Proposed Carson Stadium Could Be Ready By 2019
Now that NFL owners know the details, what can they do to help San Diego keep the Chargers and a new documentary about why American nuns became the target of the Vatican investigation. This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, it's Tuesday, August 11. Top story on Midday Edition. It was a big day, Monday for San Diego's plans for a new Chargers Stadium. The city released its own financing plan which differs from the plan recommended by the Stadium advisory group. The city's 6000 page environmental impact report for the project was also released and save representative met with six NFL team owners in Chicago to explain the entire plan to them. Releasing a brand-new full-color renderings of what the new $1.1 billion Chargers Stadium might look like. The city says the NFL owners did not see much but they did not say no. Joining us first is the city official who presented the plan to the NFL executives Mike Hansen is director of a land-use and environmental policy for the city of San Diego and Mike welcome. Thank you, happy to be here. Can you give us the nuts and bolts of this new financing plan. It calls for San Diego city and county to pay $350 million in public money towards the Stadium. How much does it propose the Chargers and NFL pay? First, it's important to understand what we are currently paying. Our CFO has done an analysis that says that taxpayers are currently on the hook for up to $282 million over the next 20 years for operations, maintenance and repairs and existing debt payments. The proposal, the concept that was released by the mayor yesterday is for no new taxes on San Diego and an approximately the share of the new stadium would be one third public and to the private funds. We think it is a fair deal for the taxpayers to be spending. That money would otherwise go to an aging facility that would most likely need to be replaced over the next 20 or 30 years. On a new stadium that could host super Bowls, attract more events including civic events that would make benefits to the public. In this breakdown if he went, how much does this plan propose that the Chargers and the NFL pay towards the new stadium? The private sources would total about $750 million and that is a combination of $360 million from the Chargers, they would use to leverage their revenue sources from future potential Stadium. Including $200 billion from the NFL and about $188 million from personal seat licenses. How the public money broken down between the city in the county? It would be $200 million from the city of San Diego using lease revenue bonds and $150 million contribution from the county's reserves. So you presented this plan and the environmental impact report to the NFL owners in Chicago yesterday, is that right? That's correct How tobacco? We think it went very well. Our presentation was solid. We left the room with positive remarks from the NFL staff just as we did a few weeks ago when we had a meeting in San Diego. What kind of remark? They said well done. Okay. Okay. The meeting went longer than he preferred to go Yes. We think that is a good sign as well. They had a lot of questions about timing and process. We left of the room with answers to all of their questions. Sokol what was the purpose of that meeting, Mike? Was it to try to force the Chargers back to the negotiating table No. The purpose was to present options to achieve the timing of concluding this by January of concluding this by January 2016. We wanted to set the table of if the Chargers wanted to make a deal, we presented everything that they need -- that we would need to make that happen on that schedule. Any future meetings with the NFL schedule or was this it? There is a meeting we have been invited to in a number. I believe that's a larger meeting with other NFL owners Okay. I have been speaking with Mike Hansen is the director of land-use environment the policy. He presented the city's policy to six NFL owners in Chicago yesterday. Mike, thank you very much. Thank you. Joining me now, Jim Steeg former NFL executive who was a member of the students advisory group. Jim, two program. Jay Paris of the mighty 1090 sports radio, welcome Bonjour. Jim, if you could give us our take on this financing plan and how it differs from the plan that the task force recommended Has a lot of the same elements in it. Etiquette recognizes some of the same things that were there. One is the fact that was recognized by everyone and certainly something that the Chargers have been saying for a decade. There is an existing cost that's going into the Stadium and there's existing deferred maintenance number that has to be taken care of at some point in time. When we address that on the the sect thing we tried to come up with a number that was controversial by the city that was less than what the current contribution was. I think our plan was something like $7 million or $8 million per year which was less than the current number minus the debt which would still exist until 2027. I think that's there. I think we capitalized there always for the Chargers, a rented that we thought was a fair rent. We knew that would be negotiable. That is not understand I do not see it in the plan. I think they took that out. Of course the other thing we had in there was we thought that 75 acres of land should be sold as a way to do it. We picked a low number for that because we do that would not be entitled. There was a range of numbers we were given and what they cost would be for that land. One was on entitled and one was in title. We went with their What does that mean That means go through the EIR process and know what is going to be on that land before it's done. It has a little bit -- maybe they twist and turn you got with one Paseo. I had to use that as a comparison. They bought that land thinking they could entitle it for what they wanted to do. Obviously, the ring to struggles getting entitled. They bought it for price. They probably overpriced in that case. We went with a lower number. This city is selling that land as not part of that plan -- Not part of this plan. It had some criticism from some of the media and the public because they do not want to tied into the EIR for what I could ascertain. J, this plan, especially the release of the expedited environmental impact report was harshly criticized by Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani. He says the Chargers