SBD/Issue 235/Facilities & Venues

San Diego Implements Smoking Ban Inside Qualcomm Stadium

Qualcomm Stadium Manager
Says Change Was Needed
Chargers fans are "fuming over San Diego's decision to eliminate the designated smoking areas" at city-owned Qualcomm Stadium, according to a front-page piece by Matthew Hall of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Qualcomm Stadium Manager Mike McSweeney said that a change was needed because "so many people were using the restricted area outside Gate E that they would spill into the stadium's plaza level." McSweeney said that conversations about a ban "came up during the offseason and that a decision to do away with the designated areas was made jointly by stadium management, the mayor's office, the San Diego Police Department and the team." McSweeney said that it was the Chargers' "preference that the venue be made smoke-free." Hall notes violations of the new smoking ban "may result in $136 fines and game ejections." McSweeney said that the city attorney's office "advised him last week that this latest change does not require a public hearing or a council vote because a ban already exists and there is no requirement to have designated smoking areas." McSweeney noted that the city "toyed with the idea of allowing Chargers fans to smoke at the top of eight ramps on the upper deck this year, but decided against that approach." He said that the city and the Chargers are "planning more publicity at a news conference before the team's second home preseason game Sept. 4." McSweeney said that the issue "won't be reconsidered" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/25).

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