San Diego divided on whether to fight Chargers run to Los Angeles
Although the San Diego Chargers play the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday, the real opponent may be in Los Angeles, where politicians and developers are working to build an NFL stadium and lure a team to relocate.
The Chargers seem to be the top target.
In San Diego, after a decade of controversy, there is no plan to build a stadium to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium to keep the Spanos family from moving the Chargers from San Diego.
What that says about San Diego is open to different opinion.
"In large part, it's a manifestation of the municipal paralysis that's gripped the city since the last bubble collapsed 10 years ago," said Carl Luna, professor at San Diego Mesa College. "The Chargers' leaving town will be another sign that America's Finest City just might not be so fine anymore."
For others, the lack of a push for a new stadium signals San Diego will not be herded into spending millions for a private business that doesn't share its profits.
The editorial page of San Diego City Beat finds the Chargers' desire for a new stadium nothing less than an extortion ploy:
"The only reason we're talking about this, and the only reason [Mayor Jerry] Sanders went on his fact-finding journey to the heart of the country, is that the Spanos family can leverage civic pride in the Chargers to extort money from the taxpayers."
On one point, the differing sides agree: After a decade, the game may soon be over.
"It's late in the fourth quarter, and the clock is ticking," said George Mitrovich, president of the City Club of San Diego. "But unless there's decisive leadership [in San Diego] by everyone involved, this game is not going into OT."
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: San Diego Chargers cornerback Marcus Gilchrist (38) celebrates after an interception last week against the San Francisco 49ers. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / US Presswire