Economics and a New Charger Stadium

By: Dr. Lynn Reaser

The debate over the Chargers and a new stadium is again in the headlines. While we all love the Chargers, does a new stadium meet the business and economics test? It would appear that the answer is “no.”

If the economics argument was compelling, the Chargers organization or private investors would have already provided the necessary funds to build a new stadium. If public funds are necessary, the return on such an investment is still in question. This is especially true since the alternative use of taxpayer dollars in terms of roads, water systems, police protection, and other public projects and services must be considered. An economics analysis must also consider risk. Football could lose much of its allure if concussion concerns mount and the Chargers might still leave down the road, leaving San Diego with not a glistening stadium, but just a white elephant.


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