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Saving the Chargers Stadium Campaign for the National Football League
Part 2 of 7: Vision for Mission Valley

Originally proposed for San Diego by Peter Jessen, taking a leadership Role In Providing a Workable and Acceptable Financing/Revenue Model Creating A Solution To Continue a Tradition.

Summary of Key Approaches for Campaign Success

  1. Openness with the press and regular press conferences.
  2. Use these proven communications models for the campaign
  3. Hold backgrounders for media representatives who are straight with the facts and information. Don’t let rumors or suspicions build.
  4. Foster as many Emails from fans to legislators, officials, business, etc., to show support for the Mayor and the City Council for the Save the Chargers Campaign.
  5. Establish regular Email messages delivered through Email to the fans and legislators, etc.

Recommended Themes

  1. The Chargers are the People’s Team.
  2. The Chargers Can Be Saved Without Needing New Taxes.
  3. Stay united, not divided, and open campaign to all citizens as the Mayor has requested.
  4. A shift is taking place between where private spending is spent: defense. This means that local governments have to come up with legitimate projects that will keep the private sector and private sector jobs going as well. The stadium is a perfect candidate.
  5. The stadium issues address all of the tough economic times ahead for most cities in the future, promising jobs, revenue, and economic growth for San Diego. Handled correctly, the stadium issue can help drive our economy, create jobs, and help maintain teams important to the quality of life of many of our citizens.

Recommended Action Steps

From Peter Jessen-GPA

  1. Have a once a week "Knights of the Round Table Discussion" with principal campaign advisors and with different selected key people from around the city.
  2. Develop email lists of all reporters, print, broadcast and cable, in San Diego, and key ones nation wide, especially those known to the inner circle, and email updates to them regularly.
  3. Demonstrate how a large construction project like the Stadium has a wide range of positives: jobs (covering the private sector unions), a wider tax base that would help contribute more dollars for education (covering the public sector unions), construction and the financing that goes with all of this (covering the business community), additional spending regarding hotels, restaurants, shops (covering many of the small business community), set in motion advance planning by for tourists and game day people (covering the travel and hospitality sectors), etc.
  4. Cast the stadium building as a jobs creation project with nearby moderate-income housing, expanding the benefits even further.
  5. Cast construction as income distribution while simultaneously helping more people by creating more jobs for all economic levels.
  6. Cast construction as job training partnerships between the city and the private sector.
  7. Use the 2 page "leave behind" as a statement of action steps to explain to any one or group, for any situation, when deemed appropriate. Here is our example of ten statements to use in such a "leave behind."
  8. Follow the Three J’s of the Campaign: It all boils down to three J’s: the Jobs (which contributes mightily to the economy), Juice (which the money involved to finance, build, and pay workers), and the Joy (which is the reaction of fans knowing they will not lose their team).
  9. Rapid Response Process
    1. Have a "rapid response" policy (and criteria for when to use it and when to leave it in the drawer) to combat the attacks and hostilities from both print and broadcast media, in order to give the stadium campaign a chance to influence the desired outcomes (all falsehoods must be responded to, but only to the falsehood).
    2. Provide "Damage Control Rapid Responses" to events, controlled and uncontrolled, meeting lies or innuendoes with facts, and, where errors have been committed, acknowledgement coupled with steps taken to correct and steps to take to prevent repetition.
      1. Lies can't be allowed to go unchallenged. Any time a falsehood is made a response with the fact is then added to wherever you keep them: web site, press releases, etc.
      2. Yet you don't want to get defensive.
      3. Stick strictly to the falsehood countered by fact response and don’t dwell into any other area. No defense of the traditional kind, either in terms of position, party, race, religion, etc.
  10. Respond to the reality that most organizations have crises
    1. Don’t deny: denial of a problem is the most frequent mistake, an often the biggest. Cover-ups don’t last. Press and public react angrily to that form of deceit.
    2. Don’t lie: you may never regain the public-s faith if you do.
    3. Don’t withhold nor give too much too soon: reveal information as a crisis emerges. Its OK to withhold comment until the picture clears and responses are decided. A bunker mentality – refusing to communicate -- invariably works to your disadvantage.
    4. Don’t react slowly: react fast. Gossip, rumor, misinformation and speculation travel farther, faster and in more ways than ever before. They thrive when not blunted by official news. Responses delivered live by ranking officials carry more weight than press releases do.
    5. Don’t play the blame game: place blame where it belongs. Be first to say you’re wrong when you are. It’s the policy most likely to earn trust or at lest reduce hostility.
  11. Hold backgrounders for media representatives who are straight with the facts and information. Don’t let rumors or suspicions build.
  12. Successful Vision Approaches for Better Communication That Are Recommended by
    1. Ronald Reagan's vision strategy: have one message at a time; stay on message; don’t get distracted.
    2. Bill Clinton was able to defeat a sitting president, as he related to how people felt. So too, this campaign must relate to how people feel about the Chargers and the joy that will be theirs to keep them and the anger they will vent on politicians, local businesmen, and the NFL, if the Chargers are allowed to slip away.
    3. Roger Ailes, author of You Are The Message coached George Bush in his first successful presidential run, and also coached Ronald Reagan in his successful debate with Walter Mondale. Ailes understands public role-playing very well. Ailes’ book title sums it up: You are the message. His key emphasis is on "how to handle the press while they're trying to hang you." Thus, can outline how to establish a strategy for working with the press.
    4. Keep the vision of helping the San Diego economy. From a Save the Chargers campaign standpoint, the task is not to be left by the side of the road on these things, but to let the city know that they can help assure the stadium without having to approve new taxes.
    5. WHAT BETTER ECONOMIC STIMULUS package to San Diego than building/renovating of the stadium, with no new state taxes? provides the win-win philosophy and positive actions steps for success.
    6. No matter how the media may try to distract, "stay on message" consistently throughout the campaign.

