View Full Version : Will San Diego Help End the NFL's Addiction to Taxpayer Money?

11-18-2016, 05:28 PM
Cheering for the home team can unify communities divided by politics, economics, and personal differences. However, this unification can come at a high cost, one that will inevitably fall to the taxpayer. While it is typical for professional athletic associations to use tax dollars to pay for their stadiums, arenas, or other venues of choice, public subsidies are not the only means to this end, nor are they the most efficient.

The National Football League (NFL) has defended its use of public subsidies for new infrastructure by claiming that new facilities will serve to benefit the public. Promises of economic booms and job growth are typically used to justify the use of public funds for athletic purposes, though the rhetoric rarely matches the reality of the situation.

Last week, San Diego residents took a powerful stand against professional athletic subsidies.

For over a year, the Chargers have been threatening to leave San Diego unless the city agrees to provide a new stadium for the team’s use. Two separate proposals were placed on the ballot for consideration, each promising to raise the hotel tax and accept public subsidies for the construction of a new stadium. Fortunately, both measures were overwhelming rejected by San Diego voters.

However, while the public was only given two options, both of which would have come at the expense of the taxpayer, there was a third option that did not make it on the ballot.

Former San Diego City Councilman, Carl DeMaio, proposed a plan for a new Chargers stadium that would utilize private funding instead of taxpayer subsidies.

Partnering with several prominent real estate developers and contractors, all from the private sector, DeMaio and his team designed a proposal which promised to utilize, “a creative design that mixes 365-days of hotel, retail, and event uses.”

By creating a more diverse facility, whose services are not limited to football alone, DeMaio’s plan opens the door to a broader range of investors. Additionally, San Diego only hosts ten NFL events per year, so there will often be periods of time when the new stadium goes unused. Since DeMaio’s plan would create a multi-use infrastructure, with the potential to bring in revenue 365 days a year, the economic benefits of his plan are undeniable, especially when considering the new jobs that will be created as a result.

One of the main ideas behind the private stadium proposal is the notion that those who fund the project should also be the ones who profit from its success. Currently, individuals are forced to fund athletic venues with their tax dollars while the team itself reaps the benefits from the profits earned. DeMaio’s plan would allow the NFL team to profit when it uses the stadium, but it would also allow the retail, hotel, and other investors to bring in revenue and make a profit when the stadium would have otherwise gone unused.

Now that both stadium measures have failed to gain public support, the Chargers may be more open to exploring unconventional funding options. While no one is sure what the team’s next move will be, DeMaio’s private stadium proposal is still very much in play and is needed now, more than ever.



11-18-2016, 07:50 PM
Some speculate the referendums were designed to fail (the Team proposed one for a downtown location for a cost of $1.8 billion would have required a 2/3rds voter approval to pass- no way that was going to happen). Maybe give them more leverage with their threat to go to LA (they have until late January to accept an offer to join the Rams there).

11-19-2016, 05:10 PM
San Diego Charger jokes:

Q: Why is Phillip Rivers like a grizzly bear?
A: Every fall he goes into hibernation.

Q: What has eight arms and an I.Q. of 60?
A: Four Charger fans watching a football game.

Q: How many Chargers fans does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. They are happy living in the 49ers shadow.

Q: Why do the San Diego Chargers want to change their name to the San Diego Tampons?
A: Because they are only good for one period and do not have a second string.

Q: Why is the new Chargers official cologne creating a lot of buzz?
A: You wear it and the other guy scores.

03-31-2017, 09:35 PM
Abandoned NFL cities have old stadium debt, new outlooks


After the Chargers then decided to leave for Los Angeles, the city of San Diego has been considering the fate of the Chargers’ old home: 50-year-old Qualcomm Stadium, which is owned by the city and has cost around $12 million per year for the city to maintain. San Diego State’s football team and the college football Holiday Bowl have leases to use the stadium through 2018.

“Given the high cost to the city’s operating budget, the city is undergoing review of the financial feasibility of continuing stadium operations beyond that point,” said Craig Gustafson, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Those costs are in addition to about $47 million owed on Chargers-related debt that the city is scheduled to pay through 2027, including about $10 million in interest, Gustafson said. In the 1990s, the city had borrowed around $68 million for stadium renovations and Chargers practice facility construction to help keep the team from leaving.

The good news for taxpayers is that the Chargers had to pay the city $12.6 million to break their lease this year in San Diego – money that can be put toward the city’s $4.7 million annual payments on that Chargers-related debt. “That will free up $4.7 million in the budget for other purposes,” Gustafson said.

Meanwhile, given the uncertainty of the old stadium’s future, the Holiday Bowl has explored moving across town to Petco Park, home of the Padres – a facility not designed for football. The Poinsettia Bowl, a lower-tier postseason game, was canceled this year after 12 years.

San Diego State's football team also is seeking a new permanent home, which might be in a new soccer stadium at the old Qualcomm Stadium site – or not. An investment group has proposed redeveloping that site with a privately funded 30,000-seat soccer stadium, with hopes of landing an expansion team in Major League Soccer. The soccer stadium decision might be decided by city council, or voters, later this year.


09-26-2017, 10:45 AM
Hah, look at these two narratives...

Chargers announce sellout for Sunday's game vs. Chiefs



Los Angeles Chargers Welcomed Another Embarrassing Crowd In Week 3


A huge portion of the crowd were Kansas City Chiefs (http://thebiglead.com/tag/kansas-city-chiefs/) fans, and for the fourth time in four games at the stadium (including two preseason contests) there were plenty of empty seats. And just a friendly reminder, StubHub only seats 27,000. (Their former Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego has a 70,500 capacity)

How bad was it? Well, the Chargers knew the crowd was so pro-Chiefs that they didn’t even do player introductions over the public address system due to fears their own players would get booed. In their home stadium. In a new city the league told us was so desperate to have the NFL that it could support two teams. A city Dean Spanos (http://thebiglead.com/tag/dean-spanos/) said contained 25 percent of the team’s fans.

So, the “Fight for LA” is going swimmingly it appears.

Check out some of the tweets and crowd shots from the day:



09-26-2017, 11:50 AM
I think this latest round of silliness will mean communities finally cut of the flood of resources sucked up by the NFL. This is just stupid. Nashville just spent a truckload of money doing upgrades and maintenance ot the stadium. I think the team should lease the stadium and pay for maintenance and repairs. And I think other groups should have access at nominal prices. They could have sold out the Alabama-Vandy game last Saturday, but that doesn't seem to be any kind of option, even though Tennessee State University (clinging to their "black" tradition) barely fills three rows in their home games. That was a bone they tossed out there before construction began so they could get more money for the staduim. Supposedly they were helping poor people.

09-26-2017, 12:43 PM
The NFL is a hugely profitable business- about $10 billion a year. If they want a new stadium, like any business, they should build it themselves. But also like any business, if you can get a local government to cut your costs (and increase your profits) you are silly not to go for it. Trump never likes using any of his own money on a project if he can help it. Others take the financial risk- you take the profits.

09-26-2017, 05:23 PM
Hah, look at these two narratives...

Chargers announce sellout for Sunday's game vs. Chiefs



Los Angeles Chargers Welcomed Another Embarrassing Crowd In Week 3


Maybe that is not the kind of sellout they meant.

Maybe they meant they were going to sellout their audience and country again.