The San Diego Chargers today (December 30) submitted its stadium subsidy plan to the National Football League. It is almost the same as the earlier plan put forward for a Mission Valley stadium.
The stadium's cost would be $1.1 billion. St. Louis, which yesterday (December 29) sent its plan to the NFL, wants to build a $1.1 billion stadium to keep the St. Louis Rams from moving. However, Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams, has already broken ground on an Inglewood stadium that would cost close to $2 billion.
Kroenke, who with his wife is a double-digit billionaire, proposes a stadium with the bells and whistles that NFL stadiums now have. In recent years, pro football has become a game for the affluent.
According to the Chargers' proposal, the city would put in $200 million, the county $150 million, the NFL $200 million from its loan program and sale of personal seat licenses ($187 million), and the Chargers' $363 million (which could be partly if not wholly paid with sale of naming rights and corporate sponsorships.) To count on $187 million from personal seat licenses is folly.
The document stresses that the Chargers steadfastly refuse to work with San Diego. The proposal claims that the team is 22nd among 32 NFL teams in total revenue, 18th in annual ticket revenue, and 17th in average ticket price.
The document argues that the actual San Diego market is 6.5 million people, instead of half that, which is the official population of the San Diego metro area. To reach 6.5 million, the document adds in Imperial Valley and Baja California. But how many people from those areas will attend games if ticket prices are the 17th highest in the NFL? According to Team Marketing Report, the average Chargers ticket this year was $84.55, just below the league's average $85.83.
The document also claims that polling shows that the public is interested in going to a game in a new stadium. But these polls, done by phone and email by a consulting firm, have been questioned: other polls show that San Diegans do not have a favorable opinion of paying for such a stadium with their taxes.
Oakland, which wants to share a $1.7 billion L.A. stadium with the Chargers, has not submitted a plan for remaining in its home city. It still owes $100 million on the rehabilitation of its current stadium. St. Louis wants to get $400 million from city and state sources, $250 million from Kroenke, $300 million from an NFL loan, and $50 million from personal seat licenses. The situation in St. Louis is the same as it is in San Diego: the current owners of the teams do not want to stay.