Executive Summary

  1. Our plan is applicable to any major stadium/arena project: professional football, professional baseball, professional basketball, professional hockey, etc., as well as for major universities. Most examples used are from professional football and baseball.
  2. This is a multi- or mixed use facility Sports, Entertainment, Real Estate, Communications, Investment, Public Space Plan, outlining how to raise $610 million in non-tax investment, with NO public funding (only for infrastructure improvements (site preparation, streets, sewers, hookup, etc.), normal to any large-scale development.
  3. The estimated Revenues of this plan are projected to be over $200 million/year, to start, through synergies for generating on-going revenues/profits/fan support, utilizing 40 ways to generate revenue in 26 revenue generating categories, including private and public space. This model includes the outline of a strategic plan for securing the funding.
  4. Professional sports has become a large part of four major, emerging and enormous growth industries,
    1. learning/edutainment
    2. high tech business solutions
    3. spin-offs from space exploration
    4. tourism, totaling a combined size of $3.245 Trillion.
  5. The Stadium Complex would be
    1. a destination and a gathering place for fans, visitors, tourists, consumers, and sports/entertainment/real estate/business people
    2. a business, real estate and communications hub. These two together will generate profits in the near term and long term, year around, because Dan Diego’s weather encourages year-round use.
  6. This is a "Big Picture" Vision. It takes elements of various traditional financing plans and combines them into a new financing configuration for a multiple use sports-entertainment property that relate to all types of stadiums, even if they are in the same city or region.
  7. This model discusses how to maximize both internal and external communications, including the use of the Internet and a team navigational and informational web portal, as well as outlines a PR program for use in the city/state/region/nation/world, as well as models of conflict resolution for use in getting all of the business/governmental/fan stakeholders in agreement.

Overall Goals

  1. To help the owner(s), the players, the legislators, the tax payers, and the fans, build/renovate a multi-use, multi-revenue generating stadium complex that is profitable and fan friendly, all year, year after year, with no new tax dollars.
  2. Increase revenues, manage debt, and increase profits.
  3. Integrate the team and new or renovated stadium into the vital social fabric of the city/state/region, providing a "common ground" fan experience of enchantment around his or her water cooler, coffee pot, black board, TV, and/or six pack (conversations at work, home, school, and play, for men, women, and children of all ethnic and racial groups), in order to enchant, enthrall and excite the fans in their "iron cages of modernity" year round. If we do this, we will reach our goal of selling out home games and of having 80% of all TV sets tuned to Charger games, both home and away.
  4. Recognize and take advantage of the transition of pro sports teams from a sports industry into a juggernaut sports-entertainment-communications-real estate public spaces industry
  5. Create tangible and intangible benefits for the city/county/region/state.
  6. Attain and benefit for the community and state to the tune of $1 billion in direct dollars generated by having a professional football team, for the city with the only NFL team south of San Francisco.
  7. Attain and benefit for the community and state the $1 billion in indirect dollars generated by having a professional football team, for the city with the only NFL team south of Oakland.
  8. Involve external Minority Business Enterprises while providing internal minority issues management.
  9. To stay ahead of the fan/tax payer curve: refusal to pay with tax dollars as they are no longer needed to underwrite professional sports, and to do so with the players’ union. Taxpayer revolt is costing Canada its teams (and maybe Florida’s soon too, as its fans applauded their legislature’s early May 2001 for refusing to consider a stadium funding bill for the Marlins of MLB. The new winners will maximize profits without new taxes.
  10. Emphasize winning as giving one’s best and providing the best ever effort each week, defining "winner" as a participant who gives his all, so that win-loss numbers refer to games and not to teams or fans, in order to prevent a negative soap opera mentality (the only thing is winning and rejecting any who don’t) from taking over the game, and fostering a positive soap opera mentality (where the fans are eager to follow the positive lives and activities of the players).

