Cal State San Marcos is out of the running to land Portland Beavers after numbers didn't work out for new ballpark; instead, the San Diego Padres have approached the city of Escondido to totally fund a new $45 million ballpark.
The Padres have thrown out quite the alluring offer: the city would pay for all the costs of the $45 million ballpark and receive no income from it past a basic rent. The Padres would retain all concession, suite and naming-rights revenues.
That Escondido is actually considering this is somewhat surprising: it's totally one-sided and would suck up virtually all of the city's redevelopment funds for the next 25 years. The ballpark funding is being billed to city officials as an economic-development tool, and the plan is to place the ballpark off I-15 at Washington Avenue, where the hope is that vacant industrial land would be turned by private developers into a nirvana of retail, entertainment and housing.
The Padres want a quick decision, arguing that ballpark construction needs to start soon if the Bevos are to play at the new ballpark in two years.
Complicating the deal: the only way the city has to raise $45 million is to issue bonds backed by all the revenues received by the city's redevelopment agency between now and 2036. Even though interest rates are low, these would be viewed by the markets as riskier bonds with a higher interest rate, pushing the real cost of the ballpark to $90 million. Another complication: technically, the state can take that redevelopment revenue away at any point, with no recourse for Escondido officials. If that happens, the city would be on the hook for all debt service with no dedicated revenue stream.
If we think this sounds like a massive pig in a poke, you're right: this ballpark funding plan blows.
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