The dance between the Chargers and the city of San Diego continues. The Spanos family owned team has again suggested the city help build a stadium downtown, a stance 360 degrees from their previous stance.
Their latest mouth piece, Fred Maas, has stated the increase in hotel stays with their proposed convadium will pay the for city’s share. They propose an increase in the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and promise “never a dollar from the general fund” will be used. The word never is only a promise from Fred Maas on behalf of the Chargers to seduce the citizens of San Diego. Using the word never is always a sign that we’re going get stuck paying for something in the end.
The only way the word never and San Diego’s general funds should be in the same sentence when talking about a NFL stadium is when the stadium is funded completely by the Chargers and the NFL. There will be issues during construction and maintaining the new stadium that will fall into gray areas. Wherever there is a gray area there will be litigation between the city and Chargers and the citizens of San Diego will foot the bill every time.
The Chargers are a want not a need and should be viewed as a luxury item. The only time to make a financial commitment to a luxury item is when the terms favor the party footing the bill. That’s us. The city holds all the cards and needs to play the hand as such.
A threatened move to Los Angeles didn’t work in the old eleventh hour and should have less sway in this new eleventh hour. True Charger fans will hate that they moved to LA but they’ll make the drive to Inglewood. The fair-weather fans will still watch them on TV like they did when the team played ten minutes away at Qualcomm.
Looking at this convadium proposal from another angle, if we want new convention space build new convention space. If we want a football stadium build a football stadium. The convention space will be suboptimal if built in tandem with a stadium. This is the same lesson the NFL and MLB learned when they built all those multi-use stadiums in the 60’s and 70’s (<clear throat> Qualcomm) that suited nobody perfectly.
The Chargers either need to make a serious offer or leave. They’ve already cheated on us with Los Angeles. Let them make their mistress their bride and we can visit the kids on the weekends.