In case you missed it, measure C, the plan that would have given the Chargers a brand new, non tax payer funded, downtown stadium got struck down with a vengeance by the citizens of San Diego. So what is next for the San Diego Chargers? Vegas? Los Angeles? Franchise disbandment?
If you ask me, someone who is currently studying sports business, the answer to that is none of the above.
The reason that it would not be Las Vegas, is because the Oakland Raiders have already been in talks with the city of Las Vegas and a move there is all but official. However, with the large amount of gambling that goes on in Las Vegas, something tells me Mr. Goodell is going to do anything in his power to not let that move happen. The Raiders fanbase or “Raider Nation”, is the perfect candidate for Las Vegas because of the large amount of residents that migrated from California. It is one team that is guaranteed to bring in a lot of money not just for the organization itself, but for the city of Las Vegas as well. So Vegas is out for the San Diego Chargers.
The issue with Los Angeles is that it is now Rams country after the team recently left St Louis. Before the Rams left for St Louis, they were the longest tenured team in Los Angeles, so as I stated before, they practically almost had an established fan base, minus of course the ones that became Raiders fans when the Raiders spent their time in LA. Citizens of Los Angeles do not want the Chargers; several fan polls done by ESPN and Fox Sports proved that earlier this year (2016). Not to mention there is a reason that the Chargers left the Los Angeles area in the very early stages of the franchise.
Now to franchise disbandment: This is a possibility so do not think that it is not. It is a highly unlikely possibility but it is still there. Let’s call it the worst case scenario. The reason this is a possibility is because San Diego is a bandwagon sports town – a transplant city. If you do not believe me, just look at the stands from this past Sunday, or look at how much measure C lost by. In places like San Francisco, you can not walk a city block without seeing at least seven 49ers logos. In San Diego, you are lucky to walk two miles to see one bolt on the window of a bar. They can not trust the fans in their own city to show up to games, and the answer to that is a whole other discussion/debate.
What I honestly believe will end up happening is the Chargers are going to have to look somewhere in San Diego county for a beachfront stadium. Why the beach you ask? It brings more people in and it encompasses what is so great about San Diego.
How great would a tailgate on the beach be?
The Chargers would be able to enclose an area specifically for that and charge per tailgater, similar to what the Arizona Cardinals do with the great lawn. There is a large amount of the population that likes to go to the beach, so not only would it give the Chargers a new stadium location, but you will see an increase in single game tickets, and more importantly, season ticket sales. On top of all of that, it will make San Diego eligible to host the greatest money makers in all of sports; like the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the college football championship.
Just my take, thank you for reading.
On Sunday morning I didn’t scroll down too far on my Facebook newsfeed when San Diego’s own XETV (San Diego6-The CW) posted this question as their Facebook question of the day: Would you be willing to travel to Los Angeles to see the San Diego Chargers if the team moved for a new stadium?
Needless to say, the comments ranged from people threatening to burn their Chargers’ gear to many who expressed their disdain for having to travel to San Diego from….Fallbrook(?). What was disheartening to this writer covering the San Diego Chargers is that some fans all but insinuated for the door not to hit the team’s butt when the team does leave.
There are some facts (a few verified, many speculation) that need to be addressed. The Chargers lease with the city is not long-term. Truth is, the team can opt-out between the months of February-May. It has been this way since 2007. Los Angeles does not have the state of the art stadium built. Both proposals by Anschutz Entertainment Group and Ed Roski say that shovels won’t begin digging until a team has made a commitment to move to Los Angeles. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times from Sunday, the National Football League is proposing financing a stadium with their own money. The investment would be recoup through the sale of naming rights, personal seat licenses and so on. In addition, the stadium would be added to the Super Bowl site rotations.
In our backyard, the Chargers quest for a new stadium has been ongoing for 12 years. The San Diego Union-Tribune states that seven mayors have run the city in that time span. Currently, no site has been selected. Although the same Union-Tribune says that a possible scenario would put a future stadium on adjacent land to the Q. The team would continue to play in the current stadium until construction is complete and the stadium demolished to make way for a parking structure. Preliminary talks between the city and the team began in April.
Based on Facebook comments this writer has read, residents don’t want a new stadium to be paid for with their taxes. Reports are also stating that the earliest a ballot measure for a new Charger stadium could be voted on is November 2016. Yes sir, choose your president and decide the fate of your team. So who has about $1 billion in their couch cushions?
I’m not Nostradamus here, but I feel like both sides are at an impasse. The NFL continues to dangle the Los Angeles market like a carrot to cities with older stadiums. Minneapolis took the bait and will open a new Vikings stadium in 2016. The St. Louis Rams and the city are about $600 million apart with owner Stan Kroenke purchasing 60 acres of land in Inglewood, California, fueling more speculation about a possible Rams move. Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium opens this upcoming season and will host Super Bowl 50. The Oakland Raiders have nixed the idea of sharing the stadium with the 49ers. The Chargers most hated rivals have their own stadium issues.
My colleague here at BoltBlitz, Thomas Powell, said it best when I asked for his opinion, “With time running out on the lease at the Q and no real stadium in site until the ballot vote November 2016, (relocation speculation) will continue.”
Leave it to Facebook questions by the San Diego media to keep bringing the LA issue up. Frankly, I hope I speak for a lot of BoltBlitz readers and wish everyone would just focus on winning football.