Roundtable: The Chargers Are Dead To San Diego
But alive in La La Land
Friday, January 13, 2017
Aired 1/13/17 on KPBS Midday Edition.
The Chargers Skip Town
Jay Paris, freelance sportswriter
Erik Anderson, KPBS environment reporter
Tony Perry, freelance reporter
Roger Showley, San Diego Union-Tribune growth & development reporter
After 56 years in San Diego, including 33 years of Spanos family ownership and 12 years of trying to get the city to build them a new stadium, the San Diego Chargers have left the building.
The team, under board chairman Dean Spanos, at last decided to make good on the promise they had been dangling under the noses of San Diegans like a piece of stinky cheese and move to Los Angeles.
There, they will become tenants in L.A. Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke’s new Inglewood stadium. Of course it's not built yet, so the Chargers will have to spend at least two seasons playing in the StubHub stadium.
What, you ask, is a StubHub stadium? The first thing to know is not what it is, but where. StubHub Center is in Carson, a city the NFL said it didn't want the Chargers to play in after the team presented the league its plans for a stadium there.
Second, StubHub is certainly much newer than Qualcomm, which should be a good thing, but as the home field of the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, it's also decidedly cozy. It has about 27,000 seats -- about one-third the size of Qualcomm.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer learned about the decision Wednesday night, less than 24 hours before his State of the City address. At a press conference Thursday, the mayor -- along with Councilman Scott Sherman and County Supervisor Ron Roberts -- seemed blindsided and pretty ticked off.
There are lots of questions swirling around this pothole in San Diego's history. What will the impact be on the city budget? What will happen to the city-owned Qualcomm property? How many jobs will be lost -- or gained? Will we get a Major League Soccer team?
And will the Padres ever play well enough to make up for this loss?
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