By Cassie Owens.
Last Friday, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders made an interesting proposal: They’re willing to go Dutch on a new stadium in Carson, California, a Los Angeles suburb.
This is an unusual situation for a few reasons. One, L.A., a city that’s gone without an NFL franchise for two decades, can now count three teams who’ve expressed interest in moving there. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke unveiled a Southern California stadium proposal of his own earlier this month. (Last night, Inglewood City Council approved those plans.) Two, it’s unclear how divisional rivals like the Raiders and Chargers shacking up would even work yet. And three, both proposed stadiums, the teams say, would be entirely financed with private money.
In the last 20 years, just one NFL stadium has been built solely through private funding. Deadspin analysis of stadium construction costs from 1909 to 2012 (based heavily on research from sports economist Judith Grant Long) revealed that public dollars accounted for 61 percent of the financing for 186 facilities. (Find Next City’s deep dive into the politics of stadium subsidies here.)
Still, when it comes to getting the best deal out of an arena, leaving taxpayer money off the tab is only a good start.