DON'T CELEBRATE JUST YET, PADRES DEAL STILL FACES QUESTIONS
The "lack of hard facts" on how the City of San Diego
will contribute $225M toward the Padres ballpark "makes it
virtually impossible to assess the project's financial
risks," according to the city's Task Force on Ballpark
Planning Chair Pat Shea, who added that the "information
vacuum threatens to erode public confidence in the project."
The SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE's Philip LaVelle writes that the
$225M would be raised by issuing bonds to be repaid by the
city's hotel-room tax, but what's "not clear is exactly how
the project would cut into the hotel-tax revenue stream."
It is "likely -- but not committed to any document the
public has seen -- that most of it would come from new
revenues produced by hotels not yet built." Also unknown is
what portion of these revenues would be taken from the 200
or so civic programs that "rely" on the tax. Those
decisions are up to S.D. Mayor Susan Golding and the City
Council, which will meet again today to discuss the details
(UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17). In addition, two county supervisors
say Golding "has misled the public by stating the current"
ballpark proposal "lacks only" $21M in additional funding,
and that the funding gap is much larger. Golding's
spokesperson Mary Anne Pintar called the allegations
"totally outrageous" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17).
WORK TO DO: In examining the team's agreement with the
city, business writer Philip LaVelle wrote that while the
Padres want to place the measure on the November 3 ballot, a
"lack of hotel industry participation in the pro-ballpark
campaign would be a glaring absence in the coalition the
Padres hope to form." In addition, the team and Golding
"will have to answer" why "so much public investment" should
go toward the project (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/16).