San Diego will get its first look tomorrow at how it could pay for a new football stadium downtown for the San Diego Chargers.

Mitchell Ziets, a consultant hired by the city’s downtown redevelopment agency, will present an overview of financing for recent NFL stadiums at the agency’s board meeting.

Redevelopment dollars are expected to pay a large role in paying for the proposed $800 million project. But another NFL team looking for a new stadium is talking about a different kind of public money.

The Minnesota Vikings are discussing using federal stimulus funds through Build America Bonds as part of their stadium proposal in suburban Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported over the weekend:

[Vikings spokesman Lester] Bagley said the federal bonds could provide up to $1 million a year to help make interest payments on a stadium, which is projected to cost $870 million.
Minnesota’s top state budget official, Tom Hanson, who spoke Friday to the same group, said state officials have not used the bond program and that any proposal — including one from the Vikings — would need legislative approval.
Kathy Kardell, an assistant commissioner under Hanson at the Minnesota Management and Budget Office, said a study would be needed to determine whether a Vikings stadium could be defined as a “governmental purpose” under federal tax law.

The Vikings are working through their state legislature — not discussed here — for their public assistance.

The team also is tired of hearing about how much it needs to contribute to the deal.

Bagley said the team was frustrated with critics who keep asking how much the Vikings were willing to commit to a stadium. “Why is it on us to talk about our investment? Where’s the public side of the equation?” asked Bagley, who added the National Football League and owner Zygi Wilf have consistently talked of contributing a third of the stadium’s estimated cost. The team’s goal this year at the Legislature, he said, would be “to put [the stadium] in a position to be resolved” before the team’s Metrodome lease expires in 2011.

The Chargers announced yesterday that they will not exercise the out clause in their lease with the city and stay next year. They made no promises beyond that.

For background on the stadium search check here. Also, I hope to be at the downtown redevelopment agency meeting tomorrow so check back for some coverage. And thanks to City Hall watcher Katheryn Rhodes for passing along the Vikings’ article.


Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.