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The sugar daddies that could be expected to bankroll the convention center expansion are on the sidelines. But watch out: the backers of the proposed expansion are likely to twist statistics and distort reality to make a fallacious case for the project. San Diego’s “civil servants have shown a remarkable capacity to misstate, misrepresent, control the facts,” says Heywood Sanders, the scholar who has shown that convention centers nationally are grossly overbuilt. “They have done it on pension benefits, city finances, sewage treatment plants, the ballpark, and they are doing it again on the convention center expansion.”

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation would like to add 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, 100,000 square feet of meeting rooms, an 80,000-square-foot ballroom, and perhaps a hotel at a cost that hasn’t yet been determined. A task force appointed by the mayor is now looking into the possible expansion.

The City and the Port say they won’t commit money this time, and Centre City Development Corporation is unlikely to do so. And even some members of the task force — loaded with corporate welfare advocates — are skeptical of the propaganda being shoveled out.

In other cities, convention centers are financed through taxes on restaurant meals, auto rentals, and airport departures; hotel and sales taxes; special tourist development district taxes, and the like. San Diego has an aversion to taxes. So San Diego may well try to build a taxpayer-financed hotel and claim that revenues from it will pay for the expansion, says Sanders. “They will find anything to make it work,” he scoffs. (Denver, Phoenix, Houston, and several other cities have built taxpayer-financed hotels to support sagging convention centers. The fact that downtown San Diego’s posh Hotel W is going into default may not even drown the ludicrous idea.)

At a recent task force meeting, a consultant hired by the City, Steven Spickard of Economics Research Associates, was the skunk at the garden party. A committee member, architect Mark Steele, asked him if revenues from the expanded center would pay off the debt service on bonds floated to build it. The answer: no. The convention center would have to rely on a third party to do the financing.

“The shills for the convention center were pissed that Mark asked the question because [Spickard] gave a straight answer, and they didn’t want to hear a straight answer,” says Don Wood, a longtime waterfront-planning activist.

The center’s previous sugar daddy, the Unified Port of San Diego, can’t pitch in this time, says Stephen Cushman, port chairman and also cochairman of the convention center task force. “The Port wrote a $200 million check for Phase I, and the Port agreed to pay $4.5 million a year for 20 years for Phase II [the first expansion],” says Cushman. (That first expansion was a joint effort of the Port and the City.) The Port also subsidized the Hilton convention center hotel to the tune of $46.5 million. “The Port can’t kick in this time. We’re trying to find where to come up with [funds] for the North Embarcadero project.”

City hall says the bucks can’t come out of the general fund. “There can be no subsidy from the City’s general fund,” says Councilmember Carl DeMaio. “They have to find financing outside of San Diego taxpayers.” The City’s deficit for the 2010 fiscal year is $80 million, he says, and the ailing state could grab local funds, adding another $35 million to that deficit. The 2011 shortfall “is staggering,” says DeMaio, pointing to the monstrous pension obligation.

Fred Maas, chairman of Centre City and a member of the convention center task force, says the ultimate decision lies with the Redevelopment Agency, whose board is the city council. But, says Maas, “We have an enormous list of things on our plate; I personally don’t see how we can [help finance the center expansion]. It will be interesting to see what novel things they [the task force] come up with. Somebody is going to have to take some risk.”

“The people who know the City from the inside know that we are not sustainable economically,” says Norma Damashek, president of the League of Women Voters. Local politicians “are arranging to finish out their terms and go on to the next job before the collapse.”

The task force has brought on the Minneapolis-based municipal financial firm Piper Jaffray to come up with alternatives. This firm specializes in corporate welfare projects such as sports stadiums and taxpayer-backed hotels. Spickard’s statement was “an educated opinion,” allows Cushman. In the task force’s upcoming meetings, devoted to possible financing, “The rubber hits the road,” he says. “There are many options that governmental entities use for large capital improvements. Everything is on the table. If we build it, will they come? Whether it can happen, I honestly don’t know.”

