Creative solution needed to fund new Chargers stadium
Amid a backdrop of funding uncertainty, Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President Dean Spanos met for the first time since October to talk about a new football stadium.
The meeting took place Monday, and in addition to all of the local funding issues, the National Football League says it has no money for new stadiums– especially when it's only focus right now, is on getting a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.
Financing a downtown stadium for the Chargers was always a difficult issue. But now add Governor Brown's attempt to eliminate redevelopment agencies and the fact that the NFL says there's no more money available to help finance new stadiums, a new Chargers stadium becomes even more problematic.
There are other vehicles to be explored says Fred Maas, the ever-optimistic former chair and acting president of the Centre City Development Corporation, the city's redevelopment arm.
Maas was among those at the meeting between Sanders and Spanos.
“In Dallas for example, they had a voter-approved tot tax in, around the stadium. In Indianapolis for example, they merged their convention center with the stadium district and created a JPA (joint powers authority), they got the approval of the counties that ring the new stadium, they approved a transit occupancy tax for tourists, who helped fund the differences in the facility there,” said Maas.
Then there's what's going on in Los Angeles, with L.A.-Live, and the proposal to integrate a new football stadium with the sports-entertainment complex and the nearby convention center.
Maas went on to say, “I truly believe we don't utilize Petco the way we should, we haven't integrated the convention center with the existing assets that are there and what those new assets might be.”
Maas acknowledged what is a very complicated environment, but said you can make things happen as long as you're willing to sit down and try to figure out creative solutions.