City Seal The City of San Diego
HomeContact the City
City Seal
City Seal Business City Hall Community Departments Information Leisure Services A-Z Visiting
Citizens' Task Force on Chargers Issues
Citizens' Task Force on Chargers Issues Home About the Task Force Task Force Meetings Documents
Documents
San Diego Union-Tribune

Stadium search ... Chargers and task force must work together

Dec 15, 2002

Abstract:
Today, this valuable site in the heart of Mission Valley is vastly underutilized, and actually is a money-loser for the city. A billion-dollar-plus redevelopment of this acreage, similar to what is occurring in the downtown ballpark district, would generate millions of dollars a year in fresh tax revenues, while also providing a new stadium for the Chargers. In a report to the task force, the San Diego Sports Council outlined a privately funded study underscoring the feasibility of such a project. Meanwhile, consultants working for the Chargers are producing a more-detailed proposal along the same lines.

To act in good faith and support the orderly process put in place by the mayor and council, the Chargers must put aside any notion of exercising the "out" clause in their lease during the 60-day window that concludes at the end of next month. By abruptly serving notice that they intend to shop the team to other cities, the Chargers likely would destroy the promising process now under way.



Full Text:
Copyright SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY Dec 15, 2002

By rebuffing the Chargers' bid to renegotiate their lease in San Diego, the City Council has made it unmistakably plain that the search for a fiscally prudent plan to keep the team here will follow a singular track. That is the citizens task force created by Mayor Murphy and the council to evaluate options.

The next few weeks will be critical to the ultimate success or failure of the panel's mission. But by now it should be clear to everyone that the only way the task force can fulfill its extraordinarily difficult job is if it has the full cooperation of the Chargers.

At the moment, relations between the team and the task force are needlessly strained. Some panel members, including chairman David Watson, complain that the team has not provided all of the information sought by the task force. Some members also are frustrated that the Chargers' proposed redevelopment plan for the Qualcomm site will not be ready for unveiling until mid-January, a month behind schedule.

Now that the citizens group is the only game in town, it is crucial that both its members and the Chargers work together diligently to find a solution for keeping the team here that will be embraced by voters.

The encouraging reality is that, as Watson noted in an interview with the Union-Tribune editorial board, the outlines of a sweeping deal are already coming into view. The solution lies in a large- scale redevelopment of the 166 acres surrounding Qualcomm Stadium.

Today, this valuable site in the heart of Mission Valley is vastly underutilized, and actually is a money-loser for the city. A billion-dollar-plus redevelopment of this acreage, similar to what is occurring in the downtown ballpark district, would generate millions of dollars a year in fresh tax revenues, while also providing a new stadium for the Chargers. In a report to the task force, the San Diego Sports Council outlined a privately funded study underscoring the feasibility of such a project. Meanwhile, consultants working for the Chargers are producing a more-detailed proposal along the same lines.

Granted, many big issues remain to be worked out. Perhaps the most important is who would shoulder the costs of a new football stadium. The Chargers and the National Football League have offered to pay a "substantial" share of the costs, while expecting the taxpayers to contribute as well. Such issues can be worked out through hard bargaining between the team and the city. In the end, the voters must be given the final say over whether to proceed on the deal.

To act in good faith and support the orderly process put in place by the mayor and council, the Chargers must put aside any notion of exercising the "out" clause in their lease during the 60-day window that concludes at the end of next month. By abruptly serving notice that they intend to shop the team to other cities, the Chargers likely would destroy the promising process now under way.

Rather than pull the 60-day trigger -- and in the process alienate the task force, the City Council and the voters of San Diego -- the Chargers should work with the citizens panel in a spirit of genuine cooperation to reach the solution that already is in sight.

 



| Citizens' Task Force Home | About the Task Force | Task Force Meetings | Documents | Top of Page |
Site Map Privacy Notice Disclaimers