximately $120 million was what the market could support. I also expressed concern with the idea that the Chargers were on the hook for cost overruns and annual maintenance costs.

The Chargers elected not to engage with negotiations over San Diego's Mission Valley proposal, citing concerns regarding the expedited Environmental Impact Report (EIR), as well as concerns about the prospects for public money passing a public vote. As has been the case for almost all of 2015, the Chargers remain committed to their proposed stadium in Carson, to be shared with the Oakland Raiders.

To be completely honest, the letter sent by San Diego spent as much (if not more) time marketing the appeal of San Diego as a potential market than it did focused on the Chargers. In other words, it was as much a marketing pamphlet to any potentially interested owners as much as it was about keeping the Chargers in San Diego. To that end, there are a couple of exterior stadium shots which all but omit the Chargers logo, as well as a dig/steal of Carmen Policy's infamous "megamarket" phrase - see "More than a City: Our Mega-Region" on page 15.

In Other Markets

St. Louis' stadium task force headed by Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz submitted a 400 page final proposal. The plan has passed a key vote of St. Louis aldermen this month, but many in the NFL are skeptical about the proposal asking for a $300 million NFL contribution, and concern that the tax revenue in the plan doesn't meet the $400 million threshold needed.

Oakland submitted a letter to the NFL, but the letter does not include a stadium financing plan.

Final Thoughts

There's really no change. The Rams, Chargers, and Raiders are all still 100% focused on getting to Los Angeles. In the coming days, there are some key dates and meetings coming up.

Teams can begin filing for relocation on January 4th. The NFL's Los Angeles, Stadium, and Financing Sub-committees are scheduled to meet on January 6th and 7th in New York. Finally, the NFL Owners are scheduled to meet in Houston on January 12th and 13th to determine a solution to the Los Angeles situation.

At this point, there's nothing to indicate a delay in the process, or any possibility that there's a deal which would keep the Chargers in San Diego.

We're (finally, mercifully) coming up on the last hand of the poker game, folks. Stay tuned.