Chargers Editorial: Citizens Are Responsible for Stadium Debacle

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Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego

After years of threats and ill will, the San Diego Chargers now seem poised for a move up Interstate 5 to the Los Angeles area. The team has seemingly burned most of its bridges in San Diego in an attempt to soften the loss of the team. If the Chargers leave the city of San Diego, it will truly be one of the darkest days in San Diego Sports history, if not THE darkest. Philip Rivers, Eric Weddle, Antonio Gates all playing in a different city would be a disaster for the city of San Diego.

I can remember going to San Diego Clippers game as a young boy. My father took me to many games and seeing professional basketball players first hand was a memory that I will always treasure. I was too young to understand why the Clippers left, and to be honest I was not a huge fan of the sport of basketball. So I frankly could care less. Seeing them depart was rough for the city, but I never really understood why they left. I do now in my old age.

From 1978-1984 the San Diego Clippers played in the Sports Arena for many San Diegans. The team struggled to compete only having one winning season in the franchises history. In the ending years of the franchise they played to crowds of 1,500 to 4,000 people. That kind of showing is horrendous and it is no wonder the team high tailed it out of here after Donald Sterling purchased the team. The buisness of professional sports is just that. A buisness. If you don’t support the team, they will simply go elsewhere.

Fast forward to what the city now faces with the Chargers and it’s quite evident to me who is to blame for the problems. Its plain and simply the fans and citizens of San Diego. Visiting Qualcomm Stadium you will plainly see the place is a dump. Paint is chipping, rails are loose, horrible wi-fi connection problems in the hot and cramped Press Level. The list goes on and on. The stadium has a nostalgic feel to it and it’s always great to see a game there, but compared to the newer stadiums, it’s a joke. With the arrival of young talented players like Melvin Gordon, Kyle Emanuel, Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o the team should have some security to where it will play in the near future. That is still very much up in the air.

After the 1994 Super Bowl run the San Diego Chargers asked the city for an expansion to the stadium. The city and voters gladly approved (on the high of the Super Bowl showing) and that essentially pushed the Padres out the door. They struck gold with a 1998 World Series appearance and were granted a new stadium in a refurbished downtown area of San Diego. Petco Park is a beautiful ball park and will be adequate for the Padres for decades upon decades. Building the stadium was no easy task though, as San Diego is full of progressive anti-sports activist who would love nothing better to do than waste tax payers money in their false campaigns for righteousness.

In this era we live in professional athletes and entertainers are society’s most important people. These individuals are put on pedestals because we see them on a daily basis and in some far off way we relate to them. The San Diego Chargers represent the city of San Diego. They are San Diego. When you speak to someone who has never been to the city of San Diego, chances are they are aware of who the Chargers are. Even if you do not care for sports, the Chargers are a trophy for the city. If you allow them to leave, you are not doing what is best for the city. The emotional loss the team would bring would be devastating but lets delve into the financial side impact of the team leaving.

Mandatory Credit: San Diego Travel
Mandatory Credit: San Diego Travel

The city of San Diego is a perfect venue for the Super Bowl. The NFL had granted three Super Bowl games to the city and surely would want more in our beautiful city but Qualcomm is in no shape to handle the world coverage. The revenue generated to the city from a Super Bowl would be huge. The event is a week-long extravaganza in which tens of thousands of people would be in the city spending their hard-earned money. Hotels and restaurant would benefit and so would many other business owners.

Building a new stadium or drastically renovating Qualcomm will be no easy task. Getting anything major like that within the city will be an uphill battle but if enough people voice their opinion, the opposition to a new stadium will plain and simply go away. The Chargers do not seem receptive to staying, but there is a chance the NFL steps in and tells them to negotiate with the city.

With all this nonsense going around its hard to point a finger at one particular party. The Chargers have been more than patient in waiting for a new stadium. To blame them entirely wouldn’t be fair. The taxpayers and citizens have been fickle in deciding the future of this team and look where we are now. Will the Chargers stay in San Diego? A playoff run would help secure the team stays in San Diego, but truly anything can happen.

The bottom line is the fans of the Chargers must support this team. Not selling out games or allowing visiting teams to dominate the stands cannot be tolerated anymore. I understand San Diego is a great travel destination and many NFL fans will come here to watch their team, however when the stands are made up 30-50 percent opposing teams fans, something needs to change. Take responsibility Chargers fans and support this team if you want them to stay. If not, they will find a new home very easily. That is a shame but the cold hard reality.

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