Elk Grove to Continue its Pursuit of Soccer Stadium, MLS Franchise

June 12, 2014 | City Manager opines pursuit not in best interest of the city at this time In a split vote, the Elk Grove City C...


June 12, 2014 |

City Manager opines pursuit not in best interest of the city at this time

In a split vote, the Elk Grove City Council decided last night to continue its pursuit of competitive athletic fields, a soccer stadium and Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

By a 3-2 vote, the council decided to continue its exclusive negotiation agreement with the Fabian Nunez-led North California Soccer (NCS), LLC. The Nunez group is attempting to attract an MLS expansion or relocation team to Elk Grove if the city will finance construction of a $120 million professional soccer grade stadium and the city's purchase of up to 120-acres for the stadium and competitive athletic fields..

Voting in favor of continued negotiations were Mayor Gary Davis, Vice Mayor Jim Cooper and Council Member Steve Detrick. Council members Pat Hume and Bob Trigg voted against the motion. 

Prior to their deliberations and vote, the council heard a presentation from Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill regarding the ongoing negotiations between the city and NCS. Gill expressed concern over a number of negotiation points that she said were not favorable for the city.

Among the points of contention, according to Gill, were stadium financing scenarios. One proposal presented by the city, but rejected by NCS, would have had NCS pay all the debt obligations with the city rebating a portion based on increased sales tax revenues attributable to the soccer stadium.

NCS also proposed an annual lease rate of $1 and retention of all revenues generated at the stadium including ticket sales for all events, parking fees, stadium naming rights, sponsorships and concessions. In return, NCS would pay for all maintenance once construction was completed.

Gill noted under this scenario the city would not have any of the direct revenues, nor would the city be able to collect ticket surcharge fees. 

On the maintenance point, Gill said the city would need to contractually bind NCS not only to maintenance, but to upgrades and modernization as needed in the future. Gill cited a Triple-A baseball stadium in Durham, NC, that was built in 1995, that has already undergone four major upgrades.  

"That stadium has been modernized four times in 19 years," she said. "So there is a need to consider all that upkeep." 

Gill went on to say long-term maintenance issues have not been discussed in negotiations.     

Following the presentation, Hume said he supported the competitive field component of the proposal, but expressed skepticism on the public financing aspect. He noted that the recent Sacramento County sales tax proposal to fund a soccer stadium there would only have a 20-percent public financing component.

In further questioning on the viability of the stadium, Hume asked Gill, "You are the captain of the ship, someday you will have shore leave and sipping lemonade, would you look back on this and say it was a good deal?"

"Not at the moment," Gill responded.

"The only reason why I say that is that because you all have lots of things you would like to get done," she added. "You have a civic center you would like to finish, you have an animal control shelter you need to contemplate once we get feedback from the consultant, and frankly, it's a matter of priorities."  

A video detailing more of the proceedings will be posted later today.






   

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19 comments

Anonymous said...

I don't see much in the way of an "upside" to this current deal for EG. The city pays for the stadium and the land; and the consultant group gets all further ticket sales, parking sales, naming rights and concessions. The city gets $1 a year in lease and the group pays for maintenance. Why would that deal look favorable to our council members. THANK GOD PAT HUME IS LISTENING!! This deal doesn't pencil out. Stop this madness!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Looks like we know who is out of touch with reality and wasting taxpayer dollars on continuing to kick this dead horse. Come on council members!!!

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

Mr. Hume, Thank you for taking a common sense approach to this matter. I am mystified how Mr. Detrick flip-flopped on this matter in the matter of minutes.

Anonymous said...

.





What they heck are they smoking?

""The city will finance construction of a $120 million professional soccer grade stadium and the city's purchase of up to 120-acres for the stadium and competitive athletic fields."

HUH?"

"NCS also proposed an annual lease rate of $1 and retention of all revenues generated at the stadium including ticket sales for all events, parking fees, stadium naming rights, sponsorship and concessions. In return, NCS would pay for all maintenance once construction was completed."


Really????


The City purchases the land and builds the stadium and North California Soccer gets to use it for free and keep all the revenues?

Who is watching out for the taxpayer's interests?

Elk Grove Thriving!???

This will make Elk Grove THE Destination City, YEAH right!

Next time invite King Joffey Joffer to visit the following:

Flat out failed rusted mall.

Empty office buildings.

Half vacant strip centers.

One community center that is on its back paws up.

Sister city to two cities in banana republics.

Amusement park right across from single family homes in Madeira "the Jewel of Elk Grove".

Visions of the Olympic Trials.

3,600 units of high density very low and low income housing on the way to "Meridian" (the Southeast Plan Area) - Hood of the future.

Great leadership!

Bring on more low income housing projects, liquor stores, fast food joints, shooting ranges, gun stores, smoke shops and nail salons.

Elk Grove Thriving!

.

One of those "EGN Trolls" said...

It's all about the "soccer family" votes.

Benjamin Willard said...

