Faulconer Taps Civic Leaders, Stadium and Financial Experts to Develop Plan to Keep Chargers in San Diego

Group Will Recommend Location for New Stadium and Craft a Viable Financing Plan

San Diego - Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced the group of civic leaders and financial experts that will develop - for the first time - a real plan for a new Chargers stadium that will include the optimal location and how best to pay for it.

"It's time for us, as a community, to come together to decide the future of the Chargers in San Diego," Mayor Faulconer said. "This independent group will give San Diegans the first real plan in the past 13 years. These expert volunteers will explore all possibilities to finance the project, with the clear direction from me that it must be a good and fair deal for San Diego taxpayers."

Faulconer added, "We're going to have a real, tangible plan for a new stadium for the first time. San Diegans are going to be able to see it, feel it, kick the tires and, in the end, voters will have the final say."

The Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group is composed of civic leaders and experts who bring specific skill sets and qualifications required for developing large-scale projects and financing plans. It includes a Fortune 500 executive, a respected local government leader, a California State University Trustee, a sports executive, and premier experts in the areas of finance, land use, real estate and construction of municipal stadiums. This well-rounded group will be nimble enough to complete an analysis, develop plans and make recommendations by the fall of this year.

The group includes:

  • Doug Barnhart, Chairman of Barnhart-Reese Construction
  • Rod Dammeyer, Private Equity Investor
  • Adam Day, California State University Trustee & Assistant Tribal Manager of Sycuan
  • Walt Ekard, former San Diego County CAO & City of San Diego COO
  • Aimee Faucett, COO of the San Diego Regional Chamber
  • Jason Hughes, President and CEO of Hughes Marino
  • Jessie Knight, Executive Vice President of Sempra Energy, Chairman of the Board of SDG&E
  • Mary Lydon, Executive Director of Urban Land Institute - San Diego-Tijuana
  • Jim Steeg, former NFL Executive

The group has been specifically tasked with conducting a thorough analysis on a new stadium at the current Qualcomm Stadium site and in the downtown's East Village. The group will recommend one of these locations and develop a viable financing plan for that location. The Mayor has given them until Fall 2015 to complete their analysis and present their recommendations. The Mayor will then review the recommendations and finalize a plan for public consideration.

Redeveloping the current Mission Valley site (with or without a stadium), joint powers authorities, user fees, naming rights and revenue bonds are all examples of options the group will be considering.

The group is not an official City commission. While the group is independent of the Chargers, it welcomes their input. The group's focused scope does not include detailed stadium design and other key elements that will involve the Chargers in the future.

The conclusions and recommendations of this group will be presented to the public in the fall for a full and complete vetting. The Mayor has committed to having San Diegans weigh in on any final plan through a public vote. If there is broad support for the proposal, it will be slated for a citywide vote, which will allow all San Diego voters to have the final say in this matter.

While the Mayor has asked this advisory group for assistance and advice in site selection and stadium financing, the Mayor's Office has received a good deal of constructive input and offers of assistance from others. The Mayor's Office continues to welcome additional input throughout this process, so citizens or organizations wishing to submit ideas or suggestions to Mayor Faulconer can email [email protected]

 

Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group Biographies

Doug Barnhart, Chairman of Barnhart-Reese Construction

Doug Barnhart

Douglas E. Barnhart is a long-time resident of San Diego and a civic and business leader. He is a past member of the Qualcomm Stadium Advisory Board and has served as a board member for the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce, San Diego International Sports Council and past San Diego Super Bowl Committees.

Mr. Barnhart's construction companies are responsible for many San Diego landmarks, including Petco Park, San Diego Lindbergh Field Terminal 2, the Douglas and Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center at Sharp Chula Vista, as well as dozens of K-12 schools.

Rod Dammeyer, Private Equity Investor

Rod Dammeyer

Rod Dammeyer is chairman of CAC, a private company offering capital investment and management advisory services. He is a member of the boards of directors of Stericycle, Inc., and Quidel Corporation, in addition to being a trustee of Invesco Funds.

A graduate of Kent State University, Mr. Dammeyer began his business career with Arthur Andersen & Co. where he became partner and chairman of its advisory council. He subsequently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of two multi-billion dollar conglomerates, Northwest Industries, Inc. and Household International, Inc. From 1985 to 1995, he was CEO of Itel Corporation, which merged into Anixter International, a multi-billion dollar wiring products value-added reseller, in addition to serving as managing partner of Equity Group Corporate Investments until 2000.

