SAN DIEGO – The Chargers proposal to move the team to Los Angeles County jolted football fans, but would the relocation make a big financial dent in the San Diego economy?
“It’s a huge dollars and cents impact, it’s part of the fabric of who we are, that’s why I’m fighting so hard and standing up for San Diegans,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
But just how big is the financial fight to keep the Chargers?
President of the National University System Institute for Policy Research Erik Bruvold said losing the team doesn’t necessarily mean the city will lose money.
“People have found that there’s not that much of an impact,” Bruvold said. “When people don’t spend money on football games, when they don’t spend money on Charger tickets, they spent their money on other things inside the local economy.”
The researcher said the move could boost the Chargers franchise.
“It’s conceivable that the evaluation of a team like the Chargers–if they really started to win a lot more significantly they have in the last couple years — they could easily be two times what they are right now,” said Greg McKee, president of Connect, a San Diego-based tech and life sciences nonprofit.
There’s one thing that could make the move financially questionable would be the St. Louis Rams. The midwest team has been eyeing a home just 13 miles away from Carson in Inglewood.
“The sense I got is that the Chargers are concerned that those fans will move over and they won’t go to Chargers games, they’ll go to Rams games. That’s their number one concern right now,” said McKee.
While the Rams decide what to do next, Mayor Faulconer said he already knows what he wants.
“[We have a] great group of volunteers really looking at the numbers in this which is what you need in order to have a plan that is successful. I’m confident they will come up with a plan that makes sense and keeps the Chargers in San Diego,” said Faulconer.
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