By: Dr. Lynn Reaser
San Diego’s Chargers continue to threaten to abandon the City if they do not receive the necessary support for a new stadium. Now that the plan to go forward with an expansion of the Convention Center has been approved, should a new stadium be our next focus?
The answer is “no”. If the Chargers wish to build a stadium, they should do it with their own funds, not those of taxpayers. Most studies overstate the economic benefits of public-funded stadiums, while mounting concerns over concussions could even challenge football’s future. San Diego has many more pressing investment needs at a time of scarce resources. These include badly needed infrastructure repairs, including roads and pipes. A new secondary sewage treatment plant is sorely needed, while the pressures on water supplies argue for a recycling facility. Future pension obligations also need secure funding.
In sum, a new football stadium is not a priority and should not even be on the City’s shopping list.