No New Taxes Financing

Absorbing information on the values at stake! Communication as the ultimate exercise of power!

  1. The multi-use Combining Sports, Entertainment, Communications--Real estate-Investment-Public Space model outlines how to raise $800 million to $1Billion in non-tax investment, therefore incurring no new taxes. The model also includes a modest amount of public funding for infrastructure (site preparation, streets, sewers, hookup, etc.), normal to any large-scale development.
  2. Developing a Profitable Sports-Entertainment Model, Combining Sports, Entertainment, Communications--Real estate,-Investment-Public Spaces Venue
  3. This plan positively exploits for the owner all aspects of the transition of professional teams from being part of just the sports industry to being part of the Sports-Entertainment-Tourism-Communications-High Tech-Real Estate-Public Spaces industry, a unique industry that is only now being understood and only now beginning to be exploited in all senses of maximizing profits for both the near and long haul. The famous example is railroads, who thought they were in the train business, not recognizing they were in the transportation business, missing out on ships, trucks, and planes.
  4. The ten categories of financing are:
    1. $50 million -- from the owners, the Spano Family.
    2. $150 million -- from loan from the NFL to the City of San Diego, to be paid back by bonds backed by user fee increases in ticket and parking revenues
    3. $60 million – from 40 new Executive Suites at $75,000 each (City of San Diego gets 40% of these revenues for 20 years)
    4. $100 million -- from real estate development investments in the football complex
    5. $100 million – from development bonds paid back from (1) anchors and (2) smaller business located in the football complex
    6. $100 million from entertainment and other public space usage
    7. $50 million – from the City for infrastructure (i.e., normal city large project development costs: land and site prep, streets and sewers, etc., source to be determined
    8. 610 total potential for new or renovated stadium complex
  5. Professional sports has become a major part of four major, emerging and enormous growth industries (as reported by the award winning Hoffman Development Group, September 1999). The San Diego Charges, the city, and the business community, can forge a great private-public business partnership to give all an opportunity to participate in this economic pie that can become a key jewel in the Southern California crown. This is the national pie. Our slice of the pie will be large due the uniqueness and weather of the great City of San Diego.
    1. $ 625 Billion in discovery learning/edutainment (source: Lehman Bros. 1997)
    2. 1.000 Trillion high-tech business solutions (source: IBM)
    3. 120 Billion space exploration spin-off business (source: KMPG Peat Marwick, 1997)
    4. 1.500 Trillion in tourism (by the year 2010; source: US Department of Commerce)
    5. $3.245 Trillion Total
  6. To maximize profits, professional sports needs to recognize its real estate aspect, and include mixed-use commercial and residential development (with the financing provided by the tenants and anchors) on the outer edge of their properties. Rather than build just a stadium, other facilities can be built-in, whether above ground or below ground, to generate activity and profits year round. The game provides sports and entertainment. Music is used and could therefore also be made and recorded in recording facilities. With so much parking, other use facilities could be built, such as multi-plex movie theaters and large event hosting. The same is true of public spaces. Then, given the huge amounts of money in salaries, the opportunity for profit investment vehicles is huge, which, when established and managed, would allow for a wide range of compensation parts, including signing bonuses, deferred payments, set aside funds to meet contract incentives, and to provide players with exposure to strategies for positive player retirement: profit pool investments as well as retirement hedge funds. In order to maximize these parts, the facilities would also be used to provide and generate communications, including using an Internet web portal, providing television and radio broadcasts, as well as generating print publications.
  7. The Stadium Complex would be (1) a destination and a gathering place for fans, visitors, tourists, consumers, and sports/entertainment/real estate/business people, as well as (2) a business, real estate and communications hub; these two together will generate profits in the near term and long term, year around; and (3) a place that would also involve the non-profit community of schools, community centers, and the faith community.
  8. We believe that by working together, we can develop a new financial model which will satisfy the owners who need to make a profit, the taxpayers who don't want to subsidize [a game that generates millions], the small businesses and others who profit from the games, and, of course the fans for whom the Chargers have long been a cherished part of their lives. We are inviting all the key players in the debate both for and against a new stadium to join with us in working to put our heads together to create a new financial paradigm that works for San Diego and in turn works for the Chargers which means it will work for the fans.

