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Great Stadium Debate Background: Build it already

August 16, 2012

Full disclosure, I am a lifelong Chargers fan.  I mean a REAL lifelong Chargers fan.  The kind who had to race home from church to listen to the radio when there were local blackouts.  The kind who held out hope that Billy Joe Tolliver was going to be our quarterback of the future.  Heck, the kind who refers to the Chargers as “our” even though I’m not on the payroll.  And, of course, the die-hard fan that still swoons for Dan Fouts but also fondly remembers Kellen Winslow, Stan Humphries, Natrone Means, Little Train, Leslie O’Neil, Burt Grossman, and even had hope when we signed Jim McMahon.   Okay, enough with puffing up my street cred, this is about providing information.  So here goes…

As luck would have it, the issue of building a new stadium is not a new topic. Oh, by the way I meant no disrespect leaving out L.T., Junior, or Billy Ray, but certain names are too obviously legendary in this town to engender any street cred.  Okay, back on topic.  Rather than re-type a bunch of material several reporters and economists and football people have already done, I’ll just link to it.   We’ll call this the “where do I write the check” side of the debates.  As a result, this article has some of the pro-stadium material. (note: if the debate is over and you are just dropping by to read some stuff, stay awhile.  This is the “pro” side, there’s more on the other half in a separate post called “no thanks, save my money”).

With that, here’s a collection of good reads on the stadium issue:

A pretty detailed overview from 2007 here –  by Eric Wolff of CityBeat

A pro public funding piece from 2009 here – op-ed by Scott Peters

A good update piece from 2010 here – by Scott Bair of North County Times

What’s a stadium cost anyway? Good piece here – by Matthew Hall of UT San Diego

If you missed the first craft beer debate, don’t worry, we’ll be cooking up another one shortly.  The next one won’t be about football, but it will still involve craft beer–for which you may have heard San Diego has become a national and international destination.  If you’re still reading, I guess that makes you a diehard, so here’s your reward–a quick link to the 2013 schedule.  No, I do not have a deal with the Chargers, though of course I wish I did.  But again, as I said, I’m a fan so call it a public service. To sign up for the debate click here.  Cheers!

From → Chargers Stadium

  1. Jeffrey Davis permalink

    I tweeted about siting the stadium downtown. A little more.

    Stipulated: there are very many viable sites if one is willing to spend enough money.

    The Chargers target their ‘proposal(s)’ based on site cost and the ability to shift cost to other parties. This happens in the context of the 2/3 vote threshold for taxes being essentially unobtainable.

    The Chargers have spent a lot of time and money evaluating sites. I’d love to know their opinions but I don’t expect they’ll be shared or, frankly, even be discussed truthfully. They’re negotiating, after all.

    Downtown does have infrastructure in place (though it’s not unique in that). That reduces the cost in some respects. Downtown also had redevelopment money at the ready. Instead now (at least for now) it has a very large hotel tax it hopes to tap into.

    But those represent costs and sources of money to just get the damn thing built. They don’t reflect the opportunity cost of putting a frickin stadium downtown that’s going to sit empty 90% of the year, optimistically. Land downtown produces more economic value as city, beyond any doubt.

    Football stadiums — big and usually empty — belongs in the suburbs, just like it’s been done most everywhere else in the country. If that means they can’t piggyback on the convention center, tough. If we want to share the cost of a stadium, then we will work out an agreement for somewhere that isn’t such an economic drag. Downtown is the sort of solution that shows desperation without real will. It’s dumb.

    • I’m not convinced stadiums need to be in the ‘burbs, though also not convinced about the public money rationale. That said, judging by the people who’ve registered so far the goal of getting new people to engage in the discussion may very well be happening. I don’t think a stadium has to sit unused for 90% of year, especially not in San Diego, though this is also an interesting point. The session will be videotaped, so on the Interwebs shortly thereafter.

  2. Jeffrey Davis permalink

    Realized it might have helped to distinguish the Chargers’ interests vs San Diego’s with regard to downtown or another location. That said, should be clear.

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