Chargers – Show Me the Money

Posted by on May 19th, 2015  •  0 Comments  • 

The free lunch is over, though the salad days will likely remain for the ownership of the San Diego Chargers.  It’s just going to cost them a bit more to taste the fruits of a new football stadium.
 
The 14-years of rhetoric from the Chargers about lousy leadership in the mayor’s office, a city that doesn’t care, and the need to increase their revenue streams, should end too.
 
The City-County have teamed up with a bold proposal to build a new NFL Stadium in Mission Valley, doing so without burdening the taxpayers, nor inviting a tidal wave of lawsuits.
 
The 36-page CSAG financing proposal lays it out in the black and white, how they will create ‘green’ (money) to get a 65,000-seat stadium constructed.  They will do it without taxpayer money, with creative financing, and with they believe necessary, funding from the Chargers and the NFL.
 
The lineup card is filled with dollar signs.  The City-County will chip in $242M.  They want $300M from Team Spanos.  The NFL will be expected to put in $200M.  There will be $275M from the sale of hilly land across Friars Road and empty land on the other side of the San  Diego River.
 
Add in $125M in PSL tax money from the rich fans who buy the most expensive seats and sky boxes.  The Chargers will be asked to pay $173M in rent over the next 30-years.  There will be contributions from San Diego State, the Holiday-Poinsettia Bowl, and ticket surcharges for Chargers fans when they park there, and when they buy tickets.  
 
Everyone will be asked to make an investment in the future.  An investment that could generate enormous profits to be split amongst the team, city and county.
The Chargers were second worst in the NFL in revenue streams a year ago, a bad stadium, and a small market size the likely reasons.
 
Everyone wants to be part of an event, and a shiny new Stadium coming up out of the ground becomes a destination point for fans in Southern California.  
 
The Chargers, who have made $20-to-$30M profits a year are looking at a windfall of additional revenue streams, if they are willing to invest money now for bigger profits later.  
 
The task force did something no-one thought possible, created a money model without leaning on other developers or investors to come thru for them.  They retain 136-acres of land to sell off for a hotel, office buildings, condos, or buildings for San Diego State.  The infrastructure costs won’t be as significant  because transportation is already there in that  15-163-8 corridor as is the trolley spur.
 
What’s next, is the negotiations of the fine print in these deals.  This time it will be different.  The Chargers won’t be walking in with a gun to hold anybody up.  There won’t be any fools representing city hall, but a negotiating team with experience across the table.
 
The 65,000 seat Stadium has space for an additional 10,000 upper level endzone seats, which means Super Bowls, and that means additional revenue to help fund this entire project.
 
To use the favorite NFL quote, “on the clock”, the league is likely to open a November lst window for teams to apply to the Committee on Los Angeles to move into LA..  That means San Diego’s leaders have a 5-month window between June lst and then, to hammer out a deal.  Yes Carson and Hollywood Park are out there.
 
On a day that lead owner Dean Spanos pulled off a cheap stunt, announcing he was turning the franchise over to his 36-year old son, who has little “big league” experience at the negotiating table, the city did not seem bothered.  Send in your negotiating team, meet ours.  You said you wanted to stay, so here’s the deal as a starting point to get it done.
 
He then followed that late last nite by hiring Carmen Policy, the legendary 49ers President during their Super Bowl hey-days, to oversee the Carson Stadium project.  So now you have to ask is Dean really interested in San Diego, or just interested in making the most money?  Is he playing both sides against the middle?
 
Why that “Spanos steps down” announcement came on this day makes you wonder about them always doing something to impact what the Task Force was doing.  Just like when they announced the Raiders-Bolts alliance in Carson, the same day the Task Force members were being named.  Arrogance or stupidity?.
 
So now Dean Spanos can write his own legacy, for his own family, a new stadium printing money.  His legacy will be whether he follows thru on doing something for his adopted home town, or flees in the middle of the night to a bigger payday in LA.  But he keeps making decisions that seem to stain his reputation and his real intent.
 
It’s right there infront of them, thanks to the efforts of alot of people, who gave up 108-days of their lives, to try and make things better in San Diego.
 
The free lunch is over for the franchise, no more free stadium for a rich man.  The salad days of profits can continue, if Spanos becomes a giver rather than taker in the stadium talks.
 
What call would you make?  A deal to stay in America’s Finest City or a move to a toxic waste dump in Carson. 

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