Commentary by Louis Rodolico
If you were around 50 years ago you may remember Jack Murphy’s dream of a floating stadium. City Council and Jack were serious about it, but, at that time, the floating stadium was too expensive. So the Padres and Chargers partnered on a dual use San Diego Stadium, built on land in Mission Valley. On August 20, 1967 the Chargers played their first game at San Diego Stadium. In 1980 the voters approved changing the name to Jack Murphy Stadium. In 1997 Qualcomm agreed to pay the city 18 million dollars for stadium improvements in exchange for a name change to Qualcomm Stadium.
As an homage to Jack, and a way to find the Chargers some new partners, let’s take a fresh look at the potential of a floating stadium.
The current Qualcomm stadium costs San Diego taxpayers 12 million a year, there is maintenance and 40 million dollars left to pay on the most recent improvements. The Chargers would like us to build them a new stadium downtown, which would involve granting them the use of a site. The taxpayers are also being asked to pay for about half the cost of a new stadium. Football teams play about 12-14 home games yearly, that’s less than 4% of the days of the year. If there was a second football team who could share the new stadium, then the stadium would be used 8% of the time. If two football teams go to LA that would be a stadium used 12% of the time. The numbers begin to make sense.
I am not against football, I am searching for an alternative that eliminates taxpayer dollars to build a new stadium and to demolish it later. The Qualcomm naming rights expire next year. Who knows, maybe Qualcomm, or a new Floating Stadium, will be named Jack Murphy Stadium once again.
Louis Rodolico is a Candidate for City Council District 1
For more information visit: www.louisrodolico.com
*Edited May 10th, 2016