October 29, 2011
Benefits of funding a new stadium for the Chargers.
For the past few years, San Diegans have been faced with the very real possibility that our beloved Chargers National Football League (NFL) team may “bolt” the city for greener pastures in Los Angeles. This is due to the inability of the team and local politicians to agree on a plan to replace archaic Qualcomm stadium, current home of the Chargers. The possible loss of a professional football team that has been identified with “America’s favorite city” for almost 50 years has life-long fans in a panic. The Chargers special counsel, Mark Fabiani states that “the aging stadium does not allow us to generate sufficient revenue to remain financially competitive over the long haul with the top teams in the NFL” (Fabiani, October 2011). This basically means “build us a new stadium or we will find someone who will”. The problem is who pays for a new stadium that could cost upwards of one billion dollars? Opponents of a mostly publically funded stadium say the city is flat broke and cannot afford to give taxpayer hand-outs to billionaire owners. The city is mired in a massive pension debacle, cannot afford to fix roads, and has had to reduce emergency services all in the name of budget cutbacks. These are a few of the many fiscal problems that San Diego has been struggling with during an economic downturn. Few detractors would agree to subsidize a sports facility with many more pressing issues to be addressed. Subsidizing the construction of a modern football stadium also could be the answer to these economic problems. The redevelopment associated with a downtown project could revitalize the downtrodden east village, bringing new businesses and residential areas. The only evidence needed to support that idea is already in place downtown, Petco Park. The businesses that have sprung up around the home of the San Diego Padres...