By Erick Smith
Talk has been circulating for years about when, where and why the San Diego Chargers should leave Qualcomm Stadium for a new high-tech home.
The good news is that after searching all over San Diego County it appears the only workable plot of land is a small parcel just blocks East from PETCO Park. The bad news is that means the Chargers have to worry about dealing with the City of San Diego.
It was a struggle and a drawn-out hassle to get PETCO built and sadly if this 10-acre location is truly the Chargers only viable option I’d expect much of the same.
The stadium topic once again surfaced after the Chargers released their downtown stadium plan on Thursday. Included was an artist’s rendering of the 62,000-seat stadium and some important financial figures, mainly the expected cost of $800 million divided between the Chargers, NFL and City of San Diego.
Breaking down the financials reveals the expectation the city will be on the hook for $500 million in the form of bonds, the Chargers for $200 and the NFL for $100.
Before screaming foul consider the city currently assumes an annual loss of $17 million to operate Qualcomm Stadium. Not to mention the large sum of cash the eventually vacant 60-acre Mission Valley site is worth.
So far it sounds like a solid deal for everybody involved.
The San Diego City Council has proven to be rather inept at handling even the simplest of tasks, but this needs to be something it does not screw up. This is leaving the voters out of it, who I believe have enough sense to push this project through.
Still failing to see the positives of the project? Look a few blocks west and see the glorious site of PETCO.
This section of downtown was a disaster. PETCO revitalized the area and created a building boom throughout the area. The same should hold true the second time around.
From a football standpoint, San Diego will once again be in the Super Bowl circuit since the NFL has made it painfully clear it considers city climate and stadium luxury when determining a site. The Super Bowl belongs in San Diego â€“ I know it and the NFL knows it.
Oh I nearly forgot priority No. 1 for getting the stadium built â€“ it will keep the Chargers in San Diego. If this plan falls through the Chargers will bolt for greener pastures (L.A. maybe?) and the 3 million-plus of us who live down here will be left with one professional sports team.
So do the right thing San Diego, build this 62,000-seat, $800 million stadium.