The city counts on about $1 million a year from the team to help make the $3.5 million a year payments on the bond that financed Chukchansi stadium. But the city could be on the hook for even more. The Oversight Board in charge of dismantling the debts and assets Fresno's redevelopment agency this week discovered the agency was paying a couple of hundred thousand a year of the stadium debt.
Oversight Board Chairman Doug Vagim told Action News that payment is now under scrutiny. "Somebody is going to have to walk us through how that's all committed and if that's pulled out is it a house of cards that the whole thing falls apart, we don't know."
While questions about the $50 million stadium have plagued the city and the team for more than a decade, for the city, the, Brand says the Grizzlies are the only game in town.
"The worst thing that could happen is that we have a team that goes insolvent, we have a vacant stadium then we are paying the full cost of a $3.5 million dollar bond payment plus a couple hundred thousand for maintenance," Brand said. "We don't want that."
A clearer picture of the financial situation is expected next week when the annual audit of the team is expected to be made available to the city council and the public.