San Diego's $1.1B football stadium plan raises concerns
- An advisory group appointed by San Diego's mayor named founding sources in excess of the $1.1 billion estimated to build a new 65,000-seat football stadium — intended to keep the Chargers from relocating cities. Analysis released this week said the financial plan is "reasonable and realistic" but has some risks.
- The Chargers Stadium Advisory Group proposed the cost of the new facility at $950 million. That does not include infrastructure, maintenance, and operations. The last five NFL stadiums completed or under construction have averaged around $1.7 billion. The San Francisco 49ers had the rare experience of coming in under budget.
- 30-year financing would require the Chargers to pay $300 million in rent. That revenue could then be used to back construction bonds. The city and county would be responsible for $121 million.
Stadium envy is one of the risks cited in the National University System Institute for Policy Research analysis. Many NFL stadiums in other cities offer state-of the-art amenities designed to compete with the at-home viewing experience.
Teams and cities build high-end stadiums so that they can also have an opportunity to host Super Bowls, which is often lucrative for the city. The current "conservative" plan could impact those chances. San Diego has hosted three Super Bowls, but the last time was in 2003. The stadium opened in 1967 with a seating capacity of about 53,000. It has had its capacity upgraded over the years and now seats almost 71,000. The new facility must be multi-use; able to lure premier, revenue-generating events.
The report also questions who holds responsibility for costs associated with overages, operations, maintenance, and lease provisions.
- Times of San Diego Stadium Plan ‘Reasonable,’ ‘Realistic’ but Challenges Ahead, Analyst Says