The State of the City Address was held this year at the Balboa Theater at Horton Plaza in Downtown San Diego. During Mayor Kevin Faulconer's speech, he addressed concerns over our aging infrastructure and how he plans to fix the problem. He also announced the creation of a task force which will be spearheading the stadium project. The members of the task force will be announced by the end of the month and they will have a plan on the mayors desk by the Fall of 2015. This plan includes the preferred location, design, cost of the project, and how the facility will be financed. During the planning stage, locals will be able to voice their opinion on the project.
Currently, the Spanos Family contribution is not enough to fully fund the project, opening up the option for public financing, private investors, or both. A joint SDCC Expansion and Stadium is rumored to roughly cost around $1 billion. Any public contribution to the stadium would have to pass a 2/3rds supermatority vote. Petco Park barely passed the same vote, therefor any public financing would have to appeal to the voters. The question brought up from public financing is if it would be for the greater good of San Diego County. It would be up to the voters at that stage to determine if public dollars are better spent on a stadium, infrastructure, or funding city services. That is why the idea of private investors is so attractive in the San Diego marketplace. The money that the city would spend on the stadium, would go directly back to city coffers to be used for other projects.
But let's not forget the challenges when the Padres used public money to build Petco Park. Mark Hitchcock wrote a great article discussing the impact it had on San Diego. You can check out that article here: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/sugarman/PETCO_Park_and_the_Padres_____Mark_Hitchcock.pdf
So with that information in hand, is it really worth bringing the public into another Proposition C scenario, or is it best to fund the stadium privately? It's more logical to get the stadium built privately and by doing so, you cut back a lot of red tape. Private funding also means that the tax payers are off the hook and money in city coffers could be better spent improving the quality of life within our community. It also means that whoever invested in the stadium now has a share of the facility, similar to stocks. There would be many benefits to investors, including making residual income off stadium events. Considering that one of the options on the table is to sell the Sports Arena and Qualcomm Stadium to help fund the stadium, the city would get a cut of the profits. Same thing with the San Diego Convention Center & Port of San Diego if they were to invest if the contiguous design was chosen. In short, there are numerous financing options available and the plan selected should be the one in which everyone wins. This project should benefit all of San Diego, not just one entity.