CCDC to Hire Stadium Consultant - Voice of San Diego

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CCDC to Hire Stadium Consultant

The Centre City Development Corp. is officially jumping into the Chargers stadium search.

The city’s downtown redevelopment agency’s board will consider Wednesday whether to spend $160,000 to hire Evolution Media Capital, a consulting firm that provides advice about paying for major projects. The company is a sports financing arm of the Creative Artists Agency, the Hollywood talent firm.

If CCDC’s board approves the contract, it would formalize the city agency’s role in the stadium search less than a month after Mayor Jerry Sanders met with Chargers President Dean Spanos to talk about potential downtown stadium sites.

Fred Maas, CCDC’s chairman, said Evolution will examine the site east of Petco Park that includes the Wonder Bread building and Metropolitan Transit System lot. CCDC wants to know how other stadiums have been paid for, Maas said, how CCDC may contribute and how such a project — estimated to cost as much as $1 billion — could be financed.

The answers to those questions, as my colleague Liam Dillon has pointed out, are tough for the Chargers — whether it’s downtown or in Los Angeles.

CCDC could help pay for some of the stadium’s cost, Maas said. Over the remainder of its life, CCDC expects to collect about $390 million more in tax revenue that isn’t yet committed to subsidize any specific projects, Maas said. But the agency would not contribute that much toward a stadium, he said. “I can’t see that happening,” he said.

“Candidly, we’re not totally convinced the stadium works there,” Maas said, “but we are convinced it’s worth looking at the site.”

Evolution’s effort will be led by Mitchell Ziets, a stadium financing expert. Here’s what the SportsBusiness Journal says about him:

Ziets specializes in stadium leases, financing and franchise valuation. … Over two decades, he has provided financing counsel on more than 40 new stadiums and arenas and advised buyers on acquisitions of teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Anaheim Ducks and Washington Nationals.

Maas said Ziets’ effort didn’t have a specific timeframe for completion, but that initial work should be complete within three to four months.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said CCDC’s meeting is Tuesday. We regret the error.

ROB DAVIS
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