As the Chargers keep waiting for the powers-that-be in San Diego to fuel the effort to build a new stadium, the latest story on the effort reveals the biggest reason why the project is going nowhere.
Actually, it’s 700 million reasons.
Chargers chief marketing officer Ken Derrett recently spoke at a local event, lauding the economic benefits of having an NFL team in town. The article regarding Derrett’s remarks published by U-T San Diego reveals the loose funding formula.
Derrett points out that the NFL contributed $200 million to the construction of the new 49ers stadium and that owner Dean Spanos could kick in another $100 million. Jonathan Horn of U-T San Diego writes that “leaves a gap” for the rest.
Yes it does. A $700 million gap.
“I think that’s the discussion and debate that has gone on, and there should be more of it,” Derrett said. “Where will that money come from? I mean, we’ve all seen what has gone on with the discussion and debate around the Convention Center project and I think many other cities in North America have found ways to work with the tourism authorities on some kind of a tax [on hotels or car rentals]. We’re not there yet, I think we’ve got to see how things unfold these next six months.”
The Chargers have been remarkably patient, especially since they have a buyout that gets smaller and smaller each year at Qualcomm Stadium. Of course, it’s easy to be patient when there’s really nowhere else to go.
Los Angeles is the most viable option, but there’s no viable option in L.A. for a new stadium, yet. With the Rams suddenly available to move anywhere after the 2014 season and the Raiders dealing with a venue that recently resembled Andy Dufresne’s “500 yards of sh-t-smelling foulness I can’t even imagine,” the Chargers eventually won’t be stuck in a bad stadium in San Diego. They’ll be stuck there while competing with the Rams and/or the Raiders in a brand-new building in L.A.
So the Chargers need to leverage L.A. into a new stadium now, or they need to spearhead the construction of a new stadium in Los Angeles and move there.