And that is the key question: in this economy, will the public buy into an expansion? After all, many San Diegans haven’t even seen the convention center and don’t believe they get any benefits from it. The jobs it creates are generally low paying: the big hotels make money from it, but that loot often heads out of town to distant corporations that own the hotels. DeMaio would like to see nearby hotels pitch in on the financing of the expansion. Good luck on that.

“This is one of [the mayor’s] stacked committees,” harrumphs Steve Erie, UCSD political scientist. “It’s the downtown rah-rah crowd.” Nonetheless — and astonishingly for San Diego — in late March, the task force admitted that some of its members characterized “the information presented thus far as overly scripted and biased toward a foregone conclusion in favor of expansion.”

So Heywood Sanders, professor of public administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio, author of the seminal Brookings Institution study showing that convention centers are vastly overbuilt, was invited to address the task force on May 5. Using charts and graphs, he showed how centers keep being built and expanded even as attendance drops off. He was treated roughly. One member asked him if he had ever been inside a convention center.

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Don Bauder June 10, 2009 @ 4:08 p.m.

Response to post #3: Those would be good numbers to have. I have never trusted the ConVis and convention center numbers. There are other groups such as Smith Travel Research that appear to publish good numbers. Overall, however, now that the near-bankrupt City is making critical financial decisions based on bloated numbers, it's time to get the straight story. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 10, 2009 @ 4:10 p.m.

Response to post #4: Yes, San Diego's YTD, YOY and monthly hotel stats are among the grimmer ones in the nation. I think there are enough downtown hotels to last a long time. It's like the condo situation downtown; it will take years to correct the overbuilding. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 10, 2009 @ 12:17 p.m.

I agree with the research that shows the numbers don't add up.

This is a no go because of the economic climate anyway-bonds cannot be sold in this credit environment, unless you're going to pay 15% interest, of course then it makes even less sense.

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Don Bauder June 10, 2009 @ 2:08 p.m.

Response to post #1: Logically, the convention center expansion should be a no-go at this time. The first thing the task force should do is order an audit by an objective third party to see if the center's statistics are legitimate. As Heywood Sanders says, they are not. Then the task force should look at the hotel situation in San Diego. Would the subsidy of another upscale hotel be a good investment five years from now, when the facility would be coming online? Unless the economy takes off, it will not be -- not even close. And the City should not be subsidizing a hotel anyway. It is in horrible financial shape, and will probably be in 2014. But this is San Diego...... Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 11, 2009 @ 3:41 p.m.

Response to post #13: To expand the convention center to accommodate one event a year would be the height of economic folly. Best, Don Bauder

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JakeSD June 10, 2009 @ 2:20 p.m.

I'd like to see :

Downtown hotel occupancy rates for 2006, 2007 & 2008 and convention center capacity (occupancy) for 2006, 2007 & 2008.

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JakeSD June 10, 2009 @ 2:26 p.m.

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/articles.aspx?ArticleId=1345

Looke like SD has one of the highest year over year rate (Average Daily Rate) drops and year to year occupancy/rate (RevPar) drops.

Dont think they need anymore hotel supply downtown...

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mythusmage June 10, 2009 @ 7:59 p.m.

Who's really responsible for the need to expand? Comic-Con International. They are the ones who fill up the convention center from one end to the other, and who need more and more space with each year. The convention center fills up. The hotels fill up. Public transit, city streets, and even charter buses fill up. All because Comic-Con International needs the space, and as long as it draws the crowds it does this will be the case.

This despite the city's hard work to discourage CCI and Comicon attendees.

The city needs to rethink its relationship with Comic-Con International.

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Don Bauder June 11, 2009 @ 3:52 p.m.

Response to post #15: Strongly agree. The City is broke. It can hardly afford to expand the convention center because of one gathering. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 10, 2009 @ 9:04 p.m.

Response to post #7: The so-called need to accommodate the Comic-Con hordes is definitely a factor in the proposed expansion. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams June 11, 2009 @ 1:20 a.m.

The convention center is fine as it is.

Comic Con and other conventions will most likely reduce in size in coming years, rather than continue what looks like unsustainable growth. How many comic books and action figure fans are there, any way? And how much disposable income do they have right now?

