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Comparing San Diego to Other NFL Regions (March 2015)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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SAN DIEGO – Using data from both the U.S. Census and private consulting studies, analysis by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) shows both the challenges and strengths San Diego brings to the negotiating table as it tries to find a way to replace Qualcomm Stadium.

NUSIPR specifically found:

• San Diego scores as an average market among NFL hosts in respect to the demographics key to ticket sales, personal seat licenses (PSLs) and the ability to generate local revenue. San Diego falls right near the median value on nearly every value we measured.

• If San Diego reaches a deal similar to 21 other recent NFL stadium deals, the public’s share of financing could be close to 65% in the cost of the new stadium.

• This contribution does NOT include naming rights or PSLs, revenue usually accounted toward the NFL franchise’s contribution by researchers undertaking this kind of accounting.

• Based on the experience of other NFL franchises, San Diegans would likely support between $100 and $150 million in PSLs. This would require, however, that the Chargers perform and market adequately enough to create strong demand for tickets.

“It is important to for San Diegans to understand how we fit into the universe of cities that host NFL teams”, said Erik Bruvold, President of NUSIPR. “We fall right in the middle when compared to these other 29 regions where the NFL plays. We are neither really big nor really small when it comes to markets where the NFL has a presence.”

Bruvold went on, “It also is clear from doing the comparative work that the region could support somewhere around $100 million in Personal Seat License sales. However, it is also the case that when you do the comparative work it is very difficult to see how the public’s contribution will not be somewhere around 60 to 70%. We might get a better deal, but I wouldn’t count on it”.


About the National University System Institute for Policy Research

The National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that formulates and promotes high quality economic policy, and public opinion research so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments in San Diego County and to improve the quality of life enjoyed by the region’s residents.