will not be used as guinea pigs. How do you interpret the teams continuing objection to the speed of the environmental impact statement I think it's all about leverage here. They're not going to let the LA opportunity pass by without taking a bite of the apple or at least trying to have a voice in that conversation. But this reminds me of is Clint Eastwood, if you will. At the last Republican convention talking to that empty chair. The city is talking to an empty chair and trying to negotiate by themselves, really. Until both parties are engaged it's almost a folly on the city side. They are covering their backside too. They want to show they are ready but, I would be hard-pressed to believe that the city of voters would approve any kind of money. It's just, San Diego, San Diego is fish tacos and sunsets. We had wildfires one time and right after we had a ballot initiative for more firefighters. And that was voted down. So, I appreciate what Jim and his group did at what the city is trying to do. I just don't know if there is an appetite out there for taxpayer money. I know it's not unplug new taxes but it is city assets. That money could be going other ways. I also appreciate this is a tourism town and we liked having this commercials every day in the winter showing Coronado Bridge and that. But for the price you are talking, maybe you could buy commercial time and not have to do the Stadium. The person that is supposed to be in that empty chair copy representative for the Chargers, the Chargers are actually at the NFL owners meeting right now presenting their Carson plan, aren't they Jim. That is my understanding. From what I understand it may not be a long meeting. I heard they were announcing at noon that they were extending the draft into Chicago. The Commissioner is walking out of the meeting at some point in time in the middle of this. Maybe it was a morning meeting. Yes, they are sitting there. They will listen to the Carson plan. My personal the is that the Carson and the England plans are going to be -- they're going to present it in my understanding is the three teams involved in that will be asked to leave the room. Then the other 29 owners would get down to brass packs on where they were and what the issues were. I'm sure one of the things addressed will be relocation these things like that. I think that today was going to be one where they were going to ask a lot of pointed questions of both the two developments in Los Angeles. Jim, as a former NFL executive power the you think the owners will like or dislike about this Stadium plan that San Diego is representing. For instance, in one of the news reports I read there were some questions asked about the amount of money that the Chargers and the NFL are expected to put forward on this new stadium. Do you think that's going to be sticking point I think it is a negotiate point. That is a better way to put it. . You are negotiating against the chair right now. You do not want to put all your cards on the table. I think the thing they will appreciate most and as part of the relocation guidelines is the one public funding to be part of this. This has all been about private/partner ships. That has been the mantra for the last 20 years in building the stadiums. I know St. Louis is out there dancing around now with what they are going to do with public. That's going to be important factors, meeting the guidelines for the movement of the franchise , County supervisor Ron Roberts says he does not expect the Chargers to resume because he Asians by the deadline the city has in September. Because they need to do that in order to get this on the ballot by January. What is this all about anyway? If indeed one of the principles of this, of previous plan together doesn't think it will get the Chargers back to the table and time to have that January vote I think the NFL has made it clear in some ways, they did -- they want teams to stay in their cities if they can. If that can be worked out and show a viable plan, maybe they will not vote or allow you to make that move. San Diego is saying, we had a plan. We have our EIR. We have all our ducks in a row. Can you let this team that this community has supported for five decades move up the road. Of course it's going to be more valuable in LA but the NFL has always said they like to keep their teams in the cities. It will be interesting if the Chargers did leave. Maybe the city of San Diego said, look, have this chunk of land. Maybe we can get another team. Maybe they can use that to leverage something else out. I think what is clear and agendas this better than I, they have built up a lot of chips with the NFL owners over the years. He has been a willing partner to a lot of other guys moving. I don't the NFL will let him -- leave him out to dry. They will either let him go to LA or make sure he has a Stadium here in San Diego. I don't think they are going to let him this out on this opportunity. Let's face it, LA is quite it from there. If someone doesn't get that money and you let it pass by, the Trailblazers passing on Michael Jordan or something. That is a big chunk that has not been realized yet. Boy the Spanish is like a chunk of it just like any other businessman pick Jim, what could be NFL owners do to help San Diego in this situation. One of the things that has to be assessed through the whole process is what will they do in LA. If the decision is Carson versus Inglewood in some way shape or form, if they think they're moving to teams, then one is left out. They need to figure out how to solve the left out. My personal opinion is I think it is a recipe for disaster if you move to teams simultaneously. If you think you can sell 120,000 season tickets and 20,000 club seats and a 350 suites and raise $100 million and advertising in a market that is already saturated by UCLA, the Kings, run through the list, I think you are fooling yourself. It's the NFL. There is a degree of arrogance that exists that you think you can get that done. I think they have to decide how to do this the right way. The one thing they cannot do is go in and feel. That has happened in Los Angeles before. That's why both teams moved in the 90s. They both feel. You have to go in and make sure you have something there. I think they need to wait that decision all the way through that. Also, the NFL has lost a generation of fans. It's been 20 years. Those kids all grew up rooting for UCLA or USC or finding