As a sports geek, I enjoy the politics sometimes more than the actual play game itself. And one of the stories that is important in the context of the NFL is the demand to bring a team to Los Angeles, which is the 2nd biggest market in the country.
Now with funding from Farmer’s Insurance (I APOLOGIZE– I’m still blog writing, link pasting-illetierate. http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nfl/news/story?id=6078709) to help build the state-of-the-art stadium in downtown LA set in place, the only things that need to be done is the ceremonial shovels in the ground and a team to be relocated. (http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nfl/news/story?id=5924910)
The stadium is a lock so the owners of teams like the Vikings, Jaguars, Bills or 49ers can use the threat of moving to this sparkling palace in California as collateral against municipal and state governments of to help build them a stadium along these lines with tax payer money so the owners can maximize revenue, and the community can keep a part of its civic identity if you want to be naive. And since none of the owners of said franchises have the revenue that a 30-year, $700 million naming rights deal brings in, these proposed stadiums will need some public money to be built.
And another of the teams that needs a new stadium to financially compete today is the San Diego Chargers. Its Qualcomm Stadium was originally opened in 1969 and does not posses the modern luxury boxes and corporate amenities that are commonplace around the league today. And if the city wants to host another Super Bowl and enjoy the massive financial windfall that comes from hosting America’s biggest corporate holiday not associated with a fictional character, which it hasn’t done since 2004 and is not in the running for one anytime soon, then a new stadium is a demand.
Which is where the Voice of San Diego comes in. What I didn’t know about the stadium process was that not only has the city failed to find a location where it could fit, but because of this, no blueprint has been created before government officials and lawyers can even begin to go over this type of investment. Now that the LA stadium has been passed, and the city of San Diego seemingly kicking its heels, the connection is easily made. The fact that California is broke and this stadium is all privately funded doesn’t hurt either.
But what is great about the Voice of San Diego’s coverage is that it’s not in any relationships with the NFL, like other media outlets, specifically the biggest one ESPN, (http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-04-19/news/17370143_1_mark-shapiro-espn-espn-radio-espn-com-abc-sports) are partners and profiteers because of pro football. You don’t think that ESPN would rather have the Chargers in Los Angeles (population: 3.8 million according to Wikipedia) than San Diego (1.3 million)? It would enhance the value of its game ratings as well as all other football-related programing. The fact that ESPN is 80% owned by Walt Disney, and is a sister cable station of ABC which is the only major network without the ratings bonzana of football right now, also adds tentacles to how it looks at the story.
But VOSD is apart from all of this. It does its job (http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/clipboard/article_e81373e6-2f0c-11e0-8a02-001cc4c002e0.html) away from multi-conglomerate control and looks at the issue of how a stadium is going to be built. Not if it can enhance a business portfolio.