Sunday, Jan. 7, 2006 | I went to a holiday party in Las Vegas hosted by former San Diegans. All of the locals told us not to worry about losing the Chargers to Vegas.
First, Nevada would have to change its state laws to permit them to operate there. Much doubt was given to this possibility to happen very soon (they figured it would take quite a while to pay off, I mean lobby, the legislature without bringing too much scrutiny).
Then, they’d have to get the NFL to give it the OK — something that is also questionable given the NFL’s feelings about gamblers and their league.
Third, Las Vegas is a city full of very recent migrants who, according to the locals, wouldn’t back a local pro team because they’re still rooting for their former hometown teams. Numerous examples of LV AAA and Pro team failures were given.
They also aren’t interested in dumping tax dollars into a new stadium (sound familiar?) and it’s unlikely that the NFL would let the casinos have anything to do with the team.
So, who in Vegas would build the stadium the Chargers would need? Who would buy the very expensive season tickets to keep them there?
The Las Vegas locals weren’t excited at all about the possibility of having the Chargers, weren’t interested in trying to make it happen, and didn’t think there was any real level of support for the team if it did move. Given all that, I’d say that Las Vegas is just a bargaining chip for the Chargers in their quest to get the maximum public contribution in San Diego and not a realistic destination for the team to move to any time soon.
So when will the SD County Charger stadium break ground? Maybe when all the cities in the county decide to quit their individual offerings and come together with a funding and site plan.