SBD/Issue 222/Facilities & Venues

Study Of San Diego’s Finances Uncovers Petco Park Bond Issue

Report States San Diego Officials Held Bad
Financial News To Protect Petco Park Bonds
A 266-page report from risk management firm Kroll Inc. stated that San Diego officials “buried a heap of bad financial news that would have imperiled” the Petco Park project” in ’02, according to Matthew Hall of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Kroll’s consultants, which included former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt, said that a report on city finances by a blue-ribbon panel “was toned down and delayed — until 13 days after the city’s ballpark bond offering closed — for fear that ‘disclosure of the truth would derail’ the sale.” While Petco Park “is mentioned only briefly” in the Kroll report, Dennis Gibson, a former Murphy aide, “told Kroll investigators that there had been a general concern about how the blue-ribbon report might affect the city’s credit rating and that a negative rating could ‘implicate’ the ballpark bonds.” The report states, “The City was plainly concerned that a public report highlighting serious problems ... would make the bond offering more difficult or impossible” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/14).

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