Training, travel, and conference budgets are being slashed every where. So why would any rational business invest into a declining market based on fickle tourism and conventions?

Well, the Convention Center board doesn't seem compelled to run the place as a rational business. They see themselves as semi-officials of the local government.

The result is staggering fixing of the figures.

Don and Professor Sanders are correct. We need an independent audit of the whole organization. Let's find out some real numbers before we go opening our wallets (yet again) to subsidize low paid hotel jobs.

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Don Bauder June 11, 2009 @ 6:24 a.m.

Response to post #10: You hit the ball out of the park again, Fred. Rational people would not go ahead with such a project without having an objective audit of convention center statistics. Look around: for years, the convention center has been reporting big gains. But hotel statistics have not matched these purported increases. Now in this deep recession we have hotels really hurting. It's clear they are overbuilt. They will probably still be overbuilt when this expansion supposedly goes online several years down the road. The economy may still be weak at that time. Convention centers nationally are egregiously overbuilt. There is a suffocating squeeze on pricing. However, task force members will be considering taxpayer funds, not private funds, and certainly not their own money. OPM -- Other People's Money. Sigh. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh June 11, 2009 @ 8:34 a.m.

One point that has not been mentioned much is the overall social role of conventions. The graphic displayed with this piece showing that trade show attendance peaked over a decade ago has a loud message. That message is that conventions will just not draw increasing attendance in the future. People are turning into stay-at-homes, and the availability of all sorts of electronic substitutes for being there abets that lack of interest in travel. San Diego does have an advantage with its climate and beaches as an attractor of people to conventions here. But many will go to a show here with the employer paying, not because they are really interested in the show. They come for the sunshine and blue sky and blue water. To expand the current center to handle a very few larger gatherings, with the place grossly underutilized the rest of the time, is pure folly. There is still the matter of the lack of flights in and out of Lindbergh to handle the "really big" shows, along with all the cruise ship passengers, and the regular tourist trade. The picture just doesn't add up to needing more convention center space.

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Don Bauder June 11, 2009 @ 10:12 a.m.

Response to post #11: Very good points. In this economic environment, which I think will be around for at least 5 years, a corporation will be loath to send employees to a meeting or convention so they can enjoy great weather. Companies will cancel such gatherings. If they decide to have them, the firms will look for the best deal around -- even if that means holding the gathering in Houston or Phoenix in the summertime. Las Vegas is having troubles. Convention competition is heating up. Prices are going down. Unemployment is high; companies don't have to massage their workers by sending them to conventions and meetings in garden spots. This will last for awhile. Best, Don Bauder

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fangirl June 11, 2009 @ 1:11 p.m.

In response to posts # 7-9:

Of course Comic Con's the main reason that the convention center needs to expand. As Comic Con's contract extends through the next couple of years, as their attendance figures continue to grow annually, and as they've repeatedly shown little interest in moving their tradition of 40 years, very serious consideration should be made before dismissing this convention and its contributions to our downtown development and our community as a whole.

It's the largest and longest-running international comic book convention, and the idea that it's just books and action figures (or that it can't sustain itself) is ludicrous. Each year tickets and hotel rooms sell out quicker. Each year more and more vendors cram into the show floor, sharing booths if they have to - some are even turned away once it's filled up. Attendees don't skip the convention if they have less disposable income - they share hotel rooms, carpool, eat their own food, trade/sell stuff, and shop around and/or buy less merchandise. The panel rooms always fill quickly because there are more and more of them devoted to TV shows, film, and other pop culture phenomena (all of which, by the way, will not cease to exist just because tourism is declining in most other instances). Fans of this industry are anything but fickle, we're devoted fanatics who tolerate the long lines and over-crowding because we know the experience as a whole is well worth it.

In a time of economic recession and general depression, people need to enjoy an escape from reality more than ever! Depriving over 125,000 people annually of that outlet (and its genuine needs) is not the right answer.

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David Dodd June 11, 2009 @ 2:15 p.m.

One problem I have witnessed about San Diego over the years: San Diego is a big city that thinks it's a small city. This leads to dichotomies and citizens that tend to shun compromise. The expansion of the Convention Center should be a question of compromise, not a question of yes or no.

