The San Diego Chargers have been trying to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium with a downtown stadium for 14 years, and it hasn’t gone well. San Diego’s stadium hunt has come to a head with the Chargers sending a letter to the city, and its most recent stadium advisory board, indicating that the city needs to stop treating the team’s stadium situation as a political football, or the franchise will attempt to relocate.
The Chargers released a scalding letter to the city of San Diego’s stadium advisory board that explained how the franchise is tired of dealing with the city’s politicos. According to the franchise, the Spanos family (the owners) have spent $15 million over 14 years looking into several different sites around San Diego County that has resulted in nine unsuccessful proposals. Basically, the Chargers feel like their stadium situation is being used as a political football for city officials to hand down to the next board.
“The second guiding principle is this: The Chargers have no intention of quietly participating in any effort to provide political cover for elected officials.
Former elected officials have tried to exploit the Chargers and the stadium issue for their own political advantage.”
This letter also hints at the St. Louis Rams push to relocate to Los Angeles have altered the discussion and the time-table both the Chargers and the city are operating on.
“We appreciate the pressure that you will feel to find a solution. We at the Chargers have felt this pressure for every one of the last 13 years. And now, in our 14th year of work, the pressure has intensified even more as the result of events in Los Angeles.”
The Chargers have made it clear that a new stadium is the only way that the franchise will be able to stay in the San Diego area. It’s now up to the city to create a legitimate proposal that has a chance of passing through the city and county council.
San Diego is the last city in the country to have a so-called “cookie cutter” stadium — a building designed to hold baseball and football — in Qualcomm Stadium. Qualcomm opened in 1967 after the Chargers relocated from Los Angeles, they’ve been playing in the stadium outside of downtown San Diego. The city’s professional baseball team, the San Diego Padres, played at Qulacomm from 1969 until the baseball only ballpark Petco Park opened in 2004.