SAN DIEGO -- San Diego is failing to deliver on a number of promises it made to the NFL for next year's Super Bowl.
The league will not get the number of usable seats it wanted, renovations to the visiting locker room or upgrades to the press box and audio/visual control room in time for the January game.
Jim Steeg, an NFL vice president, acknowledged that it is not uncommon for host cities to fail to live up to all of their commitments. But he said the difference between what San Diego promised and what it's delivering is wider than most.
"This is as big (a gap) as we've had in recent years,'' Steeg said.
The NFL has been pressing San Diego to fulfill its promises, saying they are "critical to the NFL's commitment to have the Super Bowl in San Diego.''
Most important to league officials was the guarantee that there would be 70,000 acceptable seats.
Qualcomm Stadium has slightly more than 70,500 seats, but the NFL discounts the bottom seven rows because of obstructed views, eliminating more than 2,000 from the total.
Delays in construction of the San Diego Padres' downtown ballpark kept the baseball team playing in Qualcomm longer than expected, and workers could not get access to the stadium to add more seats, city officials said.
The city's bid specifies that the host committee will spend as much as $1.6 million to get to 70,000 acceptable seats. With that goal unattainable, the parties have agreed that the committee will just pay the NFL the $1.6 million to offset lost ticket revenue.
In addition, the San Diego Super Bowl XXXVII Host Committee still has not signed a contract binding them to the promises made when the city was bidding for the game. Officials with the NFL, the host committee and the city say former San Diego Mayor Susan Golding promised too much when the city bid for the game.
The city has spent $2.8 million on Super Bowl-related improvements at Qualcomm in recent years. The stadium's older seats have been replaced and the sound system has been upgraded.
Some $500,000 was spent making cosmetic fixes to the visiting team's locker room, which Steeg called "one of the worst in the NFL.'' But that fell short of the $2.6 million major renovation promised by the city.
“The function of a good teacher is to discourage film as a course of study for the non-avid. There are film societies and cinemas galore for the serious non-film student.” – Robert Steele, “Film Scholars at the New York Film Festival,” FILM COMMENT 2, Fall 1964, p. 41, as quoted in It’s Only a Movie, by Raymond J. Haberski Jr.
As a San Diegan, i can put the blame on one man... Bruce Henderson, a former city council person who sued the city over the new ballpark for the San Diego Padres, delaying it's opening until April 2004. What do the Padres have to do with it? The Padres new yard was supposed to open in April... 2002!!! Because of the 20 lawsuits this ass filed to block construction, the Padres couldn't move out of Qualcomm this season. The "improvements" the NFL wants were supposed to be done during this baseball season. BTW, the NFL knew of this possibility when they awarded the 2003 Super Bowl to San Diego. At least we won't have to deal with them when the Chargers move after the 2003 season.
"Young lady, in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" - Homer Simpson
For those of us who have paid for PSLs, learning that we will likely lose one of our 8 opportunities per year to see our team play live, this is not a good story. I don't expect to get a partial refund of my PSL, but I sure would like it.