Adam Day, California State University Trustee & Assistant Tribal Manager of Sycuan

Adam Day

Adam Day is a veteran public administration executive with extensive experience managing the efficient delivery of municipal services, government relations, community outreach, coalition development, and multi-million dollar charitable and media campaigns. Mr. Day is a California State University Trustee and directs government, public and community relations on behalf of the Sycuan Tribe and their affiliated business entities.

Mr. Day brings nearly 12 years of experience at the County of San Diego as chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to various members of the Board of Supervisors. He played a significant role in shaping public policy at the local, state and federal levels on matters such as welfare reform, criminal justice, regional transportation planning and land use. He has served on dozens of boards and committees, including the Del Mar Fair Board appointed by Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, the San Diego County Planning Commission and Century Club of San Diego.

Walt Ekard, former San Diego County CAO & former City of San Diego COO

Walt EkardWalter F. Ekard is the former Chief Administrative Officer for the County of San Diego and former Chief Operating Officer for the City of San Diego. As the chief executive for the fifth largest county in the United States, Mr. Ekard managed a workforce of over 16,000 employees and an annual budget of $5 billion. Mr. Ekard was the Board of Supervisors' "first and only choice" for the job because of his experience and strong leadership skills.

A native of San Diego County, Mr. Ekard received his Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Aimee Faucett, COO of the San Diego Regional Chamber

Aimee Faucett

Aimee Faucett has served the communities of San Diego for 18 years while working in the legislative and executive branches of the City of San Diego and voluntarily serves on several nonprofit boards. Today she holds the position of Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for the San Diego Regional Chamber.

Prior to joining the San Diego Regional Chamber, Mrs. Faucett was the Deputy Chief of Staff to former Mayor Jerry Sanders and also served as Chief of Staff to former San Diego City Councilmembers Kevin L. Faulconer and Jim Madaffer.

Mrs. Faucett's community service includes serving on the board of directors for the Jacobs Cushman San Diego Food Bank, the American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter and San Diego State Alumni Association. She is a graduate of San Diego State University and holds a bachelor's degree in Public Administration and is a recipient of the San Diego Business Journal's 2014 "Women Who Mean Business" Award.

Jason Hughes, President and CEO of Hughes Marino

Hughes Marino

Jason Hughes is President and CEO of the largest tenant representation company in San Diego and one of the premier commercial real estate companies in Southern California. Mr. Hughes has been a fixture in San Diego's commercial real estate industry for 26 years, and was appointed as Special Assistant for Real Estate Services to the City of San Diego in 2013.

Mr. Hughes represents approximately three quarters of all corporate tenants downtown, and has negotiated some of the largest tenant lease, purchase and development transactions in the region. Over the years, Mr. Hughes has transacted leases and purchases for tens of millions of square feet, including a dozen downtown high-rise office building purchase and sale transactions, two downtown high-rise residential tower purchases, a development of a new office tower and one large hotel transaction.

Jessie Knight, Executive Vice President of Sempra Energy, Chairman of the Board of SDG&E

Jesse Knight

Jessie J. Knight is board chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E); chairman of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), an affiliate of SDG&E; and executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy.

Before joining Sempra Energy in 2006, Mr. Knight served for seven years as president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mary Lydon, Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute - San Diego-Tijuana

Mary Lydon

Mary Lydon is an expert in smart growth, land-use planning, real estate markets, community and stakeholder participation and economic development strategies. She has worked with private-sector developers, public-sector agencies and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Lydon is a former Planning Commissioner for the City of San Diego and has held other leadership roles on several nonprofit boards over her career.

Ms. Lydon attended Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and completed the Executive Leadership Program in 2010. She also holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

ULI is an international nonprofit organization focused on research and education. ULI's focus is in developing leaders in the responsible use of land and promoting the creation of sustainable thriving communities worldwide. ULI is a member-based organization with 35,000 members globally.

Jim Steeg, former NFL Executive

Jim Steeg

Jim Steeg is a former National Football League executive who is credited with growing the Super Bowl from a championship football game into a four-day extravaganza. He has 36 years of experience at the NFL, 26 of those in charge of Super Bowls, where he worked in 70 major stadiums in the United States and around the world.

