It seems everyone has their diaper in a bunch over the Chargers moving to Los Angeles (LA). Sure, we are in the 11th hour and the threat of moving should be taken very seriously, but it is not time to panic. There are many reasons to believe that the Bolts aren’t going anywhere. In fact, it is just a matter of time before they break ground on a new stadium and construction begins! Yes, if you haven’t guessed, this is the optimist’s look at the stadium situation in LA. Let’s take a look at five reasons to believe that the Chargers are staying put in San Diego. If nothing else, they may help you sleep at night.
- The Chargers Want to Stay: They must want to stay, or they would have left a decade ago. They have certainly satisfied the NFL’s requirements that state that a team must make a sincere effort to work things out with their city before a move. They could have paid the City a few million bucks and headed north for the big money in LA at any time, but they didn’t. They chose to stay and try to work something out in their home town. Just because we are 14 years into this issue, it doesn’t mean that there is not chance. There is a new Sherriff in town…and his name is Mayor Faulconer (said in my best Eddie Murphy voice).
- The New Mayor Wants the Bolts to Stay: Sure there have been many new Mayors in San Diego over the last 14 years who could have chosen to tackle the stadium issue. In fact, there have been seven other Mayors since the year 2000 and nothing has been accomplished. That’s okay; let’s not judge Mayor Faulconer using the failures of his predecessors. Give the man a chance! Mayor Faulconer has made it clear that he has knocked out much of the issues that have kept previous Mayors from working on a stadium. He has filled all of the potholes, gotten the City out of bankruptcy, and a few other important issues over his first year in office. Now he is ready to focus on keeping the Chargers in San Diego. In fact, he has made it clear that he does not want the Bolts to bolt on his watch. That would not look good on a resume.
- CSAG: Mayor Faulconer has appointed a nine member group of brilliant and successful people to take a look at the stadium issue and try to come up with a way to finance the stadium and where to build it. This Citizens Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) has its work cut out for it. The most likely way to get a vote passed in San Diego is to not raise taxes. As you probably know by now, if the taxpayers have to cover a portion of the financing, it must be voted on and passed by 67% of the voters. If they can be creative enough to come up with a plan that does not raise taxes, say a loan that needs to be paid back, it only needs a 55% approval by the voters. Still a tough task, but far more likely than two-thirds.
- Spanos and Faulconer Meet: Finally, the Mayor and the Chargers CEO met to discuss what was going on and how to move forward. Going into this meeting, many shots were sent from the Chargers across the bow of the City by Chargers legal representative Mark Fabiani. It was as if anything the city said or did was not enough for Fabiani. He ripped the Mayor and the “task force” that he created at every opportunity. Then the real bombshell hit when the Bolts announced that they were looking at and moving forward on building a joint stadium in Carson, California with the Oakland Raiders! Enough was enough, at that point, and the Mayor invited Dean Spanos in for a one-on-one conversation. This may have been the best decision the Mayor has made to date. After the meeting, both the Chargers and the City said they were moving forward to work together, with the CSAG, to try to make it work in San Diego. Although the Chargers are still looking at Carson, they made it clear that it was simply plan B in case San Diego didn’t work out. Can’t blame them for wanting a backup plan, can you?
- SOB: No, I’m not just venting. That is the acronym for a new non-profit group that was created recently to raise awareness about San Diego’s need for a stadium. The Save Our Bolts group was created just a few months ago and already has over 12,000 members on Facebook! The members have already been seen on the TV news at important events and the leaders have actually had an audience with the Mayor to discuss how serious the citizens are about wanting the Bolts to stay. They have more events to come, including a rally where members will attend a public forum with the CSAG members to make sure it is known that the citizens of San Diego love their Bolts! If you want to show support or get involved with SOB, please click this link when you have completed reading this article and leaving a comment. http://tinyurl.com/qd5dhpj
I could go on and get into the fact that the Rams are still in the driver’s seat as far as moving to LA is concerned, but that drums up a lot of angles that do not necessarily lend themselves to optimism. Charger fans have a couple of options.
- They can focus on the fact that the Chargers are still here and go out and do everything they can to help keep them in San Diego.
- They can give up and write this upcoming season off as the last time that San Diego will host the NFL.
I choose the former.
Thanks for reading and please leave your comments below. Remember, this article was written from the optimist’s perspective; it obviously was not intended to represent all of the negative facts to this saga.
Go Bolts!….I mean, Stay Bolts!
(Thanks to:bigozine2.com, facebook.com, ocregister.com, youtube.com, and utsandiego.com for the pics)