A quick refresher on Carson stadium financing

I’ve been getting some questions recently about the financing mechanisms in place for the Chargers and Raiders Carson project, and the responsibility of the city of Carson.

The concern, of course, is what Carson might be on the hook for and whether Carson will be responsible for any shortfall in the future should anything go sour.

It’s a valid concern, of course. And over the last few months I’ve talked with people in the know on the city end and from the Raiders and Chargers. The good news is, Carson seems well protected.

Here is the long and short of it.


Prior to the Raiders and Chargers coming on board, the city of Carson sold bonds to cover the remaining remediation work still needed on the land involved. Those bonds have already been issued by the city and the Reclamation Authority and were independent of the stadium project. The remediation work needs to be done whether a stadium is built on that land or a shopping center goes up. Moving forward, no more bonds need to be sold.


The financing of the actual $1.7 billion project is on the teams and on Goldman Sachs, not on the city or anyone else.

In basic terms, the stadium project needs to borrow funds for construction. These borrowings will be in the form of construction loans by each teams’ StadCos and the Municipal Stadium Authority. Goldman will provide the constructions loan. The loans are secured only by football stadium revenues.


If the teams are wrong about the amount of revenue that the stadium
will generate, then the only recourse that the lenders will have will be against the teams.

If that happens, in all likelihood the team or teams would need to sell equity to come
up with additional resources.

Failing that, the teams would have to be sold to new owners, with some
of that cash used to pay off the remaining debt.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a risk that both of the teams, and
Goldman Sachs, are willing to take.

But, if everyone is wrong, then the only recourse is against the teams.

There is no scenario where the taxpayers, or any other entity
(including the NFL) become financially responsible.

Hope that helps