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Sorry LT, but I took the liberty. (PS: you’re the BOMB!) The Chargers’ success in finding a solution here in San Diego is unfortunately directly tied to their on-field heroics. The various backers in the private sector can’t do it alone. There is a public vote likely at some point, which means the public needs to be “charged” up (if you’ll excuse the pun) to make a good decision. That’s not to say the business community has sat idly by. In fact, despite comments to the contrary in recent media reports, organizations like the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation have been meeting with the Chargers, the various cities and legal and development experts to push along the proposal for a new stadium.  

These efforts have largely been private, allowing the Chargers to do their external relations in the best way imaginable…WINNING!  

This recipe for success was made by the San Diego Padres in their quest for a new facility, which has been a HUGE success and has led to many millions, if not billions, in economic development in the East Village (if only it were that easy to field a winning team at the right time). 

Sometimes it takes success to breed success, and in the case of sports franchises, particularly with the cynical opportunists who simplistically describe professional sports as an unnecessary entertainment option, this is predictably true. So far for the Chargers, winning is succeeding. One need only to look around this town to see the Charger emblazoned hats, shirts, jerseys, bumper stickers and flags that visually demonstrate that a pro sports franchise is more than entertainment, it is about civic pride and identity. San Diego has needed this kind of boost for some time, and if, just if, the Chargers are fortunate enough (carried on the feet of LaDainian Tomlinson and the arm of Phillip Rivers) to win the Super Bowl, it will have a long and lasting positive benefit to not just the region’s financial bottom line, but our civic pride. It might also have the collateral benefit of motivating our elected leaders to find a solution to keep the team here in San Diego. 

I know there is cynicism about the region’s elected officials being able to cobble together a complicated plan to make this happen. I also know that there is a perception that the Chargers are looking to other markets, including South Orange County. All I can say is that in speaking to them directly (and I have no business relationship with them whatsoever), they have said that’s not the case and I am left with no other option but to believe them.  

I think its incumbent on all of us to make a resolution for 2007 to do whatever it takes to keep the Chargers here.

CRAIG BENEDETTO

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