By Joe Tutino
Now that the Chargers have confirmed they are staying put for 2015 and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told Scott and BR the city and county are working to keep the Bolts in San Diego, it’s not too early to put in a few requests.
What would my stadium look like if I were in charge?
No. 1: It would be a grass surface. It would measure no less than 130 yards long by 80 yards wide. Yes, it would be able to house an MLS team. The field would be under a retractable roof, on a tray much like the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The surface would be able to be removed intact and rolled outside to get proper sunlight.
If Green Bay can grow grass, we can grow grass.
No. 2: It would seat 62,500 with the option to add another 10,000 portable seats for a Super Bowl.
No. 3: It would seat 25,000-27,000 for soccer. See BC Place in Vancouver or the planned Atlanta Falcons stadium (will be home to a soccer team as well) for the unique way to downsize a facility and still give it a proper look.
No. 4: It would be an extension of the San Diego Convention Center, much like the JMI design which the Chargers are considering for the East Village site.
Now for the hard part.
It’s not the funding, but the maintenance and upkeep of the facility.
Extending yourself to buy an expensive car or home is one thing, maintaining them is another story — and that’s where the difficult negotiations will come.
Among the big mistakes years ago with the Qualcomm Stadium expansion was making sure the stadium would remain a state-of-the-art facility.
St Louis is trying to find millions of dollars to bring their not-so-old Edward Jones Dome up-to-snuff, illustrating the challenge of keeping a venue relevant.
This giant hurdle will have to be hammered out so San Diego and the county are not under the gun 20 years from now. The new facility, like the “Q” before it, should be able to give us another 40-50 years.
The timeless Lambeau Field in Green Bay is a prime example — it’s possible.
The other issue that should be considered is the matter of personal seat licenses, something I don’t endorse. Why should I be required to purchase a PSL for the right to buy a season ticket after contributing tax dollars to build the place? That is not right and does not bode well for the property’s long-term success.
If “We The People” are going to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars, this facility must work for us.
What’s this mean?
It means tickets are no more expensive than ranking eighth in any sports league. Since San Diego is the nation’s eighth-largest city, that seems to be a fair cap to me on ticket prices for a given major sporting event.
I don’t want to be gouged as a fan after delivering a sparkling facility to the Chargers, an MLS team, Comic Con, etc.
To me, wins take care of ticket sales, as well as suite sales, and in-stadium advertising inventory.
You win and we support you, along with corporations. That means we’re all happy.