What to do with Qualcomm Stadium post-Chargers?

Hipsters are the perfect group to repurpose the ex-Murph

Possible future use for Qualcomm Stadium: ball pit.
  • Possible future use for Qualcomm Stadium: ball pit.

Dear Hipster:

I am not a huge football fan. I will probably watch the Thanksgiving game, but only if someone else puts it on, and then only if I’m not already sleeping off my tryptophan coma in another room. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but notice the traffic jam caused by last weekend’s Oakland game, and it got me thinking, what will we do with Qualcomm Stadium if the Chargers leave town?? Knowing how creative you hipsters are with repurposing otherwise useless junk, I leave it in your capable, DIY hands to brainstorm the ultimate answer.

— Henry, Kensington

OMG. The ultimate answer!? Such responsibility! I feel like I need to consult with my hipster peers on this one, so I’ll be accepting applications through Thanksgiving for future members of the Hipster Qualcomm Reclamation Board (or the HQRB for short, and there will be six associate members, with yours truly acting as a first-among-equals chairman and seventh vote to avoid unseemly ties). Readers are encouraged to please send a personal statement (at least one complete sentence, and not to exceed 300 words) detailing your commitment to hipster values; along with a headshot or suitable Instagram photo of your legs on a beach, a sunset, cliffside yoga session, or really anything else that gives me a sense of how genuine you are.

Applications can be emailed directly to [email protected], otherwise calligraphed on paper made from not less than 80% reclaimed cotton fiber and sent to the San Diego Reader offices by bicycle messenger.

Even without a suitable committee to help me flesh out ideas, the possibilities for an unused Qualcomm are endless, especially after the Aztecs’ contract to play there expires in 2018.

Perhaps the most obvious plan of action would be constructing a 250m, Olympic-caliber velodrome within the Colosseumesque husk of the football stadium. That way, Tuesday Night Racing at the velodrome in Morley Field — ostensibly the most hipster-friendly spectator sport in town — could transcend its 200-person viewing limit. I see no obstacles to 70,000-strong crowds other than an entrenched bias against hipster sports.

Then again, how easy would it be to fill the stadium with multi-colored plastic balls? All right, it probably wouldn’t be that easy, but still…. The Guinness record for “world’s biggest ball pit” is, as far as I know, still held by a Chinese company who built a 15,000-square-foot ball pit in an ice arena. A regulation NFL football field is roughly 57,000 square feet, so clinching the record shouldn’t be a big deal. The rest of the stadium could be converted into luxury hotels, with their attendant slides down into the ball pit, for vacationers seeking a stress-reducing frolic in the new world’s biggest ball pit at the San Diego Hipsterdome.

Craft brewing hall of fame? Urban lumberjack center? A tiny, miniaturized Portland where San Diego’s hipster community (the non-hip will also be tolerated) can gather and experience Pacific NW life without having to actually “pull a Chargers” and move away from San Diego?

I could go on, but if I tip my hand too soon, Mission Valley’s notorious anti-hipster NIMBY brigade (which I’m sure exists) will be able to muster its stalwart defenses. The complete HQRB can curry favor with certain city-hall dignitaries, but only if we’re not thwarted before we begin.

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I propose that the Qualcomm Stadium be sealed up, filled with seawater up to the loge level, and used for Greco-Roman style water battles.

Imagine crews of buff young men rowing replica triremes with bronze battering rams, trying to sink their opponents' boats or set them on fire!

Add some hungry sharks for additional thrills when sailors are forced to abandon ship. The crowds would love it.

That was actually the original plans for SeaWorld, but they couldn't decide on the design of the triremes so they went with the whole Shamu Show thingy.

How about a giant scrapyard for the kegs, vats, tubes and other crap that will need to be disposed of when the "craft" beer bubble finally pops? We can get Tasha Zogo to paint caveman-style unicorns on everything and call it "art."

Break it up into haulable chunks, truck those chunks down to Mission Bay, load them onto barges (it'll probably take a lot of trips), take those barges offshore Mission Beach, drop them shallow enough that they don't cover Wreck Alley but end up making a nice reef break. At the former Q-comm site, scrape away all the dirt that has a large plume of gasoline embedded within, haul THAT to Black Rock Desert for the next Burning Man Festival, stick The Man atop the mound of contaminated dirt and light it off. Rehabilitate Mission Valley riverbed area with native species of flora and fauna, including "Stanky Bob" "Sweaty Betty" and the rest of the homeless denizens of the riverbed who make a living harvesting goodies from the condo dwellers on the other side of the fence next door. Let Stanky and Sweaty "repurpose" (dumb term) the banners strung around the top of the stadium as tents. They can also use the light reflectors as cooking pots and stills (but someone has to tell them to remove the bulbs first). They can put the stadium seats along the banks of the river and sit back, smoke a fatty, guzzle brewskis and watch as the El Nino rains flood the riverbed in front of them. Finally, the San Diego River's name will be changed to "Rivers River" in honor of our famed quarterback who probably cried rivers of tears because he never had any protection in "the pocket", but still managed to throw that ball a zillion yards. Problem solved!

I'm rolling on the floor over here :-D

FOR SALE: 1967 concrete (American - style) football stadium (NOT true football - i.e. soccer) THIS is rugby with pads. Excellent condition. Extremely low mileage, er, yardage used by Chargers. Scoreboard recently updated. Home team side used rarely - usually 1 digit - sometimes 2.. Visiting team side goes to 3 digits. Brand new LaDainian Tomlinson banner added today - 11/22/15 Slight wear on upholstery due to excessive celebrations by visiting team's fans. Comes with complete set of crying towels for home fans New owner must haul away.

ASKING: 1 keg Karl Strauss Lager OR 25 Oggi's Pizzas OR 50 Jack in the Box Munchie Meals OR 50 Rubio's Pesky's Combos OBO

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