Chat with Mark Fabiani – 2.26.2015

 

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13:39
dgonzals
https://twitter.com/sdstadiumdotorg
13:39
dgonzals
https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoStadiumCoalition
13:39
sdjase
This concludes today’s chat. Thanks again!
13:38
sdjase
Please visit our Facebook and other social media sites to stay informed and learn about future chats. You can also visit our website www.sdstadium.org
13:38
Mark Fabiani
It was my pleasure. Thanks for having me, and for taking the time to read all of these questions and answers! Really appreciate it.
13:38
jrsayow55
Please don’t leave… The Chargers ARE San Diego!!!
13:37
Mark Fabiani
(5) And watch for news from the NFL. At some point the League will presumably establish a process regarding Los Angeles.
13:37
sdjase
Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s chat and thank you Mr. Fabiani for your time.
13:36
Mark Fabiani
(3) The Task Force has committed to releasing a report by May 20. (4) The Carson ballot measure will be moving forward and will presumably qualify for the ballot within a month or so.
13:36
Mark Fabiani
Next steps: (1) Watch the news for the offer that St. Louis makes the Rams. That will be key. (2) Watch to see if the Task Force decides to focus exclusively on Qualcomm, which is what appears to be happening.
13:35
Mark Fabiani
Our longtime architects for the SD project are from the Populous firm. That firm also works for AEG in Los Angeles, so when we were forced to turn our attention to Carson, after the Inglewood announcement in January, we retained a separate architect
13:35
sdjase
What are the next steps in this process?
13:34
Mark Fabiani
The Chargers have so far paid our architects over the years to work on stadium design, but of course if we get to a public vote process we would want to solicit public input in a big way.
13:33
Mark Fabiani
So you will likely end up on the ballot one way or the other — and you’re better off being on the ballot with a measure that you have crafted.
13:33
jrsayow55
Who all has a say in the design of the Stadium?
13:33
Mark Fabiani
Alternatives to a public vote: The problem is that if your proposal isn’t put on the ballot, your opponents will gather their own signatures and put their own “no” vote proposal on the ballot.
13:33
sdjase
We have time for a couple of more questions before we let Mr. Fabiani go.
13:32
Mark Fabiani
You want to build the stadium as economically as possible, and adding costly features for some mythological future Olympic Games in San Diego doesn’t really make sense.
13:32
Mark Fabiani
Unfortunately, we do not believe that San Diego has a realistic chance to host the Olympics in the intermediate term future, so we have not worked on stadium designs that would account for the Olympics.
13:31
starrman
Are there any alternatives to a public vote?
13:31
Mark Fabiani
So, we have a huge hill to climb in any election because of the two-thirds vote rule in the California Constitution; a special election likely makes the hill insurmountable.
13:30
Mark Fabiani
The problem with a special election is that voter turnout in such elections is usually quite low — and the voters who do turn out tend to be against new spending or ambitious projects.
13:30
turge
Have the Chargers ever considered making the facility olympic sized so we could eventually host the games here in SD?
13:30
Mark Fabiani
All I know is that the most important cities in the country are fighting hard to host the Super Bowl…and that cities that have lost NFL teams have ended up fighting hard to win new teams.
13:29
Mark Fabiani
And those studies are disputed by academics, who say that if people didn’t spent money on Chargers games they would spend the same money on something else.
13:29
dgonzals
Depending on the time a site is selected and financing has been figured out, if it required a public vote – Would you prefer a special election ASAP? Or Early 2016? or Mid 2016?
13:28
Mark Fabiani
There have been a variety of studies over the years about the impact of the team and the Super Bowl on SD.
13:28
Mark Fabiani
The challenge remains coming up with a funding plan that can garner widespread support — something that may not be possible no matter how closely the political stars are aligned. We are all about to find out one way or the other.
13:28
sdjase
samiles2 has there been any analysis about what the economic impact of the Chargers leaving would be?
13:27
Mark Fabiani
The political stars are finally aligning — as the result, I think, of the new sense of urgency that has been created over the last two weeks or so.
13:27
sdjase
How politically aligned are the stars for actually getting something done this year vs. years past (14 or so of them)?
13:26
Mark Fabiani
And of course, most important of all, we need a plan that has some good chance of public approval.
13:26
Mark Fabiani
The Chargers and the Spanos family are prepared to run the best campaign for a ballot measure that anyone has ever seen. But we can’t do that until we get a plan that the Mayor, the City Council, and the Board of Supervisors can support.
