Are the Chargers worth the $1.1 billion?
DIEGO LUNA | BUSINESS EDITOR | THE USD VISTA
The city of San Diego and other county officials have made their final pitch to the National Football League, in what has been an ongoing battle to keep the Chargers from moving to Los Angeles.
The mayor and his elected officials proposed a 41-page letter that will aim to help persuade NFL team owners to keep the Chargers in San Diego.
NBC San Diego says Mayor Kevin Faulconer and county commissioner Ron Roberts signed the letter, which outlined a plan that has many costs that would burden the city of San Diego. The letter mentions a new $1.1 billion architectural wonder to replace the 51-year-old aging Qualcomm Stadium
There will be $350 million public contribution, plus the Chargers will pitch in an additional $353 million. The NFL is expected to contribute $200 million, with another $187 million coming from personal seat licenses.
Many University of San Diego students agree that relocating the Chargers is the better option, but others completely despise the idea of filing for permanent relocation.
Even some local San Diegans believe the talks about relocation are just a bunch of hoopla and a publicity stunt.
Junior and local San Diegan George Medina believes that moving to L.A. would not benefit anyone.
“Moving to L.A. makes no sense!” Medina said. “There is no fan base, they’d pay a fine for moving, they’d be second team to the Rams, and it will take them at least 10 years before they’d even start being considered an L.A. team.”
Many other passionate fans such as Medina have been in San Diego their whole lives and enjoy seeing their team grow from a small organization to their once dominating presence.
Qualcomm Stadium is now a multi-purpose stadium. However, it was not always that way. Since its debut in 1967 the stadium has been renamed three times. First, it was called San Diego Stadium and in 1980 it was renamed as Jack Murphy Stadium. Finally in 1997 it became the iconic Qualcomm Stadium.
Since its inauguration, the stadium has hosted three Super Bowl games: Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, and Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003.
The stadium still hosts the San Diego Chargers and San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztecs football, among other events.
With a seating capacity of 70,561, Qualcomm Stadium is located in the heart of Mission Valley. The original construction cost was $27.75 million, which was in the 1960’s. Taking into consideration the time value of money, the initial amount now equates to $197 million.
However, these numbers mean very little to others and they presume moving to L.A. is in the Chargers’ best interest.
Senior Joseph Hiebb has worked for Qualcomm Stadium before and agrees that moving to L.A. would have many benefits to the city, team, and players.
“In my opinion the Chargers should share the stadium elsewhere,” Hiebb said. “It will be the best stadium besides the Dallas Cowboy’s AT&T stadium, instead of staying in the oldest stadium in the NFL, they would be able to capitalize and host many more Super Bowls and attract their declining fan base.”
If the city of San Diego approves the $1.1 billion proposal, they would join the other three billion dollar stadiums which are AT&T stadium in Dallas, Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, and the most expensive, MetLife stadium in New York which sits at $1.6 billion. They would also be among the 13 teams to build a stadium since 2000.
The city of San Diego only relies on one more national franchised team which are the San Diego Padres. If the Chargers were to relocate, the financial costs are substantial and has a high risk-reward factor.
There are still many uncertainties within the Chargers organization, but what is known is that they will stay in San Diego for at least one more year.
However, their fanbase needs to step up their attendance at home games since they have been ranked as one of the five NFL teams that are most likely to be blacked out on television.