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San Diego Union-Tribune

Citizens line up to root against -- and for -- the S.D. Chargers

March 8, 2003

Abstract:
I am not sure why the city is baafahing the idea of the Chargers developing the land in Mission Valley. What is there now? A useless eyesore of a stadium that is too big for baseball and too small for football. By today's standards, the unit is structurally unsound. No one wants to pay to sit in the skyboxes. The city has made, time and time again, errors in judgment in dealing with the Chargers.

Allowing the Chargers full access to the plot in Mission Valley allows the city to right a stupid mistake and ensures the Chargers staying in San Diego. The city has a history of mucking things up. Let people with good business sense develop that land. They can't do anything without the city's approval anyway.

Solution: Redevelop the site with a new stadium. It means more city revenues and a beautiful new facility of which the Chargers and the city can be proud. It will have a useful life of 30-plus years (which no one can argue Qualcomm has), and very likely put San Diego in place for a return of the Super Bowl every few years.

Full Text:
Copyright SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY Mar 8, 2003

Wouldn't it be nice if the owners of the Padres and Chargers demanded a reservoir?

LEROY SMITH
San Diego

I am not sure why the city is baafahing the idea of the Chargers developing the land in Mission Valley. What is there now? A useless eyesore of a stadium that is too big for baseball and too small for football. By today's standards, the unit is structurally unsound. No one wants to pay to sit in the skyboxes. The city has made, time and time again, errors in judgment in dealing with the Chargers.

You can hate Spanos. But from a business standpoint, he has done everything he can to do what is best for his business. He is a shrewd businessman. He got a cherry deal legally agreed upon by the buffoons on the City Council and ran with it. Who wouldn't? He isn't running a Special Olympics Camp; he is running a professional football team.

If the Chargers are willing to pay 100 percent of a stadium and want developmental rights, and the proposal gets the city out of a bad ticket deal, let them have it. You can't do anything with land with a concrete tomb on it. You can't sustain a football program at SDSU to justify the expense of a new stadium. You can't continue to play football at Qualcomm.

Allowing the Chargers full access to the plot in Mission Valley allows the city to right a stupid mistake and ensures the Chargers staying in San Diego. The city has a history of mucking things up. Let people with good business sense develop that land. They can't do anything without the city's approval anyway.

Think of it as the Sovereign Nation of the Chargers but instead of a casino, they have a stadium; plus, the city will reap many benefits in return.

PAUL BURWICK
Escondido

As long as the Chargers organization can be allowed -- by the powers that are -- to feel taxpayers are responsible for its financial health, those who do not accept that obligation will be bitter, disgruntled, outraged.
Since when is the financial well-being of any private entrepreneur the obligation of the taxpayer? If the Chargers owner can tap public funds to maintain his net worth, where do the rest of us go to sign up for a financial guarantee? What happened to "private" enterprise? What happened to "taking personal responsibility?"

If all that is required is proof of loss, there are thousands of us who have taken direct hits from the stock and bond markets. On the -- is it 350 ? -- days the Chargers do not use the stadium it can be used to hold registration for financial guarantees. We can sign up and the city can pay. If there is no money in the general fund, well, just issue bonds. I will happily submit statements on 401(k) and IRA accounts if that is all that is needed to obligate the City of San Diego. Perhaps the city's retirees should be allowed to be at the head of the line.

GINNY MOJZESZ
Bonita

After all the tens of millions of dollars the Chargers have sucked out of our pockets and all the deception, it's nice to know from the team's full-page ad March 5 that it is "now ready" to engage in negotiations with us. I guess they weren't "then."

They'd like to "eliminate" the ticket guarantee? Why? It's worked so well for them. As the negotiations begin, they say they do not "intend" to talk to other cities, but you know that they will with all that money at stake. I really feel that they've been on the phones all across this country before they came up with this one- page plea.

They'd also like to discuss how it would be possible for them to pay for 100 percent of the costs. Why didn't they throw that carrot out in front of us so many mediocre seasons ago? It sounds as though the fat cats finally have their backs against the wall.

This team doesn't "better serve all San Diegans," just the 10 percent that live for football. Game over.

CHRISTOPHER McFOOTE
Pacific Beach

Fact: Whether you believe Qualcomm is OK as is or not, the stadium site could be better used if redeveloped.

Fact: Redeveloping the site cannot be done with the current stadium in place. Therefore, if the Chargers are forced to stay in the existing stadium, the site cannot be redeveloped.

Fact: Losing the Chargers also would mean the loss of future Super Bowls, the Aztecs football program, the Holiday Bowl and, eventually, the stadium itself as a venue for the hundreds of other events held there.

Solution: Redevelop the site with a new stadium. It means more city revenues and a beautiful new facility of which the Chargers and the city can be proud. It will have a useful life of 30-plus years (which no one can argue Qualcomm has), and very likely put San Diego in place for a return of the Super Bowl every few years.

The only consideration is how much, if any, taxpayers contributes to this effort. The task force has given its recommendations, the Chargers have made their proposal and are willing to discuss others, and the negotiation period is here. This is good for the City of San Diego; don't let this opportunity pass.

BILL HAMLIN
San Diego

What great news to hear a coalition has been formed to back the new stadium. I find it interesting that "most of its organizers also are members of the San Diego International Sports Council."

What I propose to Adam Day, a public affairs director with the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, whose group believes a stadium is a "good" investment, is that in addition to promoting dialogue he get his members together and commit the funds. As a voter, I do not want any money from our general fund, no new sales tax except possibly TOT tax (hoteliers won't like this a bit) and no land giveaways like the Naval Training Center. Why? Because our city has already paid its dues through ticket guarantees and stadium renovations.

It's time that someone who likes the idea of a new stadium comes up the cash. Based on the Sports Council member list, there should be some big bucks willing to step up. If they aren't interested in this great "investment," let's forget about it and make the Chargers stay, pay and play.

DEBORA GREENE
San Diego

Does Alex Spanos not read the newspaper? Our governor slashed the budget for education. How many teachers may lose their jobs? Some football players make more in a year than these people will make in a lifetime. How about taking this energy and pouring it into the schools? Raise money to improve education.
Let's get our priorities straight.

Further, Spanos can take his team elsewhere. Other major cities survived when they were backed against a wall.

CHARLOTTE MARSHALL
Santee

 



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