13:25
Mark Fabiani
We continue to believe that the best option is a joint use Convention Center-Stadium facility downtown, but that just does not appear to be in the cards. So we are prepared to join the Task Force in its focus on the Qualcomm site.
13:25
sdjase
Do you see Dean Spanos or any of the ownership getting more directly involved with promoting the stadium with the taxpayers?
13:25
Mark Fabiani
Yes, the litigation continues, and the uncertainty over its resolution could be an impediment to developing the site. No developer is going to want to get tied up in a lengthy environmental cleanup process unless there is some solution in sight.
13:24
Mark Fabiani
The one thing that could make the most positive impact is the one thing that is least likely to happen: Support from the Mayor, the City Council and the hoteliers for a joint use Stadium-Convention Center facility downtown.
13:24
Madmadigan
Mark, We have been given an abundance od information over the years on many projected sites and how they won’t work for various reasons, Can you give us an idea of what will work for the Chargers to stay in San Diego?
13:24
dgonzals
Is the litigation for the Qualcomm site cleanup still going on? If so, do you feel it will delay a project if it happens there?
13:23
sdjase
BoltmanLives What is the one thing you want to see happen that gives the best chance of retaining the Chargers here in San Diego?
13:22
Mark Fabiani
SDSU leadership has always been very supportive, but the state university system is suffering from severe financial constraints, and we cannot rightly expect that system to contribute significantly to a stadium.
13:21
Mark Fabiani
The hoteliers do indeed seem to be immune from public opinion. How else can you explain their ability to waste millions of tax dollars and many years of work on a taxing scheme that was clearly illegal?
13:21
sdjase
Why do you think it take the leadership at SDSU go long to get involved and what is their level of engagement today?
13:20
Mark Fabiani
On Chula Vista, we have run out of time now, unfortunately, to be able to start a project from scratch. The Task Force is apparently now going to focus on Qualcomm exclusively, or at least that’s the rumor, and if so we will focus there as well.
13:19
Mark Fabiani
Boltman, we have been focusing on the positives of a stadium for 14 years. But when the Inglewood move was made unexpectedly in early January, we felt that we needed to take specific steps to increase the sense of urgency.
13:18
sdjase
sdnative78 The perception is the hoteliers have a ton of power and control downtown. Are they exempt from public opinion?
13:18
Mark Fabiani
And any car rental tax increase, or hotel tax increase, for a stadium would need a two thirds vote….impossible to achieve if you have a group like the hoteliers against you.
13:18
sdjase
wrichter00 Is Chula Vista still an option?
13:17
Mark Fabiani
….would at least give it some consideration because the tax does not hit them directly. But again, the hoteliers have blocked us every step of the way.
13:17
Mark Fabiani
The car rental tax in San Diego is one of the lowest of any big city in the nation. And the hotel tax in SD is also somewhat low compared to other big cities. That’s why we proposed the hotel tax increase downtown — because local voters….
13:16
Boltman
I would like to see the Chargers focus more on the positive side and the benefits to having a stadium here in San Diego then the mudslinging going on with the media circus surrounding it.
13:15
Mark Fabiani
There has been plenty of scientific research conducted on this point, and we are extremely comfortable with the results.
13:15
dgonzals
Have other tax increments other than property type have been discussed? Such as car Rental tax, which Glendale did. San Diego is a top destination.
13:15
Mark Fabiani
You said it: Not scientific.
13:14
sdjase
Johnrlamb Hi Mark. Although not scientific, does the recent LA Times poll showing significant support for the Rams and little for the Chargers moving to LA raise any concerns?
13:14
sdnative78
sometimes the grass needs to be watered
13:13
Mark Fabiani
Grass roots efforts are always more powerful when they are truly independent.
13:13
Mark Fabiani
We talked about the rally and decided that it did not make sense for us to use Chargers’ resources to build a crowd. If we did, then we would be accused of trying to stack the deck in front of the Task Force.
13:11
sdjase
Boltman Have the Chargers made best efforts to reach out to the fans by emails to the season-ticket holders and by Facebook which account is currently at 1,751,664 Charger fans to support the rally this Monday?
13:10
Mark Fabiani
On naming rights, various cities have managed the split various ways; there is no one solution. But to date, over a 14 year period, the City has yet to put up a single dollar for this project, so there has never been the need to negotiate a split.
13:09
Mark Fabiani
So, a development project in Mission Valley won’t start throwing off any revenue for many years, until after it is entitled.
