Reader Al Davis asks for an update on the Charger stadium efforts. This is a question I have answered hundreds of times at the many, many Rotary Club speeches and public presentations we have made in the community — and are still making, every week. But Al’s post prompted me to think that since the stadium saga has been going on now for more than five years, maybe I need a snappy video to help summarize everything that’s happened in just a few minutes. My model would be “seven minute sopranos”, which, if you’re a “Sopranos” fan as I am, you simply must watch on the eve of Sunday’s upcoming finale:

In the absence of any video-making capabilities early this morning, however, let me try to give you “The Five-Years-in-Seven-Bullets Charger Stadium Summary”:

  • It took us a while, but the Chargers finally accomplished everything people asked us to do: Abolish the ticket guaranty — end the controversy and litigation about triggers — move the training camp back to San Diego — put an exciting, winning team on the field n devise a plan to privately finance both the stadium and the infrastructure around it — show patience to see the difficult process through. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. And done.
  • Meanwhile San Diego City Hall plunges into crisis. Four mayors in a one-year span— audits — investigations — trials — indictments — more trials — a razor thin victory for chronic Charger opponent Mike Aguirre — confusion about who’s really in charge — the legal process used to settle political and personal scores — and on and on and on.
  • No private investor of any size and reputation wants any part of this mess.
  • Despite all of this, the Chargers still refuse to talk to cities outside San Diego County and the Chargers begin to seek solutions elsewhere in the County.
  • The Chargers pay $220,000 (and counting) for the City of Chula Vista to conduct a site study (due to be released this month). The team agrees to pay for a market study of the potential for office space development on the Oceanside Goat Hill golf course site.
  • And all the while, over five years, the project costs for the stadium alone more than double, from $400 million in 2002 to $800 million-plus in 2007. And that doesn’t count the infrastructure improvements.
  • When all is said and done, and no matter what you think of the Chargers’ proposed stadium financing concept, no one can argue with this basic statement: The Chargers are still trying to accomplish something that has never been done before — the private financing of an NFL stadium.

So there you have it n five years and millions of dollars of work in just seven bullets. Now, on to more important stuff: Does anyone have a prediction for Tony’s fate on Sunday’s final “Sopranos?”


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.