Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | I read over the article about the Charger’s being a net-operating loss to the city. I don’t agree with the writer’s insinuation that the team is bad for San Diego’s overall economy. There is a lot of money generated by Qualcomm stadium and the Chargers that is difficult to quantify, these were completely ignored by Mr. Florido.
Tax revenues from the thousands of visitors that fly to San Diego every time we have a home game are more than enough to offset a small annual operating loss ($166k/year is peanuts for a city this size). There are a lot of other revenue generating events (car sales, car racing, Aztec games, concerts…) that go on at Qualcomm stadium; a venue that would disappear if we didn’t support the Chargers. Or consider the amount of revenue generated by San Diego bars and restaurants every time we have a playoff game. And then there is the Super Bowl in 2003. That single event generated $367 million for the city. That is enough to pay the $500k in 3 years operating loss for over 700 years!
There is another important item that Mr. Florido conveniently ignores, the Chargers are a beacon of pride and history for many San Diegans. It is easy to write an article about numbers released by the city auditors, but much more difficult to step back and look at the big picture. The Chargers have been here for nearly 50 years and are the only NFL team in Southern California. It is impossible to put a price tag on that, even if you not a NFL fan.