13:09
Mark Fabiani
In addition — and this is the most important point of all — it will take many years for a developer to get a mixed use project in Mission Valley entitled — until the developer can actually start building.
13:08
sdjase
boltpower21 Mr. Fabiani, from what I understand, the naming rights money for a stadium is typically split between the city and the team but there’s been talk that the Chargers are wanting 100% of this money. Is this true?
13:08
Mark Fabiani
…occurred since then in Mission Valley, making a dense, multi-use project on the Qualcomm site likely unacceptable to the people who live in Mission Valley.
13:08
Mark Fabiani
Unfortunately, some things have changed since 2004. (1) The cost of the stadium and infrastructure improvements has more than doubled; (2) The real estate market is not as robust now as it was then; (3) A great deal of development has occurred….
13:08
pj1
Thank you for your response!
13:07
Mark Fabiani
On Qualcomm, yes, this is going to be deja vu all over again. We will see people copying the same proposal we made back in 2004 and that the City rejected back then.
13:06
Mark Fabiani
But of course, the best solution for us is to remain right here in SD — which is why we’ve worked so hard to make that happen over the last 14 years.
13:06
sdjase
With regard to the plan taking shape on the Qualcomm site, is it starting to look like the original plan with development partners joining the Chargers to fund a new stadium or is a new approach being considered?
13:05
Mark Fabiani
With regard to the fan base in LA, 25% of our current season ticket members come from LA and Orange Counties. So we wouldn’t be starting from scratch. And our studies show a tremendous appetite for NFL football in LA and Orange Counties.
13:05
Mark Fabiani
We also thought that such a facility could host mega-events like the Final Four, or college championship bowl games, or major soccer matches, or boxing and MMA matches. Unfortunately the powers that be downtown don’t see it that way.
13:04
Mark Fabiani
We always thought that a new combined stadium-convention center facility would be extremely attractive not only to Comic-Con, but also to other huge conventions, such as religious and political conventions.
13:04
pj1
All the financials that I have seen have to do with stadium markets in LA vs. SD. Has the Spanos family weighed in the cost of trying to grow a fanbase in LA essentially from 0 while they already have an established fanbase in San Diego?
13:04
Mark Fabiani
On Comic-Con, your point is well taken. Since the court struck down the hoteliers’ proposed tax as illegal, there is no other way to expand the convention center. Now maybe the big conventions will continue to come, but maybe not.
13:02
Mark Fabiani
That’s why the two-thirds vote requirement has been so daunting for us over the past 14 years.
13:02
sdjase
Why hasn’t Comic-Con been asked about whether an enclosed stadium benefit them and help keep Comic-Con in San Diego and not be stolen away by other cities, like Los Angeles?
13:02
Mark Fabiani
It would be great if the win/win scenario could be communicated effectively. The problem, as Captain Kirk noted earlier, is that many, many voters recoil instantly at the idea of spending tax money on projects of this kind.
13:02
sdjase
Tom Bateman Comic-Con International is the largest event annually in San Diego, but it has outgrown the convention center. The convention sold out 130,000 tickets in ONE HOUR this week… a new stadium would increase capacity and keep Comic-Con
13:01
Mark Fabiani
And the aggregate numbers are nowhere close to where they would need to be to finance a project the way the 49ers did, or the way the Rams propose to do, or the way the Raiders and Chargers could finance a project in Carson.
13:01
Mark Fabiani
Now that’s not to say that no one will buy PSLs. I speak to people regularly who tell me that they would buy, and we are grateful for that. But the aggregate numbers are what count when it comes to stadium construction.
13:00
sdjase
sdnative78 Charger ownership and the city should benefit from this project creating a win win scenario. Can this be portrayed publicly to ease the opposition
13:00
Mark Fabiani
…what San Francisco did, or what the Rams expect to do in Inglewood. These are just very different markets.
13:00
Mark Fabiani
On PSLs, we have done considerable market research on the San Diego market. We have also studied the experience of the Padres. And based on all of that, we do not believe we can sell PSLs in our marketplace to even come anywhere close to matching….
12:59
sdjase
gj4bolts Mark, With Inglewood starting construction. In December, Will you request a special election to vote on the task force recommendation of a plan in November of 2015? Any other date for a vote seems to be too late for San Diego
12:59
Mark Fabiani
You will all be hearing news in the coming weeks out of Carson as the ballot measure moves forward. That is an inevitable part of the political process there, but that news does not mean that we have turned our attention away from SD.
