The backers of a new Chargers stadium say it won’t be just for the Chargers. They say it will be a venue that will attract events year-round. Such as Final Fours. And concerts.
Really now …
Well, some of these new football stadiums do, indeed, attract events year-round.
Check out Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. According to its events page, it held eight events in May.
Not bad for a facility that cost only $720 million.
One particular event sounded like it pumped a ton of money into the local economy: The Morgan Martz/Aaron Lewis Rehearsal Dinner.
Lines to the restrooms must have been brutal. I don’t even want to imagine what it was like to find parking.
Frustrated guest, circling the parking lot: “Oh no, we’re going to miss the first course...”
Oh, here’s another event that the local chamber of commerce no doubt hyped: Ben Davis High School Prom. That attracted 1,200 people, but they’re not old enough to drink alcohol, so beer venders lost out.
The biggest events planned for Lucas Oil Stadium? Um, that would be football games, which 65,000 fans are expected to attend, according to the events calendar.
That’s likely because, no matter how anyone spins it, Lucas Oil Stadium is a football stadium. If there were no Colts, there would be no Lucas Oil Stadium. (Actually, the Colts belong in Baltimore, but as a native Baltimorean, I digress.)
Other stadiums appear to have a hard time filling up their calendars with big-time events too.
In May, the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona held an RV show — as well as five high school graduations and one college graduation. The college graduation? It was for University of Phoenix, of course. (I’m guessing it got a pretty sweet deal.)
So what will this new San Diego stadium, if realized, do differently to attract events? Well, if the renderings of the proposed stadium are an indication, we’ve got some concerns. In one rendering, there’s a boat show going on, as a way of showing how the stadium floor will get lots of use.
A boat show hasn’t been held in the San Diego Convention Center for years.
San Diego has two boat shows annually, and they’re held …
Where there is water!!!
Where boats do this most amazing thing, which is float.
That boat show rendering isn’t the only red flag when it comes to how this proposed facility will be used year-round.
Fred Maas, the point person for the Chargers’ stadium drive, told ESPN the stadium could be used for prizefights?
Prizefights? Is he living in the 1970s? Sure, I remember the Ali/Frazier bouts — barely.
Quick, who’s the heavyweight champion of the world?
Right. I have no clue. I’m assuming he’s a large, muscular man, but that’s about all I’ve got.
Even AT&T Stadium, the one built by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, which is considered the gold standard when it comes to stadiums, doesn’t appear to be widely used.
In May, it held one major event, a Beyonce concert, according to its calendar.
Here’s the deal. If you want a new stadium, vote for the stadium. I have no problem with that. Hip, hip for the democratic process!
However, don’t be fooled that it’s going to be some kind of mega-event magnet. There are simply not that many mega-events to go around.
The stadium, if built, will host eight regular season Chargers football games …
And, if we’re lucky, some rehearsal dinners …