something else to do on Sundays. I know that six times as big a San Diego County up there but I think to teams may be a tough sell. That is a lot of money they are talking about. People are arty placing exorbitant prices for other teams and trying to get on the freeway. I think it is a difficult sell. That's one of the things they are going to judge. The other thing they will have to look at is where is the location they think is the best place to be. They know the difference between Inglewood and Carson. Inglewood once was the home of the Lakers. That was showtime and all the celebrity showed up. It's next-door to Beverly Hills. I will try to Carson? If you live in Malibu cop getting out of a hat who lives in Malibu, how about Charlie scene, [ laughter ] How would you drive the -- down before a five to do that. I think part of what they want to do is make it a flagship. They want to move NFL network, NFL.com, they want to put a Hall of Fame exhibit their that is a West Coast Hall of Fame. They want to do something that is desirable and easy to get to. That is all part of the process. I'm interested in what you said about the NFL and the spanners and how they don't want to leave him with his hands empty. I'm wondering though, if indeed the NFL owners mix the idea of the Chargers moving and the Chargers come back after all the bridges that have been burned here, what kind of a deal could they hope for after all this It would be tough. It goes back to that note. They poisoned the well quite a bit of this off-season. I have friends with the Chargers tattoos. Once they went into bed with the Raiders, a lot of people said that was it. It's been pounded in their head that is your archrival for five decades. It is a tedious position. At some point they could come back here hat in hand and talk to the city. Wouldn't the city love to be in that decision. What are you looking for this October meeting? I just think people will continue to lay out cards on the table. The NFL -- like Jim, the NFL wants to do this right. They failed there but they want to get into that entertainment capital. The synergy and the high-tech and everything. California is glamorous. LA is glamorous. LA survived for 20 years without the NFL. I don't remember any time always going down Wilshire Boulevard. I think they did okay. The NFL, as Jim said, they want to do NFL network. They want NFL.com. They could give LA five super Bowls in a row if they wanted to. They hold a lot of cards and that is why they are the NFL and that is why they are $10 billion business. And the story goes on. I have been speaking with Jim Steeg couple were NFL executive and Jay Paris the mighty 1090. Thank you very much. Thank you.
The former football executive who is spearheading efforts by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to jointly build a stadium in Carson said Tuesday that both teams are "committed" to Los Angeles.
Carmen Policy, a lawyer who was president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s and 90s, told reporters outside a meeting of National Football League team owners in Chicago that the Carson project would be "shovel ready" as soon as approval is given for the teams to move from their respective cities.
He said the proposed Carson stadium would be ready in time for the 2019 season.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which is covering the meetings because that city's Rams are also eyeing a move to the lucrative Los Angeles market, reported that Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis also made brief remarks to their colleagues.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke was also scheduled to discuss his planned stadium project at the former Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood.
Returning a team to Los Angeles is a major priority for the NFL. The Los Angeles area has not had an NFL team since 1995, when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland.
Following the meetings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that all possibilities remained on the table, and the league could still keep teams in their home markets.
NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman, who is in charge of relocation, said a team representing the city and county of San Diego made "a very thorough" presentation Monday to a committee of owners.
"The city of San Diego evidenced a significant amount of progress in terms of putting together something which is beginning to be defined," Grubman said.
"They also went through their strategy for dealing with various risks and threats — it could be a litigation threat over environmental permitting and certifications, there could be threats from the standpoint of obtaining the necessary public support that the mayor has called for, and so forth and so on," Grubman said.
He said the NFL's goal is to create a scenario that brings about certainty.
On Monday, city and county of San Diego stadium negotiators met with a small group of team owners to discuss a proposal to replace Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. They unveiled renderings of a design concept by the firm Populous and a proposed financing package, under which the city and county would pay about one-third of the total construction cost.
The financing proposal calls for the Chargers to contribute $362.5 million and the NFL $200 million, and for $187.5 million in personal seat licenses to be sold, with the county and city making a combined $350 million contribution. The proposal does not rely on income from other development on the site, like shops and office buildings.
Also made public on Monday was a 6,000-page environmental impact report, which is now available for public comment. Chargers officials have objected to the study's expedited time line.
Team special counsel Mark Fabiani said that never in California's history had a controversial billion-dollar project relied on environmental review documents prepared in just three weeks. Environmental studies usually take 12-18 months.
City officials maintain that the EIR will hold up to scrutiny because the project is merely replacing one stadium with a similar and smaller, facility, so the impacts are already largely known.
The efforts to keep the Chargers in San Diego come years after the local NFL franchise began asking for a replacement for aging Qualcomm Stadium, where, long before it acquired its current name, the first game was played in August 1967.