This post has been updated.
For years, the city of San Diego has spent millions of dollars each year to subsidize the Chargers.
But the city did, after all, get a home football team out of the deal.
Consensus is growing that the Chargers are going to receive NFL approval to move to Los Angeles this week, leaving San Diego without its main tenant at Qualcomm Stadium.
The team’s current deal with the city involves taxpayers actually cutting the Chargers a check at the end of the year, instead of the other way around. But that doesn’t mean the team’s departure is necessarily good news for the city’s bank account.
With the Chargers gone, the city will save some money – but not a lot.
Each year, the team is nominally obliged to pay the city $3 million, but the money the team gets from hot dog, beer and other concessions, along with payments related to a disability-access lawsuit, ends up putting the city in the red. When the team goes, its revenue and costs are essentially a wash for the city.
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So if the Chargers would have left in in 2010 the city would have collected nearly $40 million more plus the tens of millions that they had to give to the Chargers for the last six years. Plus maybe the city could have retired that $70 million bonded debt years ago. Instead the city still owes over $50 million of that debt. In the mean time the city is over billions behind in needed infrastructure improvements on roads, streets, bridges, water, sewer and other critical transportation needs. Yet we have a mayor and city council who is throwing even more millions of dollars away by crawling on their hands and knees begging NFL billionaires to take even more tax payer money on a stadium where over 95% of the city's population can't even afford to attend a NFL game.
The sad thing here is that even if the NFL leaves San Diego for good most our politicians will be chasing them down for years to come by offering them every last tax dollar the city can collect. It's not considered madness and corruption, but it's called modern day money politics. You see the politicians are so trained to kiss these billionaires asses to fund their campaigns nothing else matters. Politicians are exactly like meth or heroin addicts who will sell their children into slavery for that next hit. They will rob from the very people who elected them and the people will not care. This is an epidemic and our democracy is the victim. All a modern NFL stadium has become is a device whereby politicians can rob from the taxpayers of a city to pay off a few billionaires for political favors. Our own mayor has become one of the addicted players and he can't stop no matter what the price. In the meantime the NFL owners laugh all the way to the bank while telling the fans where they can stick it.
@Sean M Not sure where you have been Sean, but the City in its infinite wisdom replaced Elite with a company out of Los Angeles called CSC. If you went to the Holiday Bowl you would have spent over an hour waiting in line to get in and noticed the change.
Why do I get the feeling that Qualcomm will be standing there for years on end? All the talk about college campuses, a football/soccer stadium and other amenities will go on for a very long time. Meanwhile the current stadium will continue to be a money pit. At least the car dealers will be happy as they will have a big parking lot to show their vehicles on the weekends for many years to come.
@Robert Cohen --I would think it will be gone by 2020.
@Robert Cohen Remember, If they scrape it, the 52 mil is still owed. Quite a deal Golding and co. got; If Liam's information is correct, we borrowed 70 mil, have been paying for about 20 years and still owe 52? Sounds like the Poway school board.
And, where do the league champ Aztecs play? I say go after the Rai-duhs and remodel it for them.