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Relocation a hot topic in today’s sports landscape

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MCT
Shreya Kowtha, 12, of Sacramento, California, holds her sign in support of keeping the Kings in Sacramento during an NBA game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

Sports fans never want to hear how bad their team is doing, or that the team’s best player got injured, but there is one thing that trumps them all and that is to find out that a team is leaving the city and relocating somewhere else.

There are certain factors that bring up the conversation of relocating. Poor attendance is usually where it begins. Fans basically stop showing up because the team does not produce results either at home or away.

Another factor is the ownership wants to move to a bigger better market. With lucrative TV deals just waiting to be signed, owners are looking for ways out of bad situations and relocation is a viable option.

The last reason, and probably the biggest, is the lack of a modern functional stadium or arena. With stadiums now serving as a venue for other things besides sports, cities around the country are upgrading.

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The Dallas Cowboys stadium, nicknamed “Jerry World” after their General Manager/Owner Jerry Jones, cost over $1 billion to make and is used for many things besides Cowboys football. Musical acts, prized boxing fights and a Super Bowl have already graced their presence in the stadium.

These factors all contribute heavily to the idea of relocating and are currently being mulled over here in San Diego.

The Chargers for the last few years have been the subject of relocation talks. Los Angeles, being the second biggest market in the country, currently has zero football teams after losing two teams in the 90’s.  The Chargers are the logical choice to move to LA due to the geographical location and it won’t hurt the division alignment.

Hopefully this won’t happen, but there are steps to be made in order for the Bolts to stay super here in San Diego.

It all begins with the stadium. Qualcomm Stadium was built back in 1967 and the main reason why the Chargers are in relocation talks. “The Q,” as it is called, is an older stadium, compared to most of the NFL’s stadiums, and is passed over year after year to host a Super Bowl.

San Diego is the ideal spot for a Super Bowl due to the location and the great weather that is provided year round and those are the ideal traits for cities that host Super Bowls, except for next year when it is in New York, but that’s another matter.

The problem here in San Diego is that there is not enough space to put a stadium. There are options, like build in the parking lot at Qualcomm, put a stadium on a naval base or take down buildings in downtown and build a stadium next to Petco Park.  With those options come difficulties and adversaries.

Tax payers aren’t willing to publicly fund a new stadium and not get immediate results as San Diegans did for Petco Park.  The economy is also not very strong and that would be a turn off to a publicly funded stadium.

For now, it seems as though the Chargers will stay but it only takes one day for an owner to change their mind and they can be gone overnight with the snap of a finger.

The Chargers aren’t the only team in California with relocation drama. The NBA’s Sacramento Kings have been in a relocation drama the last three years.

The owners of the Kings, the Maloof family, have tried unsuccessfully three times in three years to move the team out of the capital to Anaheim and this year to Seattle. The Kings play in a very old arena for NBA standards and have also not been very good in the last 6 years.

This situation is different than that of the Chargers though. The Maloofs are in financial trouble and therefore have not been investing in the team and bringing in good players to compete. They are alienating fans and after a preliminary sell to a group from Seattle looking to move the team there, the Maloofs stopped showing up to games and would insert other teams fans into the luxury seats down on the court.

Fortunately for the NBA and Sacramento, the NBA owners have decided to keep the team in Sacramento as the fans, the city and a group willing to buy the team and keep them in town have all stepped up in their “Here We Stay” campaign.

Relocation hurts the team, the city and especially the fans that show their support both emotionally and financially and should only be a last resort option. Let’s hope the Chargers can get a new stadium so they can win their first Super Bowl here and the city can sing “San Diego Super Chargers” all throughout the night.

 

 

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About the Contributor
Curtis Manlapig, Editor-in-Chief
This is Curtis Manlapig's first semester as Editor-in-Chief and third semester on staff of The Mesa Press. He began as Headline editor/ Staff writer and worked his way up to Sports Editor and now to Editor-in-Chief. Manlapig won a first place award in the Copy Editing competition at the 2012 Fall Southern California JACC journalism conference as well as a second place finish in Copy Editing at the State JACC conference. He is also a huge fan of the Chargers and Padres and writes his own blog about sports here in San Diego at http://www.beachcitysports.blogspot.com/ . He is active in the community and enjoys playing adult dodgeball. Manlapig will head North and will enroll at Sacramento State for the Fall of 2013 where he hopes to further his journalism career. You can email him at curtismanlapig@yahoo.com    
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