I am a one issue voter. When it comes to San Diego politics, that puts me square in line with the owners of the Union Tribune, excuse me, UT San Diego. Allow me to explain.
The UT was purchased recently by Douglass Manchester. He purchased it for one reason: To get the San Diego Chargers the New Stadium. I have no direct knowledge of the finances of the UT, but it seems that it was bought for about $50m. This is actually a pretty good investment if you have $50m to invest and fight for in San Diego real estate. The UT has now become a mouthpiece whose sole priority is a New Stadium for the Chargers. So here’s what’s going to happen.
The UT will continue for the next few years more-or-less as it is while driving up support for the New Stadium and telling the world. There will be casualties. Poor Tim Sullivan is a very talented writer and was one who, while at the UT, was arguably the best on the staff. Mr. Sullivan was interesting, factual and made sports writing fun again for San Diegans. He actually cared about the Padres and Chargers and, indeed, San Diego like family. He thought of himself too much as a reporter and not enough as a mouthpiece for the UT.
So, he got fired.
Now we have Nick Canepa and Kevin Acee who have a third grade punny outlook on writing that feels more banter than informational. These will be the voice of San Diego beat writing with Official Access(OA).
After the New Stadium is built, the UT will cease to exist as we know it; We’ve seen it happen before. The UT will be sold, broken down for parts. While Manchester seems to see dollar signs in downtown redevelopment, his cherry on top will be the Mission Valley UT building itself.
In an interview with Voice of San Diego, a nonprofit news organization, Mr. Manchester made no secret of his desire to redevelop "the prime Mission Valley parcel on which the paper's headquarters sit." Mr. Manchester, like many other newspaper buyers, did not return requests for an interview.
In other words, look for that sleepy part of Mission Valley to get redeveloped (along with QUALCOMM stadium/Jack Murphy Field, btw.) The Chargers knowingly or not got themselves involved with someone who has their own motives. It rather doesn’t matter whose riding whose coattails in this situation, but the New Stadium is getting built.
The stadium with hopefully an arena will get built for $400m from Chargers, $400m city/county and $200m state. Qualcomm and the Sports Arena will get redeveloped and turned into something hopefully good.
In the end, we get the Chargers forever. The Manchester and the Spanos Family will make billions. And I want that. I am a one issue voter.