Mr. Steeg's unique experience is marked by working successfully with the multiple constituencies involved in special events and sports management. He has developed a broad range of expertise in dealing with civic, financial and real estate leaders; business, government, college and professional sports, and entertainment; stadium architects; urban planners; traffic and transportation; police; security; and the media.

Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the members of the Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group?

Doug Barnhart, Chairman of Barnhart-Reese Construction

Rod Dammeyer, Private Equity Investor

Adam Day, California State University Trustee & Assistant Tribal Manager of Sycuan

Walt Ekard, former San Diego County CAO & City of San Diego COO

Aimee Faucett, COO of the San Diego Regional Chamber

Jason Hughes, President and CEO of Hughes Marino

Jessie Knight, Executive Vice President of Sempra Energy, Chairman of the Board of SDG&E

Mary Lydon, Executive Director of Urban Land Institute - San Diego-Tijuana

Jim Steeg, former NFL Executive

Why were these individuals chosen?

The group's membership is composed of civic leaders and experts who bring specific skill sets and qualifications required for developing large-scale projects and financing plans. It includes a Fortune 500 executive, respected local government and civic leaders, a California State University Trustee, a sports executive, and premier experts in the areas of finance, land use, real estate and construction of municipal stadiums. This well-rounded group will be nimble enough to complete an analysis, develop plans and make recommendations in short order.

What will the group be studying and what is the timeline for completion?

The group will recommend a location and develop a viable financing plan for that location. The Mayor has given them until Fall 2015 to complete their analysis and present their recommendations. The Mayor will then review the recommendations and finalize a plan for public consideration.

How is this group different from past City stadium groups?

Past stadium groups were larger with a broad scope of work and an open-ended timeframe. By comparison, the Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group is composed of exceptionally qualified people specifically selected for their experience in the fields pertinent to this type of project, who have a well-defined, focused scope of work and a deadline.

What type of financial options will the group examine?

They will explore all possibilities to finance the project, with the clear direction from the Mayor that it "must present a good and fair deal for San Diego taxpayers." The Mayor has committed that the final financing plan will go to the voters before moving forward.

They will analyze how other recent stadium projects have been funded, including San Francisco, Dallas, Phoenix, Minnesota and Indianapolis, to ultimately recommend a financing plan that works for San Diego and is in line with market conditions. Redeveloping the current Mission Valley site (with or without a stadium), joint powers authorities, user fees, naming rights and revenue bonds are all examples of options the group will be considering.

Are City funds currently being used on Qualcomm stadium?

The City is currently losing approximately $10 million a year on Qualcomm stadium and deferred maintenance is estimated at $80 million.

Will a plan be presented for both the Qualcomm site and downtown site?

The group has been specifically tasked with conducting a thorough analysis on both sites and then selecting one for their final recommendation.

How will the Chargers be involved?

While the group is independent of the Chargers, it welcomes their input. The group's focused scope does not include detailed stadium design and other key elements that will require collaboration with the Chargers in the future.

How will the public be involved?

The conclusions and recommendations of this group will be presented to the public in the fall for a full and complete vetting. The Mayor has committed to having San Diegans weigh in on any final plan through a public vote. If there is broad support for the proposal, it will be slated for a citywide vote, which will allow all San Diego voters to have the final say in this matter.

While the Mayor has asked this advisory group for assistance and advice in site selection and stadium financing, the Mayor's Office has received a good deal of constructive input and offers of assistance from others. The Mayor's Office continues to welcome additional input throughout this process, so citizens or organizations wishing to submit ideas or suggestions to Mayor Faulconer can email [email protected]

How will the City be involved?

The group is not an official City commission. They will have access to City financial information and studies.

How often will the advisory group meet?

The advisory group will select a chair and determine how often they will need to meet in order to complete their recommendation before the fall deadline.

Will members of the advisory group be compensated

No. These are all volunteers.

Does the group have a budget?

No. This group will not receive funding from the City of San Diego.

Background on Mayor Faulconer's Announcement of the Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group from his State of the City address:

"I'm announcing tonight that I am assembling a group of civic leaders to recommend a location and develop a viable financing plan.

They will explore all possibilities to finance the project, with the clear direction that it must present a good and fair deal for San Diego taxpayers.

I will not accept - or support - anything less.

Building a stadium at the current Mission Valley location.

Or building a stadium along with an expanded convention center downtown.

Most importantly, this plan will be completed and made public this fall."

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]