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The Case For Letting The San Diego Chargers Go

The Case For Letting The San Diego Chargers Go
The Case For Letting The San Diego Chargers Go
The Case For Letting The San Diego Chargers Go GUESTS:Marti Emerald, councilwoman, City of San Diego Liam Dillon, senior reporter, Voice of San Diego

Our top story on midday edition, next Monday, San Diego city and county leaders will meet with NFL owners committee in the Chicago. It's part of the continuing effort to persuade the league with the city's new Chargers Stadium plan is viable and the team should return to the negotiating table. Since the start of the Stadium planning effort the sense has been that most San Diegan's including leaders and politicians are gung [ NULL ] to keep the charges from moving. Recently, there have been other voices raised questioning the amount of time and money going into the one-sided Chargers relationship and when or if it would be so bad if the bolts of deadbolt. Joining me are San Diego city Council member Marti Emerald, councilwoman, City of San Diego and Liam Dillon, senior reporter, Voice of San Diego. Party voted against a viable impact report why did you vote against that? Was money that should be used for city services. Some say $2 million, though from the sky, that's just a fairytale. Those $2 million was reimbursing the city for the cost of administering state mandated programs. It was reimbursing money we had spent any could go a long way. I love Liam Dillon's reporting on this issue. Especially says this is real money not to change. We them, you outlined a number of things the money may have gone for, tell us about that. Therefore additional hours for every branch library, every immigration center for a year, not to mention a number of infrastructure projects. Any couple million dollars helps put in new side of box or paved roads. All the things of the city does,. It could light up more streets. We could purchase 1000 more streetlights and we know that helps reduce crime. We could buy two or three do fire engines. Those are very expensive. We could fund all civilian positions within the San Diego Police Department for one year with 2 million $2,020,000. Right now our dispatchers are working mandatory overtime, we are so shorthanded. The list goes on. This is real money, it's being spent on the EIR for Stadium the Chargers safety do not want to occupy. They have said no. We need to recognize that that knows no. We need to refocus on the needs of the city. We have an obligation to taxpayers to spend money to benefit opportunities. We are finally in a position to be able to do that after years of squandering opportunities, been kicked off the bond markets for dishonesty about our debts. The great recession and here we are now the economy is improving, we have an opportunity to repave streets, to fix public buildings, to modernize our sewer and my -- water systems. We need to keep our eye on the ball. Let me put some of the reasons people have voted for this. City leaders are working very hard to get this expedited on the table. So they can persuade the NFL owners of the charges should come back to the table and negotiate. The speaker of the assembly was here yesterday, she says she wants to work with the city to make sure the lawsuits arise from the fastrak environment would be expedited. Is a whole machine working to try to get this accomplished. The only missing element is the Chargers The data city Council voted on this $2.1 million for the EIR, there are saying it was a waste of money. It was a misguided strategy. They have no interest in best. It can be hard of their hard bargaining strategy but I believe that the Chargers are doing what's best for the Chargers. They see an opportunity in Carson, they're getting Corporation is see it as an opportunity to expand their team. They no longer want to be in San Diego and we need to take it seriously. What's your assessment of public opinion on this Stadium deal. To see there's been a turn since the Chargers have been so uncooperative and it seems the price tag for the city is becoming something we are actually seeing. I think there are a lot of people who are afraid to let the public weigh in on what the position will be. Their hardcourt events in the city will say yes because they want the team here. There are number of people who saved is a penny a public dollars, you are probably, roughly, 25% on each anything more than that. Depending on the amount of money being allocated. This has been an issue for a decade or more and no one has ever taken a time to get a formal vote for this advisory or not on what the public opinion actually is. The city did sponsor task force a number of years ago. Like so many other studies done on sports facilities found that a sports venue loses money. As busy as all come in sick today, we still subsidize the general fund to the to know about 10 or $11 million. To go to the voters and say vote for this copper knowing full well is going to be a losing investments, this is not good policy. We still hear that argument about a new stadium and the Chargers remaining in San Diego having a positive economic impact on this city. That's something you have written about the That's absolutely wrong. Some 85% say stating investments are bad for cities. Benefit is to say -- I think my position has been clear. I think people need to know what it is they are spending and the needs know what it is they could get otherwise. If people want to say we were to spend $1 million year subsidizing football, with the understanding we won't get economic return, that seems to me to be a fair decision. The argument and the rhetoric should be accurate. As a Council will last to know on a lot of these issues. My concern boils down to our arrangement an agreement with the taxpayer. For years he dealt with's shortages and bad economies. We are having a position to give taxpayers what they are paying for. That's take our eye off the ball and say let's go put a couple hundred billion here. I think is a disservice to the public. What are you hearing from your constituents. The book are saying is if this is what the charges want to, if they want to go then let them go. This take a look at the piece of property in Mission Valley and how can you best be put to use to the benefit of taxpayers and residents. Even when the last conversation happened, there was talk about what if we expanded San Diego state to that area and created a River Park and housing and businesses. Perhaps a Stadium for the Aztecs. That's something that would serve the community better and we would have a solid partner in the Cal State University system. The point is, this city and its leaders need to be focused on the mission. Are Mary talked about investing in neighborhoods during his campaign. It's a wonderful mission and the people bought into it and that's what they expect from us. We need to follow through. We have a responsibility to that and not squander hundreds of millions of dollars to enrich these NFL owners. We have that obligation. The Chargers are doing what they need to do for themselves. I just went to as the Councilman a couple questions. Are you formally opposed any public dollars and go toward a Stadium? Yes. With that me being opposed to having a special election allocating for that. Yes. That's another $3-$6 million because the registrar is going to stop everything and put together one issue election for us and that's far more expensive than putting measures on a regular ballots. To have been a number of San Diego politicians who said in the past they are opposed to public any being spent on a new Chargers Stadium. Many of these same politicians are now supporting the task force recommendations that millions of public dollars go into this new stadium. Why is there this continuing support from your standpoint? I think it's public relations. I'm not a mind reader, I haven't pulled the Council members who voted for this. I think there's pressure to go along to get along. If you believe that is never going to happen anyway so at least our constituents will thank us for doing the right thing. Our office has been flooded with calls and emails from citizens who say thank you because they believe it's also time for this city to stop squandering opportunity, stop squandering tax dollars, on this corporate welfare. We need to stay focused and put our money into neighborhoods, and to public safety, into rebuilding our public buildings and our infrastructure and programs and services for the people who are paying the bill go We them, your mission is saying San Diego needs to do what it was to do but here's what the real cost is and what we could be spending it on. My question to you, have you in your reporting found any real downside to San Diego as being a city without an NFL team? I think there tends to be a good healing that people have when they can watch football and say there's a football team Intel. A group on the East Coast, the first thing I heard about San Diego was watching the Philadelphia Eagles play them. There's a noneconomic cachet of having a football team. Question is how much do you want to spend for having that. There's a good argument where someone said Sunday afternoon, I go around with my neighbors, we have barbecue and it's a great afternoon. That's a really good argument for football team. It brings people together. There's a cost to that, and I think that's the balancing act. For some psychic and neighborly to you. What dollar amount, what price are we going to put on that goes back at what's going to happen to the affordability of the tickets with a new stadium? The price of tickets will go up and fewer people here in San Diego, which has weighed you to have to buy a ticket. Why his finger up with the Chargers and all the people who did, they are great bands. Even these died in the wall fans are saying the cost is too high. What about the political fallout, Liam? Is there any fallout if they don't get the Chargers here? I think research has been split that they haven't seen negative effect on the future political careers of other politicians have seen their teams the. I think there's been a lot of efforts on the part of the Mayor's office to not be seen as being blamed or who the blame would go on if the team does leave. I think this part of overseeing and this whole process, who is at fault. To be frank, we can talk about the politicians but the team is simply not engaged with the city since the beginning of this year when they started talking in areas. It's very tough to deal with a negotiating partner when you're trying to hand them hundreds of millions of dollars and they say, that's not something we are interested in. That makes it more difficult have a real conversation. Now we as San Diegan's told the team, go ahead and relocate, we would apparently be the first city ever to do that with an NFL franchise. Do you think it might start a trend? It might be a happy time. Until now, cities are being pressed to come up with subsidies to build these stadiums. We are seeing from President. Obama proposed budget that would say, no more tax exempt bonds for these. So many cities have been pressured to pay out the money to keep these ballclubs in their communities. I have no problem being the first, especially when we are bargaining or attempting to bargain with a party that isn't interested. They have told us that. It could be there negotiating strategy but I think they're well on their way to moving to Carson. Or even shelling out money to cover the costs to that city for pulling the stadium deal together. With the developments in St. Louis and a court order that told the city you don't have to go to a public vote in order to invest $400 million in their new riverfront stadium proposal or the Rams, I think is a greater likelihood that the Chargers and the Raiders will be able to work a deal. I don't see the NFL telling Dean Spano's he can do what he thinks is best for his business. It be interesting to see if cities around the country added together and said no more. Is such a San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland are being held to the same standard. That's interesting position for other cities as well. I empathize with the position our mirror is an. No matter what he does, he is going to be in a no-win situation. Let's stay focused and we focus on investing in our communities. Intuit's best for San Diego, not what's best for a private company that's making its own decision. Marti Emerald, councilwoman, City of San Diego Think you to our guests and Liam Dillon, senior reporter, Voice of San Diego.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved $500,000 for experts who can advise them on building a new stadium in Mission Valley on Tuesday.

