As Fans We Ask You for More Time

As the NFL owners met in Dallas yesterday, we as the voice of Chargers fans are calling on the team, the mayor, City Council, and the NFL to come back to the table with serious efforts. We had the City’s plan last year and the team’s plan this year, but, now we’re left with no real, solid plan that can prevent relocation.

We know it is easy to think of the franchises in California as chess pieces, in this high stakes games sometimes the NFL owners miss the core fuel that lights the fire of the league – fan passion. With almost six decades of loyalty, San Diego should not lose its team and deserves true leadership from the team and our elected officials.

We feel the fans concerns are being ignored. We know The NFL is a private corporation but we drive the NFL. We make the NFL work. We are merchandise sales. We are the ticket sales. We are the ratings that generate the massive TV deals.

We are pleading with the owners to extend the Chargers LA offer at least one more year to give our city a chance to close the deal. You may be familiar with our friends in Crown Downtown, it took them 3 tries to get an arena built. We ask that the NFL give us the same time frame to do the same. We understand the perception after the failed C vote and how that may seem like the last ditch effort. We thank the Spanos family for their efforts on Measure C, but, it was doomed to fail. San Diego County outside of the City limits is home to the largest population of local fans and they were not included in the vote. The high threshold for a tax increase was not a realistic possibility and should not seal the fate of professional football in this community who has been loyal to the Chargers for decades – even before the Spanos family even bought the team.

We have a unique natural environment that makes it ideal for championship games. We believe the value of the market is worth the long fight.

The Chargers in LA might solve the problem of where the team plays but will doom the franchise to try and build a fan base in a city already struggling to support one team. It will crush the existing fan base many of whom with not follow the team. We understand outside of California it seems like a short drive – what is the big deal? Imagine asking Yankees fans to follow the team to Boston or Philadelphia.

Granting relocation at this time and refusing an extension will only serve to hurt the fans that make the NFL Sundays so special. Many local businesses that thrive on their relationship with the team will also fail. We represent and support them too.

As Save Our Bolts, we call on City Leaders to act now and the NFL to give us the time finish what we have started.

Thank you kindly,
Save Our Bolts

Opinion: Envision a College Championship in San Diego

As the sports world departs Indianapolis from the NCAA Championship games concluding just last night, I wanted to take a few minutes to envision what such an event would look like here in San Diego. This is not very likely to happen with a Men’s basketball Final Four unless the stadium was built with retractable roof. It sounds as if the CSAG is not interested in having one, thinking it is not worth the cost.

For the sake of argument let’s picture an NCAA College Football Championship being held in the site proposed last week by City Councilman Scott Sherman.

We know that the current Qualcomm site is an economic black hole losing the city taxpayers anywhere from ten to fifteen million dollars in lost money in maintenance.  Economically, the city operates the stadium from that hole every year.  Despite horrible conditions in the locker rooms and stadium that is falling apart the Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls generated $30 million dollars into the local economy, this according to the study conducted by the San Diego State University Center for Hospitality and Tourism.

Since 1978, the two games have combined to generate an economic benefit of over $730 million for the San Diego region. Without a new stadium that continued impact is in jeopardy. $30 million is a lot to generate over one weekend, the Holiday bowl did that with Nebraska and USC who were not as high profile this year as a team competing for a national championship. Still, this resulted in 39,019 fans that traveled from outside the County to attend the game and an estimated 25,556 hotel room nights were sold. Total game attendance at Qualcomm Stadium was 55,789. (USC being close geographically might have decreased hotel nights sold.)

The impacts of a Super Bowl or NCAA Football Championship event here in San Diego are almost intangible but, let us envision the weekend. This is written with Councilman Scott Sherman’s suggested plan in mind.

Wednesday / Thursday Night:

The airport is so busy every shop in the terminals has to give its workers over time. Members of the sports and general media begin to show up. Many of come from cold weather states and post selfies in their short sleeves and shorts to their followers back home. They probably will take and post pictures to friends and followers of the beautiful bay. You can’t buy that kind of tourism advertisements.

The fans start to show up. Wearing their team colors they post pictures by the bay. Seaport Village is filled with visiting team hats and shirts. The bars in the Gaslamp District generate money they only see at ComicCon.

The hotels and restaurants in the Mission Valley become a hub of activity. MTS runs Trolleys between downtown and the stadium around the clock.  Tens of thousands of MTS rides are sold between the airport-downtown- mission valley.  Over the weekend anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 hotel nights are sold.