Mission Valley Is Prime Land

Sources of Revenue and Profit Generation for the Chargers

  1. Permanent seat licenses
  2. Luxury suites (existing 113): share revenues with the city, 60-40, for the revenues from the addtional 40 boxes/suites
  3. Luxury boxes
  4. Club seats
  5. Ticket sales
  6. Parking
  7. Concessions
  8. NFL shared common revenues from TV and licensing ($65 million in 1999).
  9. Stadium area itemized sources of revenue/profit generation, to be shared by the Chargers with the City: Luxury suites (increase from 113 to 153): share revenues with the city, 60-40, for the revenues from the additional 40 suites ($60 million over 20 years)
  10. Luxury boxes (share revenues with the city of 60-40 of all additional boxes)
  11. Club seats (share revenues with the city of 60-40 of all additional club seats)
  12. Signage (space for signs of corporate advertisers: share revenues with the city of 60-40)
    — Never forget: the Stadium Complex is more than a stadium stand alone: It is an opportunity for developers (which could be the Chargers, but doesn’t have to be) To generate yet more Stadium area revenue/profit possibilities
  13. A full service studio (film, video, DVD, TV, multi-media)
    1. broadcast capability
    2. recording studio
    3. sound stage/shooting capability
    4. Others as later identified, which would generate additional revenue for the team in the same space
    5. These would occur simultaneously, if need be, with other events
  14. Keeping in mind that there is an opportunity for a world-wide communications company, to position itself for expansin, growth, and success, in the comples.
  15. Build an office building as part of the new complex, whether above ground or under ground. Many companies would enjoy the prestigious location. This would also be a good location for businesses of the owner, partners, and/or investors. If built by a partner or in alliance, the partner firm or company in alliance would finance the construction.
  16. A commercial/housing/shopping complex:
    — NOTE: tenants would finance their own areas
    1. Stores for shopping
    2. Restaurants and upscale bars
    3. Office tower (or underground)
    4. Entertainment centers/venues
    5. Condominiums above stores and offices
    6. Moderate priced housing on fringe areas as trade off for tax benefits (negotiate such that this housing is to be for workers at the complex)
    7. Incubation of new businesses
    8. Parking, etc.
  17. A movie theatre multi-plex (possibly closed on game day Sunday afternoons) 18. Etc. "Etc" is an important concept for it leaves the door open to new ideas and new understanding of the situation as it unfolds in real time, in real life.

Conclusion: The Chargers Can Bring Needed Enjoyment and Enchantment to the Community

Home games also provide opportunities for parent-child bonding in a way no other state wide organization enables. And for those women who enjoy football, the home team games enable women to move beyond the "soft side" of Sears to the "tool" side, in terms of both enjoyment of the game and camaraderie with fellow women fans, as well as provide them with a greater understanding of an experienced enjoyed by their boy friends, husbands, sons and fathers. The home games also provide all fans with one of the few places left where any fan can engage in bonding with others, which takes place either at the game, before the TV set, in reading the same newspaper and magazine pieces, or in discussing it with others anywhere, anytime, any how.

The home games are where tens of thousands gather to sing, dance, sway, do the wave, and get carried away with the enchantment of it all. When the Mets won their last championship series game in NYC 2000, before moving on to Atlanta and defeat, the fans stood for 15 minutes, singing and celebrating and enjoying the moment. Could you tell the difference between them and those singing and swaying at an evangelical crusade? And how about the "wave" at both baseball and football games? The sense of the transcendent quality of community with the home team runs deep in fans and citizens who are not quite big fans, and is part of the enchantment quotient. We thus will do all that is necessary to bring clarity to the on-going debate regarding a stadium everyone wants but about which there is no current consensus on funding. The issue is not whether to build it but how to finance it. Missing is a consensus. Our model presents a method that can be used to develop a solid, almost "super" majority consensus.

The pro team serves as a great collective choir director, as the citizens of the state join in the chorus to sing and dance and feel, if only for that moment and in the subsequent moments when the memory is recalled, an enchantment of life, transcending the ordinary everydayness of life.

The home team demonstrates that this interaction, on a deeply felt level, is reciprocated by its marvelous programs in the community, giving back to those who have given the support underlying their success, and for holding the home team in a special place in their hearts. As noted above, the home team serves as a rallying cry around which diverse people find a common point on which to agree, and through which they find another point of meaning and excitement in the shared community of fandom.

Read Part 3 »

Page content written / posted: 06-12-02, 01-20-03

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