Does san diego have a football team ? While some people say NFL stadiums’ economic benefits are exaggerated or don’t exist at all, just look at what sports does for people. It unites them.
Leland is an assistant athletic equipment manager at San Diego Miramar College and lives in Poway.
In February 2010, the New Orleans Saints, at the time one of the least successful franchises in the NFL, rewarded their long-suffering fan base with a Super Bowl win that once seemed impossible. Four years later, the Seattle Seahawks did the same.
Those wins happened before Jan. 11, 2017, the day the San Diego Chargers announced they were moving to Los Angeles. Up until that point, San Diego fans could ask when our turn at a Super Bowl would come.
Of course, Chargers owner Dean Spanos changed all that. But the trend of long-suffering and passionate fan bases finally getting their Super Bowl wins didn’t stop. In February 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles captured their first Super Bowl, and two years later, the Kansas City Chiefs ended a half-century of heartbreak and rewarded the Arrowhead Stadium fanatics with a long-awaited Super Bowl, leaving San Diego fans to wonder what might have been.
Some of us are still holding out hope. Los Angeles now has two NFL teams again after losing the Rams and Raiders in 1995. Houston got the Texans in 2002 after losing the Oilers in 1997. Baltimore got the Ravens in 1996 after losing the Colts in 1984.
I know the arguments of why it can’t or won’t happen, so I’ll go ahead and counter them.
The narratives that San Diego voters would never approve a new stadium and that the NFL would never come back are ones I especially don’t buy. Spanos got 43 percent of voters to say they would help fund a new football stadium in 2016 doing everything wrong. That campaign was like if the Padres had tried to win voter support for building Petco Park after the team’s 1993 fire sale and the 1994 Major League Baseball players’ strike rather than after 1998, when the team went to the World Series.
But San Diego has other issues, some people say. Of course it does. There will never not be competing priorities. But that goes for other places that get big projects done to draw teams and events to the region. If we were to refuse to consider a big project like this to bring a football team here until there were “no other issues,” we would be punting the idea down the road for forever.
It would be a huge boon for the community to have an NFL team again. Look at the packed bars and Downtown streets during the Padres’ playoff run (and KPBS’ article talking about the additional revenue businesses were getting from it).
That’s every week during the season when you have an NFL team because a shorter regular season heightens the importance of each game. And then there are the other events it can bring in.
Even Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara — without a roof — has hosted a Super Bowl and a college football playoff national championship, and will surely host more big events in the future. Look at the events that have and will come to Las Vegas that would likely never have come without the Raiders playing in Allegiant Stadium.
Our county supervisors could make this happen if they mean what they’ve said. Supervisor Jim Desmond stood up for businesses that he believed were forced to unfairly close because of California’s COVID-19 guidelines. If he really stood up for the financial health of businesses, wouldn’t he see the benefit from an NFL stadium being near them? Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said on record that “football was everything” growing up in Arkansas.
And while some people say NFL stadiums’ economic benefits are exaggerated or don’t exist at all, just look at what sports do for people. They unite us.
If you didn’t notice that during the Padres’ playoff run this past fall, you just weren’t paying attention. In a world that’s become so divisive and full of hate, we need all the opportunities we can get to try and come together.
Politicians may think it’ll help them politically to “stand up to billionaires and say no,” but is that really the case? Remember when the Seattle SuperSonics left Seattle in 2008? Then-Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, considered a primary villain of the tragic fall of SuperSonics, failed to make the runoff election when he was seeking a third term the following year. His numbers in polling were historically low for an incumbent Seattle mayor. Many cited the Sonics departure as a key reason.
Sure, the NFL isn’t saying “We are expanding!” right now, and nobody is actively looking to relocate. But if San Diego waits until one of those things happen, we will make it harder on ourselves. We need to take action now. It worked for Las Vegas with the NHL in getting the Vegas Golden Knights.
What Do You Know About San Diego Football?
Football is the most popular sport in America, perhaps more popular than basketball and baseball combined, and American football is also huge throughout the world, with an estimated over 3.5 billion fans worldwide. California has been in the football game for many years on both a college and professional level, with many notable college and high school instances as well as the Chargers, Rams, and 49ers.
Learn 5 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About San Diego Football
If you are a California resident in San Diego and like to focus on local sports, there may be some interesting facts you did not previously know about football in San Diego. For a pastime that has been in existence as a pro sport since 1892, football has a rich and diverse history no matter what geographical location in the U.S. is being discussed.
San Diego Has No Professional Football Team
While San Diego currently has no professional football team, the Chargers were a San Diego football team from 1961 to 2016. The Chargers played in four of the first five AFL national championship games and won once while they were located in San Diego, after the team was created in 1959 in Los Angeles. After many relocation offers, the team chose to move to Balboa Stadium in San Diego in 1961, with the following years seeing many improvements to the stadium itself for more and better fan accommodation.
Of all of their players throughout history, Drew Brees may be the most notable quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, with successful 2004 and 2005 seasons. The team has also had many notable coaches and players during their run in San Diego, including Super Bowl visits, AFC championships, and many record-breaking seasons. However, after a final losing season in San Diego, the team returned to Los Angeles.
San Diego Has Two Division 1 College Football Teams
Division one college teams mean bigger budgets, better facilities, and more scholarships. Players who are able to attend a division 1 school have more opportunities for scholarships based around their sport, and have guaranteed higher game attendance so they are playing to a bigger audience.
University of San Diego: San Diego’s Toreros are a Division 1-AA school, meaning that they are not considered a principal football school but do have a football program. The football program has been in place since 1956, and has an all-time playoff record of 2-5. The main rivalry for the University of San Diego is the Drake Bulldogs, with the all-time stats going 18-10-0 for San Diego.
San Diego State University: San Diego State University is home to the Aztecs, who ranked 24th in national polls in 2021. The athletic team was originally founded in 1921, and by 2016 had hit 21 conference championships. Post-season bowl game stats are at 9-9. Their biggest rivalry is against Fresno State, has been ongoing since 1923, and is known as the Battle for the Oil Can.
A Player Tackled His Own Teammate in the 1929 Rose Bowl
San Diego football has a few interesting stories. Benny Lom was a halfback for the Berkeley Golden Bears from 1927-1929. During the Rose Bowl of 1929, the game was between Georgia Tech and Berkeley. Benny’s teammate, who famously earned the nickname “Wrong Way” for this stunt, got turned around on the field and began running the ball towards the opposing teams’ goal. Roy “Wrong Way” Reigals was overcome by his teammate Benny at the 1-yard line.
The San Diego State Professors Played Their First Game Over 100 Years Ago
San Diego State football has a rich history. Over 100 years ago, in September of 2021, San Diego State played its first football game. San Diego State was a teacher’s college, and though the college wanted to use the name ‘Wampus Rats’, instead the team was known as the Professors. The school colors were blue, white, and gold, not being changed to the now well-known red and black for another seven years. The game was a 6-0 win over the Army and Navy Academy JC.
San Diego Has Many Flag Football Leagues for Adults & Kids
Flag football is huge in San Diego, with professional and casual leagues for both adults and children. For adults, playing flag football instead of tackle football can have huge benefits. Grabbing for a flag instead of wrestling someone to the ground is definitely safer, and the amount of activity required for a flag football game is a great way to get exercise. Plus, learning and playing team sports as an adult can improve things such as cooperation, coordination, and even problem-solving skills.
XFlagfootball has both adult and children’s leagues from coast to coast. A variety of types and styles of teams makes sure that you will always have a league to play in where you feel comfortable. With a founder and CEO who has played over 30 seasons of flag football, XFlagfootball knows the sport.
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