Fred Maas, special advisor to Chargers chief Dean Spanos, is now the team's designated prevaricator. Maas claims in ads that the team's stadium proposal (Measure C) won't cost San Diegans a dime unless they stay in hotels. Spanos and the team's former prevaricator-in-chief, Mark Fabiani, have said this for a long time.
Do not believe it. First, corporate sports beggars always understate costs and overstate potential revenue when trying to pick taxpayers' pockets. That's why taxpayers generally pay at least 70 percent of a stadium's costs. The Chargers say the public contribution for the convadium would be $1.1 billion. Actually, it would be $2.3 billion over the life of the bonds. The cost of moving the bus depot has been understated. Somehow, a thousand parking spaces would have to be created — and paid for. The Chargers will pay no rent under this proposal. They would only pay for public safety costs during games and operations and maintenance. But get this: the Chargers' operations and maintenance costs would be reduced by revenue from non-football events. You hear the Chargers saying that the stadium will be used for rock concerts and the like. But such events could REDUCE city income.
If the increase in the hotel tax to 16.5 percent, along with the homeless problem and increasing temperatures, dent tourism revenue, as is possible, the arithmetic will be thrown out of whack. A slowing economy will do the same. Look at it this way: if the city raises the hotel tax to 16.5 percent, the increased fund flow (around $100 million a year initially) could go to infrastructure — fixing streets, planning for a water crisis, improving police and fire protection, and the like. It is likely that revenues won't pay for this project as promised. The city could default on the project's debt, tap taxpayers, or cut back critical infrastructure work.
Maas also claims that the project won't touch the general fund. More double-talk. It will if hotel revenues fall short. And measure C does not prohibit use of the general fund.
Recently, the Chargers said they will pick up more costs in an utterly meaningless (but widely-touted) "agreement" with a downtown corporate welfare group. That is just an "October surprise" to seduce voters before the November vote. There is talk that the Chargers know they will lose this November, but intend to make a deal with the mayor to try again with a plan encompassing the so-called concessions made in that "deal." Only fools will fall for that.