SBD/Issue 176/Facilities & Venues

NFL Facility Notes: Chargers Pushing Ahead In Quest For Stadium

Chargers Exec Says Team Is Getting
Down To The Wire For A New Stadium

In San Diego, Tim Sullivan noted the San Diego City Council's June 22 vote "on raising the spending cap of the Centre City Development Corporation could lead, conceivably, to a symbolic shovel in the ground" for a new Chargers stadium. Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani Friday said the team "never put a gun to anybody's head" and "never established a time frame" for a stadium. But he added, "At the same time, I think it's fair to say we're getting down to the wire after eight years. We're closer to the end of the process than to the beginning." Sullivan wrote persuading the public to "invest up to $600 million in a playground for the pampered figures to be an intensely tough sell, but that number is certainly negotiable," as the Chargers' $200M commitment "amounts to an opening bid" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/22).

KEEP OPTIONS OPEN: A S.F. CHRONICLE editorial stated the paper has "chosen not to make a recommendation on Measure J," the June 8 Santa Clara ballot issue for a new stadium for the 49ers. The paper's "focus in on what needs to be done in San Francisco to keep its options open." The city's Planning Commission on June 3 is "scheduled to review an environmental impact report for Lennar's comprehensive redevelopment plans to bring housing and commerce" to the abandoned Hunters Point Naval Shipyard site.  One redevelopment scenario "would include a football stadium," and the city "should keep this plan moving forward." The editorial stated there are "plenty of reasons to question whether the team can put together the financing" for a $937M stadium in Santa Clara (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/23). In S.F., Matier & Ross noted the 49ers are "pulling out all the stops -- and $3 million to $4 million in cash -- to try to pass their Santa Clara stadium plan." The 49ers' "political team is led" by Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who worked on John McCain's '08 presidential campaign, as well as local consultants Ed McGovern and Jude Barry. The team also has a "full-time campaign manager overseeing a paid staff of five and scores of volunteers" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/24).

TAXING ISSUES: In Minneapolis, Bob Von Sternberg noted a new poll conducted by Minnesota Public Radio and the Univ. of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs "shows that Minnesotans overwhelmingly don't want their tax dollars spent on a new Minnesota Vikings stadium." Sixty-four percent of poll respondents said that they "oppose public funding for a stadium," while 30% "support the idea of a taxpayer subsidy" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/22)....In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz wrote the Georgia Dome "is not falling apart," but if Falcons Owner Arthur Blank wants to fund a new stadium for the team "by himself, nobody should have a problem with that." Also, if taxpayers are "willing to pass an initiative for a special hotel-motel tax to help partially fund the project, nobody should have a problem with that, either" (AJC.com, 5/24)
 

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