Road blocks for the construction of Chargers’ stadium
ASST. BUSINESS EDITOR
Mayor Kevin Faulconer has recently put together an advisory group of developers, financial experts, and a former Chargers executive in order to create an optimum solution to the 12 year problem of the request for building the San Diego Chargers a new stadium.
The Chargers initially expressed discontent with Qualcomm Stadium back in 2003. It is now one of the oldest, if not the oldest stadium in the NFL.
There is an imminent threat that the team will leave San Diego and relocate unless the stadium issue is resolved soon.
Previously, when Faulconer had formed a task force, they received little to no feedback from the government or taxpayers when plans were made for the stadium development.
This new advisory board hopes to create a plan for the 2016 ballot to give San Diego voters a voice.
In a statement for NBC 7 San Diego, Faulconer spoke of what this advisory team will do. “The independent group will give San Diegans the first real plan in the past 13 years,” Faulconer said. “These experts will explore all possibilities to finance the project, with the clear direction from me that it must be a good and fair deal for San Diego taxpayers.”
The ultimate goal is to avoid increasing taxes for San Diego; they are looking for ways to fund the project through private money so the ballot can pass the difficult majority it has struggled against in the past.
Sophomore Taylor Thane argues that the whole football industry has become a major business, and therefore the history and culture between the team and the city is lost to the goal of maximizing money.
“It’s just like what happened to the 49ers,” Thane said. “It was less authentic when they moved to Santa Clara. It takes away the whole history and now I don’t know, it’s more of a business. It would be sad if the same thing happened to the Chargers.”
Other University of San Diego students, like sophomore Shayna Ryan, expressed similar concerns to those of Thane.
“Although a 49ers fan, I’d be really mad too if the Chargers left,” Ryan said. “Not only has the stadium been taking so long but why make the effort if they’re going to move? The niners moved their stadium an hour outside of the city and now it’s just inconvenient for everyone. For a team to be in one city so long, it saddens the loyal fans more than anyone when they leave.”
The options the team are presented with are: funding from the Chargers and the NFL, corporate partnerships, licensing and extra charges for seats and tickets, naming rights, and, obviously, higher prices for concessions inside the stadium, and premium parking.
One of the major conflicts hindering the stadium plans is the request from local San Diego hotels for an expansion along the bayfront center in competition with the Chargers’ request for a hybrid, retractable-roof stadium along Harbor Drive.
Some University of San Diego students are mildly upset with how long the new stadium has taken to make it past even the planning stages.
Junior Meghan Mcmurray hopes that construction will begin soon and the project will come out of the planning stages.
“The team might honestly be moving to LA,” McMurray said. “But maybe the mayor is still trying to find ways to complete the project in hopes of keeping them. I have no idea why it’s taking them so long to build the stadium.”
Hopefully, the plan that Faulconer’s new advisory board creates includes all the requested factors and has the potential to keep the Chargers in San Diego and the long time fans happy.