Stadium Watch: How did we get here?

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After Wednesday’s meeting in New York, San Diego’s bid to keep the Chargers became much more challenging.

With Disney CEO Bob Iger heading the team, the Chargers/Raiders Carson project becomes a much bigger vision than a stadium.

It’s likely that Disney will become more involved in the NFL, and the league may want a West Coast operations center as it moves into the digital age. 

"This is a serious move to put together a team of people up in the Carson Project who are going to move this forward and moreover are going to have the expertise to run it," said George Belch, who teaches marketing in the Sports Business MBA program at San Diego State.

He said the digital revolution will change the way fans watch football games and Disney’s ESPN will lead the way.

"It may be streamed individually, there’s a lot of talk about ESPN leading the parade for digital streaming down the road because we know viewing patterns are changing. Iger and his expertise from the media side brings all that to the table," he said.

And fans at the games will be part of a new experience.

"What we’re seeing now in professional sports the fan experience is big, there are companies that are using virtual reality now to put fans immersed, they’re actually on the field," Belch said.

This will allow Iger to build the value of football franchises and the value of the league as a whole.

Jim Steeg, a former NFL executive and member of Mayor Faulconer’s Stadium Advisory committee said this is more PR than anything else. 

"I think over the course of the next whatever months it’s going to be, it’ll flop," he said.

Steeg said the city’s appearance before 17 owners on various NFL committees was an opportunity to interact with a larger group of owners than the six on the LA committee.

"Yesterday was so important because obviously there was a campaign never to let the city speak to the owners, and that took place and now they heard the other side," Steeg said.

The owners questioned whether the city can build a stadium without the threat of relocation.

What are the options if the team stayed and a vote failed.

And the stadium costs were right, with the team responsible for cost overruns.

"When you hear from somebody from the source on what’s taken place, let’s hear where you are on the financing plan, that type of stuff, that was very important," Steeg added.

But the answer were not game changing, essentially the same answers the city gave in August, in most cases non-specific.

While the city has stepped up its game, George Belch likens the competition to a college team against the Green Bay Packers, making it very difficult for the city to compete against Carson.

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