I’m writing to address points that need clarification in Voice of San Diego’s coverage of the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group’s (CSAG) “Site Selection and Financing Plan for a New Multi-Use Stadium in San Diego.”
The 75 acres of land CSAG recommends the city sell does not need to be entitled. Further, we believe the estimate we settled on, $3 million an acre, is conservative. Local land prices are increasing.
San Diego State University could buy this land, un-entitled. The university is two trolley stops away and is interested in acquiring nearby land needed to grow beyond its land-locked campus. An investor or developer also could buy this land, un-entitled, and CSAG received interest from multiple investors and developers.
Secondly, CSAG’s plan does carve out $4 million a year for operations and maintenance and notes other revenue streams (a portion of the team’s rent, for example) could be used if necessary. But the report notes that based on CSAG’s research the stadium is expected to break even, at a minimum, with proper third-party management.
Operations and maintenance is referenced several times throughout the report, including in the Executive Summary.
Finally, CSAG intentionally left out the 3 percent annual rent increases when calculating revenues. We did so as part of a larger effort. Our plan overestimates costs and underestimates revenues to leave both sides room at the bargaining table.
CSAG identified more than $1.4 billion in revenues to pay for a $1.1 billion stadium without increasing taxes.
In addition to jump-starting a public process and developing a fair and workable plan for a new stadium — something that’s never been done before in San Diego — CSAG engaged San Diegans. They finally have a plan to debate, support and critique. This is an important point, especially if this process ends in a public vote.
Tony Manolatos is the spokesman for the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group. Manolatos’ commentary has been edited for style and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.