Nick Hardwick speaking on AM 1360 referred to the week 9 37-0 ass whooping in Miami as rock bottom for the team. I thought it was for Charger fans too. It was hard to watch live and listening to San Diego sports radio the last couple weeks has been like Chinese water torture for us die-hard fans who are emotionally connected to this team. The worst part for me had nothing to do with any of the review of play on the field.
It all started when the Union Tribune’s Nick Canepa correctly pointed out in a column on November 10th that Bolts fans (that would be you reading this) should be worried about the team moving to LA. That Monday morning radio hosts Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth put the scare in me pretty good by pointing out the silence of Chargers owner Dean Spanos and the team’s lawyer Mark Fabiani. In the past Dean and his lawyer have reacted to this kind of article by making statements and assuring the city/ fans that Dean was committed to the 619 area code.
In the past I felt pretty comfortable that Dean wanted to stay here and was not concerned. Many believe Dean’s silence has a lot to do with the fact that the decision has been made. Feb.1st Dean can announce that Philip Rivers is the starter for the Los Angeles Chargers and pay $24 million to the city to get out of the team’s contract to play at the Q five years ahead of schedule.
I am going to call ALL CAPS to make a point. YOU NEED TO ACT, CHARGERS FANS. I know this is not as fun as suggesting free-agent running backs to message boards, but you need to learn the issues, and you need to do something. You need to read articles like this one. You need to make to do lists and do those things like you were remembering to pay your phone and cable bills.
It may be too late. We may spend the spring debating whether to stay Charger fans, defect to other teams, or give up on the NFL altogether. You really can’t blame or be mad at Dean. The good business decision and reality is that LA makes more sense. Bigger market and corporate center, so considering that reality it is amazing that Dean has been loyal this long.
If Dean cares about us, if he didn’t he would be long gone.
It felt pretty helpless watching the team lose in Miami but you can have an impact on the issue of the Chargers staying in town. This is a test to our spirit as fans. Dean and the NFL are watching. If we shrug our shoulders and say “Oh well,” then we don’t deserve an NFL team in this city.
If you are an out of region Chargers fan and San Diego being home to the team is important to you then you need to act as well. I know if the team leaves San Diego that I want to be able to look in mirror and know I tried to act to keep them.
We need to be organized and work together as a Bolt Family. We need to use strategy, and dedication. We need to do things that demonstrate the strength of this fan base and the sustainability of the team staying here. As activist in 2000 I was involved in a campaign to stop a multi-million dollar golf course from destroying one of the last green spaces in my hometown in Indiana. We had to take on the most powerful entity in the city/region and were told it was impossible. By using strategy and well thought out tactics that spot is now a nature preserve and we won.
I am using my experience to work with the Bolt Blitz crew to develop a plan. Apathy never solved anything. It easy to clap and be a pom pom fan after touchdowns. We need a few minutes of your time to ensure we have the Chargers in town when Rivers is entered into the team’s ring of honor.
We need to convince Dean he doesn’t want to go.
We need to convince The NFL to stay.
We need to convince the Mayor to act to save the Chargers.
We need to convince people in the region who don’t like sports to save the Chargers. (They are voters and that may be in important in the long run)
ACTIONS TO TAKE:
Write a letter
Express yourself in a letter about what the Chargers mean to you. You can pick important points from the section below or go to this page (link) to check out my letter. Write the mayor, members of the county council, the union tribune, or Dean. A mailed letter means a lot more, but sending an e-mail works.
So just to get in the spirit, we are going to pick a day and we want every to write a letter/ e-mail on that day and send it. Forward the letter to non-sports fans to the people you know in the San Diego region who don’t like the Chargers. (You don’t even have to write your own on that day) We will need their votes too.
