The Chargers Want $700 Million In Public Money For A New Stadium

How to convince a city to buy you a brand new stadium in five easy steps, starring Chargers Chief Marketing Officer Ken Derrett:

1. Insist that a stadium brings in tons of money to the city, even though all available research says otherwise:

“You probably have 750,000 tickets sold in a given year, and you’ve probably got 40,000 people coming from outside, spending money on taxis, on hotels, on that hot dog, on the parking, on the merchandise, putting money back into this community.”

2. Complain that you can't draw events to your stadium because it's too old:

But in the offseason, the stadium sits idle aside from some monster truck rallies, soccer matches or events in the parking lot. Derrett told about 50 people at San Diego Foundation at Liberty Station that the team’s pursuit of a multipurpose venue would bring in major events such as Super Bowls, Final Fours, headlining concerts and political conventions.

3. Point out that the team, who stands to benefit more than anyone from a new stadium, can only chip in a fraction of the cost:

He said the league contributed $200 million for the new San Francisco 49ers stadium being built in Santa Clara and said owner Dean Spanos could contribute $100 million. Derrett said that leaves a gap for what could be a $1 billion project.

4. Point out that cities around the countries have used tax money to pay for their stadiums, so why not San Diego?

"Where will that money come from?...I think many other cities in North America have found ways to work with the tourism authorities on some kind of a tax."

5. Profit/Move to Los Angeles

Per Neil deMause, this entire article reads like a press release for the Chargers. And why not? The new owner of the Union-Tribune hasn't been shy about declaring the paper needs to be a "cheerleader" for "promoting the new stadium." The new publisher wants to criticize those against publicly funding a stadium as "obstructionists."

Longtime U-T columnist Tim Sullivan was fired last year, in part, he says, because of "my failure to endorse a new stadium without wondering whether that’s good public policy, a justifiable expense or a good deal."

So, get used to this. As PFT points out, the Chargers' leverage has a limited life span, as the Rams or Raiders could relocate and remove the Los Angeles bogeyman from the equation within a few years. The push for a new stadium—paid for by the generous citizens of San Diego—is about to begin in earnest, with the should-be watchdogs at the local paper lying at Dean Spanos's feet to get their tummies scratched.

Chargers an economic engine, exec says [San Diego Union-Tribune]