It is really hard for me to leave this proposal for a new Chargers stadium alone. A good tool for making a difficult decision easier is to make a weighted list of pros and cons. Each pro or con receives a value of 1-5 depending on how important it is in your eyes. The Chargers new stadium presents San Diego with a variety of reasons to build or not to build. I’ve performed my own version with reasons why I’ve weighted each item as I did.
The pros are reasons San Diego should enter into a partnership with the Chargers to build a stadium. The cons are reasons we should not.
San Diego gets to keep the Chargers (4) There is no doubt that after 55 seasons in San Diego the Chargers are an institution that is a part of the fabric of the city. Kids who went to games with their dads are now dads taking their kids to games. Traditions are important to a society and is a glue that brings people together. I would have given this a five if we lived in Green Bay, but we have so much more to offer as a city that losing the Chargers wouldn’t devastate the community.
San Diego can host the Super Bowl again (1) Yes it’s nice to have national recognition. It’s “free” advertising for the city. New Orleans hosts the Super Bowl and other bowl games frequently. Still the number one draw to New Orleans isn’t football games, it’s Bourbon Street. San Diego has many attractions that draw tourist that don’t involve football. There’s debate as to the real economic value to a city for hosting the Super Bowl. Here’s an article that shows that any numbers given for local profits when hosting a Super Bowl are dubious at best.
San Diego would remain an NFL caliber city (1) Los Angeles did without the NFL for twenty years. Los Angelenos barely noticed the absence and when the NFL did come calling again they came with a self funded stadium. After the initial sting we wouldn’t notice the Chargers’ absence either. We’d hardly have a chance to miss them. The Chargers new home would be just up the street and all games would be available on TV just as the Ducks and Clippers games are. Let’s face it, most people can’t afford to watch the games anywhere but on TV anyway.
San Diego would have a world class stadium (1) I’ve traveled the world. I’ve been to major cites on every continent except Africa. The only stadium I ever visited on purpose was the Colosseum in Rome. Stadiums are not a huge draw for tourists.
Other events could be held at the new stadium (1) How many concerts are we seeing in Qualcom these days? There’s zero proof this would increase in a new stadium.
Raise in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) (5) This is the cornerstone of the Chargers downtown convadium proposal. They seem to think since we’re not taxing the citizens of San Diego that it’s O.K. to tax perfect strangers in order to subsidize a private business. Oh, and while we’re soaking these out-of-towners we’ll invite the city of San Diego at gab an extra two percent for yourself. Aren’t the Chargers a generous bunch.
Subsidizing a family owned business (5) The Spanos family owns the Chargers. The tax payers of San Diego have no business supporting the Chargers other than purchasing their product if they chose to. The Spanos family made their fortune in real estate development. If there was any money in building a stadium they would do it themselves, even if it meant going into debt to do it. There is no money in owning a stadium. They are socializing the losses and privatizing the profits. We’re so used to this paradigm that it seems normal, but it shouldn’t be. We need to move away from this type of corporate subsidization.
Qualcomm sight can’t be redeveloped for SDSU and river front park (3) This gets a lower score because it only applies if the Chargers agree to building the new stadium on the Qualcomm sight. Land should always be put to it’s best use. San Diego State is desperate for room to grow and the Qualcomm sight provides for that need. Our community would be better served by redeveloping this sight for education and parks than it would for a NFL stadium. This is the perfect opportunity to fulfill this need.
There are more pros than cons listed. In my eyes the pros are weak arguments and the cons are strong. If it was up to me the cons have it 13 to 8 and we wouldn’t help the Chargers build a new stadium. I’m only one citizen. I’d be curious how others calculate this. Please expand on the list in the comments section and come up with your own scores.