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I got two bits of feedback from readers about my Chargers’ stadium post I thought were worth sharing. Remember, the post was basically my jaw dropping at the statistics compiled in a New York Times piece about the Jets-Giants football stadium being built in New Jersey. I asserted the football teams appeared to be paying for the stadium themselves and not taking taxpayer dollars.

Reader VK wrote in with some perspective;

My brief review of Wikipedia suggests that the stadium is not privately financed: they’re getting the land for free, and New Jersey has agreed to assume the repayment of the debt for the old stadium.

Also, I wouldn’t be surprised whether there was other bribes, like a property tax abatement or exemption, etc.

Interesting. Government subsidies, we should know by now, come in many forms.

Also, the reader had a point about my argument that a new tax in San Diego would be almost impossible to pass because of the need for a two-thirds majority approval:

you wouldn’t necessarily need a vote. If they did revenue bonds (i.e. future tax increment to be generated by the project was pledged as collateral for the bonds), they could do it without a vote. This is Gaylord model.

Anyone who has read me knows my feelings on revenue bonds not put up for a public vote. I’m not going there now, suffice to say that if they successfully loaded more than $500 million of revenue bonds on local government backs without increasing a fee or tax on something, they’d be handing a town like Chula Vista a one-way ticket to bankruptcy land.

Another reader had a San Diego angle worthy of exploration. Remember, the Jets and Giants are paying for this new facility largely by charging their fans thousands in “personal seat licenses” — fees charged just so fans can maintain the right to purchase season tickets in the new stadium.

In case you didn’t know the PADRES sold PSLs for a bunch (but not all) of the seats at Petco. Everything in the loge area in the luxury area and (little unsure) I THINK for lower deck seats between the bases.

Now if I had the time to be an enterprising reporter for an electronic news source I would go find out how things have gone both in the “resale” market for those AND in respect to the Padres remarketing those PSLs which were returned to the club because of a weak resale market. That might help put the Chargers stuff in perspective.

Us enterprising reporters from electronic news sources are pretty busy but the reader is right. Any Padres ticket holders out there who remember? Anyone else have some facts to fill in this perspective?

The point again, is simple. It’s getting to the point — because of inflation, the weak dollar, construction costs, and similar efforts around the country — where building a new stadium in San Diego would probably cost well more than $1.5 billion. I pegged it at $2 billion if things are delayed as much as three more years. This is an immense amount of money. Even if we somehow held the cost at $1.5 billion (less than the Jets-Giants stadium already under construction) that would be well more than twice the cost estimated only a couple years ago when that effort didn’t pencil out for investors.

Send me your own thoughts.

SCOTT LEWIS

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