Open letter to non-Sports fan day: Dec. 2nd
Mail the Mayor day Dec. 4th
Save our Bolts Selfie day:
OK so I get annoyed with the message boards filling up with selfies of fans in their Chargers gear, but hundreds of you do it. So let’s put those pictures to work. Get out a sharpie and write #saveourbolts on a piece of paper. Get in your chargers gear and take a picture. Post your Save our Bolts selfie to all your social media. Let’s all do it on one day and make it a trending topic. If you are not in San Diego write “#saveourBolts from ___”
#savethebolts #SavetheBoltsRoger #SavetheboltsDean
Save our Bolts selfie day: Dec. 9th
Make a Video:
Most of you have smart phones, so use here. Shoot a video, from 15 to 30 seconds a minute tops. Talk about what the Chargers being in San Diego means to you. Post it to Vine, Twitter, FB. We all do it on the same day and perhaps we can get a topic trending. I think the video’s should be directed at Roger Goodell and the NFL. #savethebolts #SavetheBoltsRoger #SavetheboltsDean
Post your video day Dec. 11
Organize a Rally:
We need to start at Chargers park on a work day. Late afternoon, bring kids after school. Fans of all ages and background together standing in front of Chargers park. Make signs about saving our Chargers. This will get media attention and be noticed by the whole NFL universe.
Next if you live in El Cajon, Lemon Grove, Chula Vista or Carlsbad. Organize your own local Save our Bolts rally. It is easy. If you are on Facebook. Pick a time, date and location and make a Facebook event. Then share on Chargers FB groups, post to twitter. Post it with #saveourbolts. Ask your friends to re-post. Show up take pictures. Even if you get 10 people post your pictures. If you promote with enough lead time We’ll try to make it out.
Most importantly it will show Dean something important. He may need to win a County wide ballot measure to get a stadium built. Showing him that we can and will organize to help keep the team will show him he can count on us to help.
Chargers Park beat Denver/ save our Bolts Rally Date:
Rally at Chargers park Friday dec. 12th (Beat Denver and save our Bolts rally!)
Your Neighborhood? (region wide) rallies Dec. 13
Out of Towners :
Hey out-of-town Chargers fans can still do the letters and videos. Check out this sample of a letter for folks from out of the region.
FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Comic Con is one of the most important events to the city, and it is in danger of leaving too. The convention center needs an additional 400,000 square feet. The tactic Indiana used was to stop selling Lucas Oil Stadium as an NFL stadium but as a “First class multi-purpose event venue.”
According to the LA times to retain Comic-Con, and to attract even more high-spending conventions, officials have proposed expanding the waterfront San Diego Convention Center at an estimated cost of $520 million. Why not cut two carrots with one knife?
We need to stop calling this the Chargers stadium. Whatever building we as taxpayers build should host Comic-con events, conventions, NCAA final fours, Super Bowls, Aztec football games, College football championships, and many more things. Oh yeah, eight times and hopefully 10 times a year, a Chargers game.
Chargers are important to San Diego tourism
The tourism industry generates more than $388 million annually in state and local taxes. Visitors spend nearly $8.4 billion annually, which translates to an economic impact of over $18.7 billion NEW dollars generated for the regional economy. eight Chargers home games are amazing free tourism ads. When Buffalo, New England and Green Bay home look like they are being played on a the frozen planet of Hoth think about what a Chargers home game looks like in the 4:05 eastern time slot. The sun has already disappeared on the frozen east coast. The Chargers fans are at the Q in short sleeves, CBS comes back from breaks with shots of the beach. You don’t think in the highest rated sport on TV that doesn’t plant the seed for San Diego vacations? Remind the mayor of this important fact. He knows it but tell him you know how important it is.