12:58
Mark Fabiani
But, as you know, we also have been forced to create an alternative for ourselves if we can’t reach an agreement in San Diego. And that will require some significant expenditures in Carson as well in the coming months.
12:58
sdjase
BillB Mr. Fabiani, As a season ticket holder, I haven’t seen any proposed SBL or PSL fee rates. What makes you sure the San Diego fan base wouldn’t buy PSL’s or SBL’s?
12:57
Mark Fabiani
We have spent 14 years and in excess of $15 million to find a solution in San Diego, and we anticipate spending considerable additional resources in San Diego in 2015.
12:57
Jordi619
Thank you for answering my question!
12:56
sdjase
Where and how are the Chargers expending their resources with regard to getting something done in San Diego vs. Carson?
12:55
Mark Fabiani
…the only real money anyone has put forward for a new stadium in San Diego. It was also the only real money that anyone ever put forward for a combined stadium-convention center expansion — given that the hoteliers proposal was illegal.
12:55
Mark Fabiani
Yes, we have been saying for years that the Chargers would borrow $200 million from the NFL (and then repay that loan) and then also contribute another $200 million. That’s a total of $400 million — and to date it’s the only real money anyone
12:54
Mark Fabiani
Yes, we have been saying for years that the
12:54
Mark Fabiani
And of course, you are always better having a vote on a ballot measure that you craft — as opposed to a vote on a measure crafted by your opponents.
12:54
Mark Fabiani
Second, if we didn’t put the proposal on the ballot, you can be sure that opponents of the proposal would gather signatures and put their own “no” vote proposal on the ballot.
12:53
Mark Fabiani
First, a public vote provides a mandate for the project and helps to push it through all of the roadblocks that big projects face in California.
12:53
Jordi619
Thank you Mr.Fabiani for taking time out of your busy day to answer our question. With 60 perecent of the new staduim being built with the 1 billion loan are the Chargers in agreement in paying for the 40% and negotiate with the City of SD
12:52
Mark Fabiani
JenBolt, our view has always been that there must be a public vote. This is true for two reasons.
12:52
Mark Fabiani
We would be up against New York and Chicago and Boston and the other major cities now trying to host the game.
12:51
sdjase
JenBolt If the Task Force comes up with a plan that is acceptable to the Chargers when would the Chargers like to see it voted on?
12:51
Mark Fabiani
And so we can no longer count on getting Super Bowls every three or four years.
12:51
Mark Fabiani
The revenues from Super Bowls don’t go to the team that hosts the Super Bowl. The revenues go to the NFL and also to the local businesses that benefit from a Super Bowl crowd. In addition, we have lost our place in line for Super Bowls.
12:49
BoltmanLives
Mark the NFL wants Superbowls in San Diego everyone knows that, so why don’t the Chargers take that revenue into account to make up some of the 60% taxpayer contribution.
12:48
Mark Fabiani
(1) Two thirds vote requirement for any tax increase for a particular purpose; (2) The San Diego hoteliers; (3) The short fuse that was created when the Inglewood option arose unexpectedly in January.
12:47
sdjase
afboltfan What are the top 3 roadblocks for a stadium deal in San Diego today, that prevent shovels in the dirt tomorrow?
12:47
Mark Fabiani
There are real limits to what funds raised by an Infrastructure District can be used for, and those limits make such districts of limited use to a stadium project.
12:47
Mark Fabiani
We’ve tried numerous ways over the last 14 years, ways that did not involve raising taxes. And we are still open to all alternatives. But that’s the situation we find ourselves in — we need to compete against the other teams in the NFL.
12:46
Mark Fabiani
So how do we compete against these teams, on a level playing field, without finding a way to make up that 60 percent gap?
12:45
Mark Fabiani
It is very well taken. But here’s the issue we face: In our marketplace, the NFL, we are up against teams that have on average received about 60 cents on the dollar from taxpayers for stadium construction.
12:45
gj4bolts
Mark, Ron Roberts mentioned a 55% threshold for the establishment of an Incremental Tac District to pay back the loan. Is this number more feasible to obtain?
12:45
Mark Fabiani
Captain Kirk, I get your point.
12:43
Mark Fabiani
The other issue with the Sports Arena site is that there is a 30 foot height limit in place on all development, which limits what can be done on the site.
12:43
jamestkirk
mr. fabaini, simple business question, why do you think that the taxpayers should contribute any money to build facilties for private business such as the chargers ? we don’t pay for best buy to build their stores.
