Developer pitches privately financed San Diego stadium to NFL

Dive Brief:

  • A San Diego developer has offered to finance and build a new NFL stadium that would replace Qualcomm Stadium, the former home of the Chargers, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.  
  • In a letter to the NFL, Doug Manchester, builder and former owner of the Union-Tribune, said he has private financing in place for the project.
  • Manchester's group said it could build a 70,000-seat stadium and supporting development as an "immediate alternative" for the Raiders — even the Chargers — and would welcome either a team partnership deal or a lease arrangement.

Dive Insight:

In a reference to the November voter rejection of a deal that would have kept the Chargers in San Diego, Manchester emphasized that because the stadium would be privately funded in this case, no such approval would be necessary to move the project forward.

Manchester's proposal could provide an option for the Raiders if their Las Vegas deal falls through and they decide not to return to Oakland. A Raiders relocation to Las Vegas once seemed like an unrealistic stretch, but the team pushed ahead with stadium plans, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he won't stand in the way of a Las Vegas venue. However, the loss of major investors in the team's new Las Vegas stadium have now called the relocation into question.

Sheldon Adelson, an investor and a major force behind the campaign to bring the Raiders to Las Vegas, pulled out of the deal in January reportedly over his lack of involvement in the team's lease arrangement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority. Goldman Sachs, who was a partner with Adelson in the stadium plan, also announced it was ending its funding participation as well. The team has said it can make up the difference with other investors and that it has already been contacted by interested parties.

The Raiders were denied a requested relocation to Los Angeles last year but found willing partners in Las Vegas, Clark County and the state legislature, which approved public funding for an NFL stadium. Oakland, however, has not given up on keeping the Raiders there, and officials have proposed a $1.3 billion stadium deal themselves.

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Filed Under: Commercial Building Corporate News