Economy and Community support:
According to the USA Today The league supports about 110,000 jobs in NFL cities— not just quarterbacks and punters, but also hotel workers and sports-bar employees. Together, the games add about $5 billion to the economies in NFL cities, according to an analysis prepared for the NFL Players Association by Edgeworth Economics. Take the Meadowlands in New Jersey Employs about 4,000 people on an NFL Sunday, including parking attendants, security guards, ushers, ticket takers, janitors, merch dealers and concession workers. According to Positively Cleveland, which promotes tourism to the city, estimated that every Browns game brought $7.9 million in business to Cleveland — $63 million a year (USA Today)
The boost to the economy from hosting these major supporting events is so great it is ridiculous to continue to call this project “The Chargers stadium.” Consider this, city officials said Indianapolis would get a big economic bounce by hosting the Men’s Final Four. A study by Indiana University researchers estimates the economic impact at more than $40 million. That’s $10 million more than was generated the last time Indy hosted the tournament in 2000.
According to the study, The last Final Four the city hosted attracted more than 44,000 people to Indianapolis, 38 percent of those were first-time visitors. The study found the average visitor stayed four days, spending a roughly $227 per day. Here’s how they spent that money: 34 percent went toward food and entertainment, 28 percent toward lodging, 20 percent on souvenirs and shopping with the remainder spent on things like rental cars, parking and taxis. (IU study – WTHR source)
Lucas Oil Stadium also hosts annual big ten football championships besides being used as a convention space in it’s many luxury boxes as well. It is not a Colts stadium, remember that folks.
Atlanta has had a similar economic boost from hosting the SEC championship. According to ESPN The annual event has generated over $702 million of economic impact to the city of Atlanta since 2000, an average of nearly $64 million per year and approximately $30.7 million in sales taxes over the same time span. It’s a no-brainer to keep the game right where it is.
Well hosting the mountain west conference championship might not bring in the money that the SEC could, the possibility of one hosting one college football championship or NCAA basketball championship would certainly help pay a for first multi-purpose stadium and convention center.
Let’s not forget what a dump the Murph has become. I am sure it was top-notch back in the stone ages, but come on. It’s a pit.
The Team says the Q will cost the city 345 million over a decade (2010-20) and that includes 113 million in repairs needed. Voice of San Diego who didn’t agree with the Chargers number. The VOSD analysis found that losses at Qualcomm average $12.2 million a year — about $3 million less than the team says. Still 12 million is a lot. The City did internal report in 2011 saying 10 million a year, with $80 to repair the stadium.
The city owns the 167-acre Qualcomm site. And the city — not the team — is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the stadium. The city and the team have a lease at Qualcomm through the next 11 years. But that lease hasn’t worked out well for the city. It’s so bad, city essentially pays the Chargers to play at Qualcomm, and the team can break the lease every year. (Voice of San Diego 2010)
Major letter bullet points:
(All these points are backed up by stats above)
What the Chargers mean to you and your community.
The Q is a dump and a waste of city money, instead of losing money on a stadium the city could be making money and spreading it around the region tourism benefits.
You don’t want a Chargers stadium but a first class multi-purpose event center like Indianapolis got.
The Chargers are a charitable force in the community.
In the end this is not about the Chargers but San Diego. Major cities have sports teams that highlight and honor the city.
Note: Any e-mails sent to the mayor can me re-headed and sent to the city council members.
City Administration Building
202 C Street, 11th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 236-6330
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send it to Letters Editor, U-T San Diego, P.O. Box 120191, San Diego, CA 92112-0191.
San Diego Chargers
P.O. Box 609609
San Diego, CA 92160-9609
District 1 Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner
District 2 Council member Ed Harris
District 3 Council President Todd Gloria
District 4 Council member Myrtle Cole
District 5 Council member Mark Kersey
District 6 Council member Lorie Zapf
District 7 Council member Scott Sherman
District 8 Council member David Alvarez
District 9 Council member Marti Emerald
David Agranoff just moved back to San Diego after 8 years of being a Bolts fan in Portland, Oregon. He would be really upset if the Chargers left after he came back. He is also the Wonderland Award nominated author of three horror novels. The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting The Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. His novels are available on Amazon, he could use the sales if you enjoy horror novels. Follow him on Twitter @DAgranoffauthor or friend him on Facebook.