Any discussion about building a new Chargers stadium must eventually refer to the decision by San Diego voters in 1998 to build what is now Petco Park. For perspective, let’s review how that proposal came about.
In 1995, then-Mayor Susan Golding and the City Council agreed to expand and close off Jack Murphy Stadium to provide the additional seating and amenities the Chargers had requested. The team also gained control over all advertising revenue at the stadium.
But Padres owners John Moores and Larry Lucchino claimed the Chargers’ new agreement made it financially unfeasible for the baseball team to continue using the stadium after its lease expired in 1999.
So Moores and Lucchino asked Golding to appoint a citizens task force to validate their claim, and agreed to open their books as part of a review process. After consulting with a variety of experts and reviewing the Padres’ financial statements, the task force confirmed that the Padres’ continued use of what had become Qualcomm Stadium was no longer viable.
Golding appointed a second citizens task force to recommend a location and financing plan for a new baseball-only facility. This involved several public hearings and sparked a spirited citywide debate. Moores wanted the ballpark to be adjacent to the bayfront along Harbor Drive; Lucchino preferred a Mission Valley site.
But Golding argued a public investment in such a facility could only be justified if it provided significant public benefits. She recommended a site in the blighted warehouse district now known as the East Village, where the ballpark could provide a catalyst for revitalization and private investment.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Tom Shepard is your typical snake oil salesman. He knows stadiums are money losers for taxpayers.
Fabiani once again said today that the Chargers want the city to sell all of the stadium and sports arena land and contribute those funds to a downtown stadium. Are San Diegans stupid enough to fall for that? Not to mention that about half of the qualcomm stadium site is owned by the water authority and not the city.
He thinks a stadium will only cost $800 to $900 million, that's a complete farce and ignores the $1 billion of infrastructure costs on the downtown site.
FoulConner would love to give more city funds to his downtown republicans. San Diego would have been better off keeping "chester the molester" instead of electing a financial rapist.
@David Benz Faulconer is on record as being against the sale of city land to pay for a new stadium. But if negotiations ever get started in earnest who knows what will be put on the table.
If the Chargers hired Tom Sheppard to run a campaign for a new stadium, they'd probably get one. Tom has shown he's capable of convincing San Diegan's to vote for just about anything or anybody.
First of all, the “decision by the voters” in 1998 was based on flat out lies from then-mayor Susan Golding. I remember the ad infinitum “It’s more than a ballpark” drum beat. It sure turned out to be true; it’s also a millstone of $11 mil annually right out of the general fund because Golding’s “2500 new hotel rooms” were a fantasy from the start and she knew it.
Mr. Shepard’s claim of “hundreds of millions on new tax revenues” is invisible to this skeptic, and if it’s true I’d sure like to see the numbers. I know two things about this situation. First, the deal was sold to the public on the basis that a flood of new T.O.T. revenue would easily pay the bond debt service, NOT subsequent ancillary development. Second, East Village is not “...one of San Diego’s most exciting and vibrant new neighborhoods....”. This is nonsense.
This tale reads like a volley in the campaign to sell the public on a Chargers’ stadium, not simply a history lesson. Shepard has a strong track record getting candidates elected, but this one is going to be a very hard sale. Why, when virtually every other publicly financed stadium deal has turned out to be a loser, should the public believe that “this time it's different”?
I gotta ask, what was Shepard’s fee for this piece, and who paid it? He doesn’t do anything for free.
At a 2009 meeting of Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform Stanford University Professor Roger Noll spoke on the subject of public subsidies of sports stadiums.He stated that every sports stadium is a money loser for its city except one—Fenway Park in Boston.According Noll, Fenway is an economic benefit for Boston, because of its small footprint, and concessions are off site.I doubt this is the Chargers’ plan.And besides, isn’t Fenway like 100 years old?
"Significant investment from the team — not only in the ballpark, but in private development of the surrounding neighborhood."
are very profitable private investments by Moores, made much more so by
substantial, ongoing public investment. Thanking Moores for having "the
public’s benefit as [his] primary objective" is insulting to everyone
concerned. Please stop.
The biggest misconception about public financing of stadiums is the claim that the city can financially benefit from it's "investment". Study after study has shown this to be false. As nice as Petco Park is, the private investment around it still exhibits many empty storefronts in the new buildings and very little foot traffic during non-game hours. The honest position for the city to take if it decides to once again get into the public financing game, is not that a new facility will make money for the city or have a positive impact on the local economy, but rather the intangible argument that it makes us "feel good." Is it nice that the Chargers play in S.D.? I think most people would say yes to that. Does that have "value"? Maybe. But a vote, yea or nea, should not be based on what a stadium will do for the local economy because in the over all scheme of things, the impact on the economy will be negligible, if that. The more honest approach by the city in trying to "sell" to the voters the more use of public money, is that a new stadium is nice to have. Then the voters can decide if that's true.
Didn't the Padres readily sign off to give the Chargers all advertising revenues in the expanded Qualcomm stadium? Of course they couldn't make it financially--it was that gamble that paid off in Petco Park. And TOT revenues were supposed to pay off the ballpark bonds--except Moores got the city to allow him to build more condos and less hotels, which now means the general fund must be used to cover those bond payments.
When the Pension underfunding Came to light one of the Arguments justifying it was "the public wanted these downtown improvements such as the New Petco park".
Funny. I never read underfunding in the ballot proposition. (voted against it anyways out of principal that government has no business being in the sports business).
The public should be wary of any proposal that requires public monies especially if the Charger stadium were to be built downtown. Not only could you kiss good by to tailgating but almost certainly the Taxpayer would be left holding the bag....again.
Kinda like charlie brown and the foot ball.