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Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Re: Scott Lewis‘ “How to Keep the Chargers Here.” The problem is that there is too much common sense in the ideas stated by Scott Lewis, many of which have been expounded at great length on this site and many others on the issue of keeping the Chargers the San Diego Chargers.
My problem is that the city of San Diego has never attempted to negotiate on the Chargers revised deal which would have not required the fiscally-challenged city of San Diego to put any money up. As in starting with negotiating on the density of the proposed residential development on the site.
My other major problem is that not one single “political leader” has taken the opportunity to truly act like one and seek to resolve the issues at developing a stadium at Qualcomm which, in the final analysis is the best site from an from an economic, fiscal, and community impact perspective other than perhaps a location downtown.
The facts are that Mission Valley is in great need of the privately funded public infrastructure improvements proposed by the Chargers whether or not the Chargers play there and for certain if and when the site is eventually developed to its residential/commercial highest and best use if the Chargers are not there. MV residents have long been clamoring for a community park which the Chargers would build and maintain at no cost to the city or its residents during the term of a new stadium lease; a location outside of Mission Valley but within the County of San Diego will likely mean the eventual end of the Aztecs Football Division 1 status and diminish the city of San Diego’s fiscal benefits gained by hosting future Superbowls. And beyond all this, the city of San Diego and thus its citizens will still be on the financial hook paying more than we receive whether or not the Chargers pay off the stadium bonds upon leaving until such time the city resolves the same development issues of the site it faces now.
No one has challenged the city of San Diego to do what is in the best interest of the region as a whole. And that includes the County Board of Supervisors. The easiest and most likely successful action the County Supervisors can take that will keep the Chargers the San Diego Chargers given the approaching January 1, 2007 date when all bets will be off, is to simply provide the city of San Diego the use of the same stadium consultants the city so shortsightedly did not hire or even retain in February of 2005, due to its self-imposed fiscal crisis.
In other words, our best bet is to publicly challenge and/or politically pressure the city of San Diego to perform the very job they have been elected to do. And it starts with removing the city of San Diego’s excuse of its inability to pay for its own stadium consultants which the County Board of Supervisors is now in a position to do.