It's '17, If You Know What I Mean

Let's Talk About the San Diego Chargers

San Diego Qualcomm Stadium

With a countdown from ten, a drop of the ball and hugs and kisses all around, 2016 went out and ’17 came roaring in. One thing 2017 is already marked by? Massive changes—not just for San Diego, but for the entire country.

On January 20th, you’ll stop discussing President Obama and start referring to President Donald J. Trump. Whether you love him, hate him or are somewhere in the middle, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that the Trump administration is going to be far different from the Obama regime of the last eight years. 

The voters were all over the place in the last election, proving California exists in its own alternate universe. On November 8th, California voted to uphold the death penalty (under which no one has been executed for 30 years) while at the same time releasing non-violent felons early upon a thorough case review. California residents voted to ban plastic bags at stores, to tax cigarettes higher in the hopes that smokers will quit and to legalize recreational marijuana for anyone over 21. Keep in mind, California has had legalized medical marijuana since 1996 under Proposition 215. California is getting tougher on legal gun owners who buy ammunition for their firearms by creating a new tier of background checks accompanied by more fees.

But here, in San Diego, the most important topic of all is if the beloved San Diego Chargers are going to stay or go. There have been many fingers pointing back and forth over the past 15 years in regards to the stadium shenanigans, but there can no longer be any doubt as to where San Diego voters stand. Tax payers firmly rejected both Measures C and D, which would have given the Chargers firm incentive to stay in town. Now that the voters have spoken, it seems neither the mayor’s office or the Chargers are listening to what the citizens/taxpayers/fans are saying on the issue. 

We do not want a downtown stadium where there is no parking, no tailgating and too much traffic already, and San Diegans certainly don’t want to pay for it. Many of us think we have a great stadium in a great location right now, though it needs some work—well, a lot of work. The refurbished, former Jack Murphy Stadium is iconic to San Diego. With its post-modern design, Qualcomm has become a part of our social fabric; it’s where we saw games with our parents and now take our children in San Diego tradition.

As a personal note to both the city officials and to the Chargers, the Cubs owner Joe Rickets is about to complete a multi-phase and multi-year remodeling of Wrigley Field. We have seen other cities remodel rather than rebuild, and that is likely the best plan for San Diego. Remember: the bait must suit the fish and not the fisherman. Qualcomm, with its vast history in Mission Valley, is the bait we want—that, and a team we can take pride in. 

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