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Selling Off Airports, Golf Courses Not Easy

Selling Off Airports, Golf Courses Not Easy
Selling valuable city-owned assets could potentially bring in a lot of money to San Diego. But numerous legal challenges could thwart the sales.

The San Diego City Council's budget committee will learn more today about the potential sale of ten city-owned golf courses and two airports.

The idea of a sale has been batted around as one way to fix San Diego’s structural budget deficit. But the city attorney’s office said numerous hurdles are associated with potential sales.

The federal government has a large say in what can happen to the airports. The sale of golf courses could require a city-wide vote and any proceeds would face use restrictions.


Councilman Todd Gloria heads the city’s budget committee.

“As the city attorney points out there are significant legal and other hurdles that may make this, not only infeasible, but certainly not a short term solution to our city’s general fund deficit,” he said.

Gloria said both the golf courses and airports are self-supporting, which means they don’t have a direct impact on the city’s general fund. Though he concedes the city’s overall government would be smaller if they were sold.