You could argue that San Diego will be just fine without the NFL. We’ve done that. Now we’re gonna do it again.
Written by Kyle Magin
“Do we want to be a world-class city, or just a small town?” – Fred Maas, San Diego Chargers Special Adviser.
Maas, a wealthy Republican consultant and San Diego developer, utters that sentence at the end of a Yes on Measure C radio ad. He states it as a challenge to the city’s populace, which goes to the polls next month to decide on C, a measure that would allocate a billion dollars of hotel taxes—increased to 16.5% from 12.5% for the occasion—to the San Diego Chargers, a 1-3 garbage fire currently smoldering in Mission Valley.
Without a new stadium, Maas implies, San Diego could fall from world-class status when it loses the Chargers to LA or wherever else the owning Spanos family want to go rob taxpayer revenue.
Hey Fred: Fuck you.
San Diego’s world-class status hinges upon so much else besides whether or not its residents rob their coffers and imperil their general fund so your employer can host 10 games a year and a few special events in East Village.
“America’s most beautiful city’ boasts a legion of assets which make it world-class, including:
- San Diego’s weather.
- Petco Park.
- Balboa Park.
- OK public transit (and pretty much rideable by beach cruiser if you have the patience.)
- Coronado Island.
- Torrey Pines (Home to Scott Peterson’s last round of golf as a free man).
- All the places in Top Gun.
- One haunted-ass tunnel.
- This Jack Murphy Statue.
- This Bill Walton Statue.
- San Diego Museum of Art, American Musuem of Photography, San Diego Air & Space Museum, The USS Midway… etc.
- Dick Enberg.
- A ridiculous craft brew movement to act as a sun-splashed alternative to the Pac-NW (Stone, Green Flash, Modern Times, Societe, Pure Project, Saint Archer, Mikkeller, Duck Foot, Fall Brewing Co., New English, Benchmark, Bay City, Second Chance, North, Belching Beaver, Border Cross and Amplified …just to name a few.)
- The place where Veronica Corningstone and Ron Burgundy consummated their relationship.
- Home of Jack’s Bistro (and the Regal Beagle)
- …Speaking of SD Dive Bars, there’s the Star Club, High Dive Bar & Girll, Aero Club Bar, the red vinyl booths at Captain Keno’s, The Tower Bar and the ultimate hair-of-the-dog Silver Fox (open at 6 a.m.).
- The beginning of the PCT (Why doesn’t anyone ever do it in ‘reverse’ from Canada? Seems like ending a long hike in TJ would be just the thing.)
- Did someone say burritos? Luncha Libre, California Burritos, JV’s Mexican Food, Coloma’s Mexican Food, El Zarape, La Perla Cocina, Nico’s, Ortiz’s, Loltita’s, La Playa, Trujillo’s, La Puerta, Ranchos Cocina, Pokez, Vallarta Express, El Patron, Gloria’s…and if you’re really jonesin’ for that sticky yellow paper, Filiberto’s.
Its list of liabilities is equally long, which is why the Chargers can feel free to hit the bricks. Overpriced housing, homelessness, drought and an overextended public safety system won’t see a lick of improvement if the Bolts get to plop their overpriced dump in East Village.
A great city should be judged on its prosperity, its arts, its educational system, its safety, its transportation, its beauty, its access to fresh water, its sustainability, and the quality of life its provides its people. If it provides some professional or big time college sports, great; but its not the basis of any sort of status ranking. San Diego has excellent hiking and surfing, one of the world’s great public parks with sports fields and courts of all manner, which is far more valuable for its status than a monstrosity of a stadium used 10 times a year.
San Diego’s fortunes will rise or fall on any number of metrics. But, Fred, whether a league predicated on the destruction of young men’s bodies stays here or not, has nothing to do with San Diego being world class.