The location of a new San Diego stadium should not be determined by a special interest group (a.k.a. Hotelier Cabal) or the media. Instead, it should be determined by our community assessing the BIG PICTURE of which location will benefit San Diego the most over the next century. Meaning, SHOWING THE WORLD THE VERY BEST SAN DIEGO HAS TO OFFER, as this stadium will be one of our greatest windows unto the world.
In Mission Valley, there isn’t anything unique or compelling that will prompt the television viewer to say, “Wow, I need to get to San Diego“. We might as well be in Plato’s Cave. Downtown San Diego, on the other hand, has the incredible WOW factor – sleek skyline, bays, harbors, ships, sailboats, beaches, Coronado, Point Loma, Mexico and the Coronado Islands in the distance, Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, airplanes and helicopters repeatedly zipping by, et al. Downtown has everything imaginable to sell San Diego to the viewer on television, as well as the visitor in the bleachers. You simply can’t put a price tag on this type of ancillary advertising, it is priceless.
Do San Diego’s political and civic leaders see this? Do they understand that a breathtaking, multi-purpose downtown stadium could be a determining factor in winning competitive bids for the 2028 Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Cup games, World Expos, and other such events? If we are even remotely serious about competing for these types of events, we need to be intellectually honest about the need for a “wow” venue. Promises to build one “if we get such and such event” will go nowhere when we are competing against the likes of Shanghai, Dubai and Qatar.
Importantly, we are talking about the prospect of a new San Diego stadium, not just a Chargers stadium. As such, we must thoughtfully think through this decision by carefully weighing all the pros and cons for our city.
Authored by George Mullen – March 31, 2015
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