You should check out the contiguous plan for the new stadium and convention center expansion.Think Tank: Stadium Task Force Makes Strong Case
By LOU HIRSH
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
A mayoral task force’s recently announced plan to finance a new $1.1 billion San Diego Chargers stadium makes a compelling case for the Mission Valley site, but raises questions regarding long-term maintenance costs, according to an analysis by National University System Institute for Policy Research.
Researchers at the locally based think tank said estimates of revenue streams identified by the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group are “reasonable and consistent with other financing plans put forth in other cities.”
However, more may be needed to operate and maintain the stadium than the task force estimates. The policy institute estimates that the current Qualcomm Stadium operates at an annual deficit of $7.7 million -- $6.4 million in revenues minus $14.1 million in expenses.
Excluding football rents, researchers estimate, the operating deficit would increase to $10.9 million annually over the course of 30 years. The think tank said a joint powers authority recommended by the task force may need to find operating efficiencies, increase net revenue from non-football events, and/or seek additional subsidies from public sources.
Overall, the think tank said the task force’s stadium cost estimates are “reasonable but conservative,” and the financing plan is reasonable in its revenue projections. Researchers said the cost share between public and private sources, if achieved, “would constitute an advantageous arrangement for taxpayers in a mid-level market such as San Diego.”
The policy institute undertook its own analysis of more than 30 case studies related to U.S. municipal and stadium projects over the past several months, which has been released to the public. Some of that data was incorporated in the plan released May 18 by the stadium task force.
The citizen advisory group outlined $1.4 billion in potential funding options to build a new Mission Valley stadium that it estimated would cost $1.1 billion and not involve raising taxes. Potential money sources include the city, the county, the Chargers and the NFL, and proceeds from the sale of land adjacent to the stadium that would be sold to private developers.
City, county and team officials are now mulling the advisory group’s plan as part of upcoming negotiations.