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Reviewing the Chargers' Relocation Summary

Is there anything new here, or is it more of the same old, same old?

The Chargers Proposed Stadium in Carson
The Chargers Proposed Stadium in Carson

Mostly the latter. No one should be surprised.

Does anyone expect the Chargers to deviate from their well-worn talking points about San Diego and their need to go to Los Angeles? If you did, then you're also probably the person who still believes in Santa Claus and unicorns.

So, let's take a brief look at the document and determine if there's any chicken salad mixed in with the chicken shit.

Click here to read the Executive Summary.

Page 1

  • Back to the "9 separate proposals" talking point. Again, this depends on what you mean by proposal. If by proposal, you mean location, renderings, and a financing plan, then at best the team can only claim two proposals (Mission Valley about a decade ago, and recent efforts Downtown).
  • As Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis has pointed out, the City did not kill the team's Mission Valley proposal 10 years ago. The team abandoned it because potential investors were (appropriately) concerned about the looming real estate bubble, and possibly to a lesser degree about a combative City Attorney in Mike Aguirre.

Page 2

  • I find the team's claim of spending over $20 million dollars over 14 years amusing. That averages out to about $1.42 million per year. Considering the team spent at least $22 million on 11 acres in Carson this year, it's hard to take the $20 million over 14 years claim seriously.
  • He said / she said. The Chargers claim they said they wanted Downtown. The Citizen's Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG), and local government officials repeatedly have claimed the team was "agnostic" on location, as long as the finished plan was actionable.
  • The Chargers did not claim that the Task Force would prevent a deal from taking place in 2015. They said the Task Force was unlikely to produce any new information. Nor did the Chargers publicly indicate that a stadium deal needed to be done by April 1 (at the latest) for a Special Election in January 2016.
  • Once again, the team's concerns about the expedited Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and risk of losing Los Angeles while waiting for a 2016 vote are the most reasonable and consistent reasons for the team's pursuit of relocation to Los Angeles.
  • San Diego Stadium, completed in 1967, was not designed primarily as a baseball stadium. It was a multi-purpose stadium from the moment of conception until the Padres moved out in 2003. If the design and quality was so poor, however, why on Earth did the Spanos family agree to an expansion of the facility in the 1990s, when the public support, political leaders and will, and public funding were available for the Chargers to pursue a new stadium (like the Padres did)?
  • The deferred maintenance issues are real, and continue to be a drain on City resources.
  • Nowhere is this mentioned, (not surprisingly) but the team didn't pay any of the $78 million in improvements to the stadium in the 1990s, doesn't mention the publicly subsidized training facility and headquarters in Murphy Canyon, or that the City rebated approximately $31 million of the team's approximately $36 million in rent thanks to the "Ticket Guarantee."

Page 3

  • As Darren Smith pointed out today on the Mighty 1090, the Chargers didn't cultivate the Los Angeles market so much as took advantage of a hole in the market. And it begs the question of how the team survived financially in from 1982-1994 when 2 teams were playing in Los Angeles.
  • Further, the team has yet to produce data proving that 25% off all Chargers season-ticket holders hail from Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties.
  • The Chargers can claim that privately financing a $1.2 billion stadium in San Diego is financially irresponsible, but until they disclose their annual earnings statements and a comparison of what their projected earnings would be with a new stadium, this claim deserves a healthy dose of skepticism.
  • The bottom line for the Chargers is this: They have to leave San Diego because San Diego won't give them enough money to stay.

Page 4

  • The Carson site is not shovel ready. It requires additional remediation specific to whatever is built on the landfill.
  • Current Disney CEO Robert Iger really might be the difference maker for the Chargers. He's mentioned 4 times on Page 4. He's also started assembling a team responsible for marketing and branding the franchise in Los Angeles.

In Closing

While this document contains at least some chicken salad, there's still plenty of chicken shit spread around. In the end, it's just another deployment of the Chargers' well-worn "San Diego can't get anything done, therefore we have to go to Los Angeles."