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Last month, the San Diego City Council approved $2.1 million on an expedited environmental impact report, or EIR, to show the National Football League that the city is serious about going forward with building a stadium. That report is expected to be ready in time for a meeting with the NFL in Chicago on Monday.

The Chargers, however, have made it clear that they don't want a stadium in Mission Valley. The team prefers a site downtown and they seem determined to move to Carson. They walked away from negotiations with the city in June.

A growing number of voices have started to ask: Why are we working so hard to keep them? And why don't we just let them go?

Councilwoman Marti Emerald voted against spending millions on the stadium EIR, partly to improve the city's negotiating position.

"The Chargers say they want no part of this and I say it's time to listen — take them seriously and let them go to Carson," Emerald said. "Let them wrangle for a spot in the Los Angeles NFL market, and if they don't get it, they'll come back."

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Senior reporter Liam Dillon from Voice of San Diego writes in a piece called "Stop Saying the Chargers Stadium Study Didn't Cost Money" that despite attempts from Mayor Kevin Faulconer and council members to downplay the price tag, the money for the EIR could have been spent on anything. And he lists specific examples, which include adding four additional hours a week at every branch library, and more public restrooms in neighborhoods with large homeless populations.

Emerald and Dillon discuss San Diego without the Chargers, Wednesday on Midday Edition.