Friday:

Friday is host to the fan and radio fests at the Mission valley site/ or the convention center.  Friday could happen one of two ways.

 

1) Radio row is set up on the second floor of the convention center. Both local and visiting fans can buy a ticket to an interactive fan fest that includes games and events. Visiting fans will walk around Seaport Village and the Gaslamp looking for restaurants to eat at every table is full.  Restaurants pay overtime and hire extra staff for the overflow.

2) The Mission Valley site includes park like tailgating space on top of the parking structure and a San Antonio like River walk between the trolley and the Stadium. This could be used as a fan village. It highlights our beautiful weather and makes use of the space. The experience could be unforgettable.

Tourism maps so visitors how to get to local beaches. All this is posted to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Friends freezing back at home start thinking about a San Diego vacation.

Saturday:

San Diego is center of the sports world for the day. The media talks about the wonderful new stadium, the river walk and it is a three day love fest on the City of San Diego.  Tourism gets a free boost. Each commercial break opens with beauty shots of the city.  The party for the winning team extends through-out Ballpark Village and downtown via the trolley.

Sunday:

Restaurants are still doing huge business for brunch, the airport is slammed. The City is working on a press conference to talk about all the money generated. They start making plans for turning that money into road repair and balance the books overdue infrastructure projects.

Envision it, San Diego. Envision a Super Bowl. Envision a solutionSave Our Bolts is not just about the Chargers it is a civic issue.

David Agranoff
Vice President

CSAG Live Chat With Bolts From The Blue – Monday at 10:30am

Members of CSAG sat down with founder of Bolts from the Blue John Gennaro to answer some pressing questions surrounding the stadium proposal. Jim Steeg, Tony Manolatos and Adam Day will be joining BFTB again on Monday morning at 10:30am for a live chat. Below are some highlights from the Q&A session posted on the BFTB blog. You can see the full Q&A by clicking here.

Q&A Highlights

“​We believe it is important that the Chargers organization increase its ability to financially compete with other NFL teams.​” –Jim Steeg ​

“PSLs will likely be a component of any financing plan, but probably 10 percent or less.” –Jim Steeg

“CSAG’s research steered all 9 members to Mission Valley, including several who initially favored Downtown, because it’s less expensive, faster, and less complicated. If the Chargers are serious about Downtown, the team, as a good faith gesture, should sign a 7-year lease extension at Qualcomm to give the City the time it would need to relocate MTS, clean up the bus yard, and buy multiple pieces of land from different owners.” –Adam Day

“The stadium issue has been around a dozen years, but it’s not accurate to suggest any one person or issue is to blame. Multiple factors played a role, including the infamous “ticket guarantee” between the city and the team, which cost San Diego taxpayers millions of dollars and wasn’t lifted until the 2004 season.” –Adam Day

What Would It Mean if the Chargers Leave?

Derek Togerson, of NBC 7 San Diego, reflects on the impact to the City and County of San Diego if the Chargers were to leave town. With the San Diego Chargers being a strong force in the community, what organization could replace that? As most of us know, the impact of losing the team would be enormouse. Here is just a small sample of the organizations that the Chargers are actively involved with locally.

• San Diego Unified Schools, largely in Physical Fitness and Athletics for K-12
• San Diego Blood Bank
• StarPal
• Susan G Komen
• Marines/Military, including the Armed Services
• SD County Adoptions Calendar Project
• Make-a-Wish Foundation
• Youth Football Organizations Across San Diego
In addition to the emotional impact for fans and those who are directly related to the team’s outreach programs, is the City ready to lose guaranteed revenue for the next 50 years? Click here to read more on how the Colts leaving Baltimore in 1984 affected their city.

Voice of San Diego Fact Checks Stadium Hurdles

A few days ago, several members of Save Our Bolts attended the Economic Development and Intergovermental Relations committee meeting. You probably heard Adam Day’s presentation to the committee about the selection of the Mission Valley site. In addition to gathering this information, we at Save Our Bolts interacted with Lisa Halverstadt from Voice of San Diego. Thus far, they have written about everything from the status of the plume under Qualcomm Stadium to breaking down what the Chargers want out of a new one.  Their goal is to address the current state of the stadium, and to get answers to the land use, development and financial questions that will come up.

We wanted to share their most recent article to keep you informed and allow you to share this information with other San Diegans that may not know all the ins and outs of the information coming to light. Click the link below to read more about the VOSD’ project.

Fact Check: Plume Under Qualcomm Stadium

Voice of San Diego’ Investigative and Explanatory Stadium Project

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of SaveOurBolts.org.