On the positive side, at the rate the Elk Grove City Council makes decisions on this and other matters, the Sacramento Republic FC will be bumped up from the USL to MLS status.

So go ahead boys, play your game of tiddlywinks with Mr. Nunez while Republic FC and Warren Smith are actually taking action.

Jill said...

Troll, as a recovering soccer mom, I can tell you most other soccer parents are not really fans of the sport beyond our own children's involvement. Most of us are more interested in the NFL and could care less about soccer.

So I don't think this whole thing, the soccer stadium portion at least, is aimed at getting votes. Perhaps the soccer field would get some votes, but really, who cares is there a a soccer stadium.

I think it is something more simply at play. It is all about ego. Gary Davis desperately wants to get this done for the recognition he thinks it will bring him. Gary is really not a very confident person when you get down to it perhaps he he thinks if he builds this, people will love him. For Gary, this is not about improving the quality of life in Elk Grove, it is all about Gary Davis.

Anonymous said...

Jill,
I do believe you have hit on something. This seems to be all Gary Davis driven; although I am surprised at Detrick's flip flop. Detrick supporting a Davis driven idea is very rare. Must be some money in it for Detrick. That's his main focus. Always has been. Davis just wants to be loved. Someone get him a puppy so we can end this silliness.

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:10,

You forgot 75' high billboards!

Mrs. Olsen said...

Drink great coffee. Change the world. At Grace Coffee Roasters, we believe you deserve a high quality coffee blend while serving an even higher purpose".

Thomas A. Anderson said...

Jill,

Your armchair psychoanalysis, if for nothing else, is interesting. And I agree, perhaps a puppy would solved some of the Mayors needs.

As with all matters though, follow the money. In this case, Mayor Davis's 460 for the period from January to June, 2012 on page 12 you will see the Fabian Nunez for Treasurer Committee gave the Mayor $5,000.

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/documents/agendas/attachments/campaign-disclosures-statements/2012/Form-460-Davis-Gary-campaign-statement-01-01-12-to-06-30-12.pdf

What a convenient arrangement. Nunez gives to money to Davis from his campaign fund to grease the wheels for his soccer scheme. Nunez arranges to have Davis and Cooper to meet the MLS commissioner. Of course the city entered the agreement with Nunez in December 2011, so who was pushing who? Did Davis push this arrangement to get a payoff from Nunez?

Either way, it stinks.

As a side note, how much you wanna bet Nancy Chaires will have a nice healthy contributions from Nunez or some other Sacramento-insider trying to make a few bucks off the backs of Elk Grove taxpayers?



SteveB6509 said...

As much as I am very skeptical of the Council, we have the City Manager pointing out problems with much of the negotiation. If we decided to stop negotiations, would Nunez and his cronies have grounds to sue us? The original agreement is so poor that I wouldn't be surprised if they could. In that case, it actually makes sense to continue these negotiations. So long as we don't spend any more money on this, I am fine.

Anonymous said...

The city is more than 25% Asian. The majority of Asians in Elk Grove do not participate in soccer. First generation Asian parents emphasize classical music (piano, violin), language / culture (Chinese language school) and education (hitting the books 24/7). In terms of sports second and third generation Asians prefer to have their kids play in the Asian church leagues where all get playing time irregardless of height and skills. So basically you have 25% of the city's population that could care less about soccer and a major league soccer stadium. Then you have soccer parents who can't wait for their kids to finish up soccer so that they can go back to watching football American style. Who is behind this giveaway of city funds?

Benjamin Willard said...

Steve B, I have read through most of the staff reports, and as far as I can tell, there is no poison pill type payment should the agreement be vacated. However, I suspect since the agreement is through 2016, if the city dropped the agreement and then hooked up with some other group, Northern California Soccer would have some sort of recourse for breach of contract. But that is just a law opinion.

Benjamin Willard said...

Lay opinion that is.

SteveB6509 said...

Thanks BW. No matter what, we need to lay low until 2016. Not sure why we agreed to this in the first place but now that we have this agreement, we need to see it though.

Anonymous said...

It is beyond me why we would have tied the soccer fields into a MLS Soccer Stadium in the first place. Mayor Davis, Cooper & Detrick can you help me out here? For 6 years I have heard Mall, Civic Center, MLS Soccer, Aquatics Center & Water Playground and now added an Animal Shelter in the mix and there is nothing to show for any of it except binders full of Feasibility Studies. Still have to leave EG for most of our shopping, entertainment & dining needs...nothing to show for the millions our city has spent. Still no fix for the jobs to housing imbalance, not even mentioned anymore by our council. All they have on their minds are just more roof-tops, now even building in wetlands...
developers just put your check in the mail and it's a DONE DEAL!

Does no one see we have a hugh problem here or is it just me & I need to double up on my meds? So they sue us...just put it with the others.

Cypher said...

Anon 12:36,

Double up on your meds - take more blue pills. I wish I had done that at the start.

Jerry Maguire said...

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SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

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