Qualcomm Stadium To Close In 16 Months; Expecting Operating Deficit Again In FY '18
San Diego city leaders "intend to close" Qualcomm Stadium in 16 months and "make way for what they hope will be money-making redevelopment," according to Roger Showley of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The venue is being "maintained to host 568 events scheduled through the planned closing day, Dec. 31, 2018." Officials "expect an operating deficit" of $6.6M in FY '18, which started July 1, with about $4M in revenue offset by $10.6M in expenditures. In FY '17, the Chargers' last season in San Diego, officials "reported an operating deficit" of about $8.7M for the stadium, meaning this year's deficit was forecast to be about 24% lower. The city's budget for the stadium "does not lay out many of the details of what it takes to keep the grass green and scoreboard in shape." While the stadium "lost its headline tenant" when the Chargers left, the 38-member full-time staff "dropped by just two positions." For FY '18, the personnel budget is listed as $3.6M, up $12,716 from last year "due to higher pay and fringe benefits." Former City Manager Jack McGrory said, "Are you kidding me? It seems like you'd have bigger, deeper cuts in operating expenses." Showley noted McGrory is helping San Diego State "evaluate taking over Qualcomm operations from the city." But former Qualcomm Stadium Assistant Manager Steve Shushan said that "at least half the staff could be laid off and the operations cost reduced" from this year's $10.7M cost to $3M or less. He added that outside contractors "could take up the slack if necessary." Showley noted "not counted as operating cost" is the $4.7M annual debt service payment that will "continue for another decade" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/13).