12:43
Mark Fabiani
The Sports Arena site would be an extremely attractive site for developers, but so far the Mayor has not indicated that he is willing to consider utilizing that site as part of this project.
12:42
Mark Fabiani
And of course, finding a publicly acceptable way to raise funds for this project — with the two thirds vote requirement in California — has been our roadblock now for 14 years.
12:42
Mark Fabiani
On the roadblock, a bridge loan is meant to get you from point A to point B, when your funding sources start to flow. But no one makes a bridge loan unless they are sure you have the funding sources in place.
12:41
Grimmetal
Does the Sports Arena site figure into any of the most recent proposals?
12:41
Mark Fabiani
Hence the renewed focus on Qualcomm.
12:41
Mark Fabiani
Yes, you are right. The downtown hoteliers have not moved an inch, even after having their own funding plan declared illegal. It probably does not make sense for us to continue to wait and hope that they will change their minds.
12:40
andyparkersports
Could you explain that roadblock a little further please..
12:39
sdjase
Have the Chargers gone back to focusing solely on the Qualcomm site since the hoteliers appear unwilling to budge downtown with regard to the convention center?
12:38
Mark Fabiani
Thanks for the support from Utah. The vote for a project will, we hope, be countywide, but I don’t see our reach extending as far as Utah! But we appreciate your support.
12:38
Mark Fabiani
The County is going to require guaranteed repayment sources, and so that pushes us back into the roadblock we have faced for 14 years — how to create publicly acceptable funding streams for the project.
12:37
sdjase
Utahfan asked: Will there be a way for out-of-market Chargers fans to help with funding the stadium? For example I’d love to help out financially, but I’m in Utah.
12:36
Mark Fabiani
The bridge loan concept is of course important, but it puts the cart before the horse, as they say.
12:36
sdjase
Mark, we’ve heard about some real progress this week with the getting involved. Are the Chargers receptive to the bridge loan concept mentioned by Ron Roberts?
12:36
Mark Fabiani
With regard to the fan forum, we are leaving it up to individual fans to make the decision about whether to attend. We don’t want to be accused of stacking the crowd using Chargers resources.
12:35
Mark Fabiani
City Council could vote on its own to sell the land. We’ve always believed that there should be a public vote, both to provide a mandate for the project, and to put the question before the voters before opponents of the project do so on their own.
12:34
Boltman
My first question for you Mr. Fabiani is we are scheduled to have a fan forum with the mayors appointed adversary group. As the Chargers team counsel are you in support of the fans gathering at the first public event.
12:34
Mark Fabiani
That’s a great question. There is a difference of opinion among some very good lawyers about how the city can go about selling or otherwise disposing of the Mission Valley land. Some argue that there must be a vote of the people; others say that the
12:32
sdnative78
Hello Mark, thanks for taking this opportunity to chat with us. I was wondering what it would take for the city to sell mission valley land rights. Voter approval or something less impactful much like what we’ve seen in Inglewood?
12:32
Mark Fabiani
Hi.
12:32
desmjdesigns
Greetings Mr. Fabiani,
12:31
Mark Fabiani
San Diego State would be a valued tenant in any new stadium, but we cannot count on any significant contribution from the state university system given the economic conditions that the system and its students now face.
12:30
jrsayow55
Mr. Fabiani, we have been hearing a lot about the Chargers would pay this; the city would pay this; the county would pay this; etc etc. However one thing I have not heard about is what contribution if any would San Diego St University have for their
12:29
Mark Fabiani
Thanks for having me. Appreciate the opportunity.
12:28
sdjase
Welcome Mr. Fabiani. Thank you for joining us.
12:18
sdjase
Mr. Fabiani has been kind enough to join us for today’s chat which gives you a great opportunity to get answers to your most pressing stadium questions. The chat will begin at 12:30 today. Thanks again for joining us.
12:18
sdjase
Of course, we’ve also been working closely with the biggest tenant for a new stadium in San Diego.. the Chargers.
12:18
sdjase
For those of you not familiar with our organization, we’ve been working with community groups, taxpayer organizations, city leaders and various business interests since 2008 in an effort to get a new world-class stadium built in San Diego County.
12:17
mrnooz
Jason Riggs live on AM600 KOGO @ 12:11pm
12:17
sdjase
Hello everyone and welcome to the San Diego Stadium Coalition live chat with Mark Fabiani. We’ve held similar chats over the past 6 years and you can view those transcripts on our website if you are interested.