I still believe bringing an NBA or NHL team to San Diego could help the Padres and the Chargers.
Since I first made that case, I’ve had a chance to visit L.A. Live, a pedestrian-friendly complex with trendy bars and restaurants that surround the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, and I’m certain that a similar idea would work in San Diego. This is why I am still pulling for the city to find a way to bring an NBA or NHL franchise to town.
Voice of San Diego contributor Beau Lynott is a bit more realistic, which means you should pay attention when he says San Diego has a (small) shot at nabbing Los Angeles’ Chivas USA team. Major League Soccer has seen a strong and steady rise in popularity in America over the past few years, and the league is on the verge of signing a lucrative television deal that should provide a nice cash influx for the league to expand its audience even further.
Now would be a great time for someone to invest in Chivas USA, which is currently owned by the league and up for sale. If that someone happened to bring the team to San Diego, they’d have a large built-in audience of fans hungry for professional soccer.
The only real question in all of this is where the team would play. Would it need a new stadium, and if so, who is going to pay for it? Could they possibly find a way to share a new stadium with the Chargers, the way the Seattle Seahawks share a stadium with the Seattle Sounders, without playing to a half-empty stadium? These are the barriers that will have to be overcome to get an MLS team to San Diego, but the payoff just might be worth all of the trouble.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
Padres get ready for Opening Day … err, Opening Night
• The Padres’ 2013 Spring Training will always be remembered for one thing: Tommy John surgery. At some point, fans lost count of how many of the team’s pitchers required the procedure, and speculation ran wild as to what caused such a spike in arm injuries. This year’s Spring Training has been under way for just days, and already the news looks bleak for top prospect Max Fried.
• In an effort to capture some of the national spotlight, the Padres will play their first game on ESPN against the Dodgers on March 30. This, after months of planning for Opening Day on April 1. The team is still trying to balance both, but even they are occasionally getting mixed up.
• While the formula to get the Padres back to the playoffs may be anyone’s guess, it’s painfully obvious that the team should be buying out the arbitration years of their young star Jedd Gyorko. The team’s GM has even said as much. So why hasn’t it happened yet? What’s the hold-up?
The Heart of the Chargers’ Offseason
• The San Diego Chargers will likely need to release a few players to get underneath the salary cap, but they might have a little more wiggle room now that the league announced a 5 percent increase in cap space this season. That should help if the team wants to sign a free agent, or re-sign one of its own players, next month.
• The NFL Combine is here! This is when several hundred NFL prospects perform in front of coaches, GMs and scouts, to try and improve their stock for the NFL Draft that happens in May. The event will last all weekend, and will even be televised on NFL Network, if you don’t have something better to do. The U-T has a good rundown of a local company that helps top prospects prepare.
• A lot was made of the Chargers switching from a power-blocking scheme to a zone-block scheme for their running game last offseason. We definitely saw the improvement on the stat sheet, and Ryan Mathews seemed much more comfortable, but what exactly does “zone blocking” mean? Grab a seat, a pencil and a notepad, because we’re headed back to school to learn all about it.
Stories You May Have Missed
• Ever since the hiring of Dan Sileo to replace “Hacksaw” Lee Hamilton in the mornings at 1090 AM, many have been wondering when that powder keg would blow. As LobShots explained, the cracks are starting to show as Scott Kaplan tries to defend one of his employers against the other.
• The NBA trade deadline came and went yesterday. All the Lakers and Clippers seemingly did was dump unwanted salary on other teams, but at least the Clippers appear ready to add the frontcourt help they need in the form of one of Doc Rivers’ former players.
• Last April, the very successful SDSU women’s basketball coach “retired” and nobody could explain why. In July, video of Burns making contact with one of her assistants was provided as the reason for her termination. Now, as expected, Burns has filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming that she was fired for making demands regarding the inequality of the men’s and women’s basketball programs. This one could get a lot uglier before it gets any better.
• GIF of the Week: Should Team USA need to win a shootout in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, they’ll be happy they have T.J. Oshie on their team. As this amazing GIF shows, Oshie has had great success in shootouts because he never does the same thing twice.
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