The Morning Report
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | I just saw Scott Lewis‘ post on the Charger stadium search. It is a timely one because this afternoon the Chargers are meeting with Oceanside city officials to report on the due diligence we have all been doing about the concept of a mixed use office village on the proposed Goat Hill site in Oceanside. We are looking forward to sharing with Oceanside what we have learned from meetings with potential office village developers, and I am sure Oceanside will have information to share with us. Our goal today is to determine whether the office village idea deserves continued exploration or whether we ought to add other ideas to the mix.
With respect to Chula Vista, as you know, the Chargers agreed to pay more than $220,000 for the city of Chula Vista to hire a consultant to review possible sites within Chula Vista. Chula Vista selected the consultant and is managing the study, so the release date of the study will be decided by Chula Vista. But we hope that within a month or so the people of Chula Vista will be able to review the results of the study. I anticipate that some potential sites will be ruled out for various reasons, but we are hopeful that one or two sites will remain and that the consultants’ study will set forth for us all the pluses and minuses of each site.
Finally, it is worth noting one factor that often gets lost in discussion of the new stadium: When we began this process five years ago, we could have constructed the stadium for approximately $400 million. Today, because of the rising cost of concrete, steel and other supplies, along with other factors, the cost of the stadium has easily doubled — to well in excess of $800 million, if the estimates coming out of San Francisco and Minnesota are accurate. And if the estimated construction costs out of Dallas and the New Jersey Meadowlands are accurate, the cost of the stadium construction alone could be in excess of $1 billion. Of course, none of these costs includes massive infrastructure expenditures which must also be made. I raise this point because we all know how challenging it was for us to find a way to privately finance the $400 million stadium on the Qualcomm site. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the private financing challenge we face now has at least doubled, right along with the cost of construction.