Something can be accomplished to satisfy the needs of Comic Con. Comic Con isn't my thing, but the trend for Comic Con is upward, in spite of the economy. Why not look into construction of a temporary expansion? Why not take a cost-effective approach to satisfying a convention that is a winner?

This is the Chargers stadium argument all over again. I'm not a Chargers fan, and personally couldn't care less if they move to Los Angeles (and they will). The National Football League would love nothing more than to put a Superbowl in San Diego every four or five years. They can't. Qualcomm Stadium is a dump - and I'm not talking aesthetics, I've been inside of the stadium many times, into the structural portions and on the field days before a game. The only reason that spectators can't see the ugliness is because of how they dress the place up. It is painting lipstick on a pig. Guess what? Qualcomm Stadium is still a pig.

Some will be saddened at losing the Chargers. Others, like myself, will be saddened by the loss of revenue. Same goes for the Convention Center.

Why can't San Diego compromise on issues like this? Oh, yeah, I forgot. We're a large city that thinks we're a small city.

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JakeSD June 11, 2009 @ 3:28 p.m.

fangirl, Comic-Con is a great convention for the city.

But, it is one covention per year. The rest of the year that expansion and thos hotel rooms are not needed. Its a case of weighing cost vs. benefit.

If private money is used in some kind of partnership or even revenue sharing that is one thing but the city cant afford millions for a once a year bump in revenues.

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Don Bauder June 11, 2009 @ 3:50 p.m.

Response to post #14: With a population of 3 million, the county (which is the market) is in the top 20, so San Diego could be called a large city, but certainly not one of the very large ones. As to the Chargers: yes, they would like to leave, but the stadium has to be built in the L.A. area; Roski is a big talker. Whether he can come through or not is questionable. The NFL will chip in money in L.A., but not in San Diego. The owners might not let the Chargers relocate. Other cities such as Minneapolis are eyeing L.A. There are rumors the Rams want out of St. Louis. They could return, but I wouldn't count on it. A possible strike could throw a monkey wrench in any relocations. Meanwhile, the Chargers are making plenty of money at Qualcomm. Fans don't seem to think it's a dump. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd June 11, 2009 @ 4:42 p.m.

Don, San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States. Conventions are not limited in attendance by the City of San Diego. Concerning the Chargers, they draw from Los Angeles very well since there is no team there. Once they are in Los Angeles, San Diego Chargers fans who can get tickets will happily go up there and spend their money. And stay in their hotels. And eat their food.

San Diego isn't just broke; it is in debt. I understand. But compromise is not, has not, and apparently will not be considered by people who somehow believe that being "in the top 20" qualifies as being "not one of the very large ones".

We're number eight. Not number twenty.

The stadium will be built east of Los Angeles, I have no doubt about that, and coincidentally within five miles from where I grew up, near Diamond Bar and Walnut. And the Chargers will move there. This, I predict.

And, Don, if you get the opportunity, take a field-level tour of Qualcomm Stadium before they install the field-wall banners and the auxilary seats. Before I had this opportunity, I felt as you did, that Qualcomm Stadium was just fine. It isn't. I was quite surprised.

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Don Bauder June 11, 2009 @ 7:22 p.m.

Response to post #19: San Diego may be the 8th largest city, but that barely means anything. What's important is how big the market is. San Diego is one of the few metro areas in which the defined market is a political boundary: San Diego County. It has 3 million people. It's the 17th largest market, although that can be confusing. If you count the entire Bay Area as one market, San Diego moves up. If you count the Bay Area as three markets (San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Oakland), then San Diego comes in 17th. That stadium east of L.A. might be built. We both agree the Chargers want to get out of town. Meantime, the team is making a bundle of bucks playing at Qualcomm. There is absolutely no reason that new pro stadiums and arenas have to be built every couple of decades, particularly when taxpayers are picking up the tab. Stadiums for the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, etc. are around 100 years old. There has been maintenance, expansion, etc. through the years, but they are still the same shell. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd June 11, 2009 @ 8:02 p.m.

Don, Qualcomm is over 42 years old (not a couple of decades). Comparing professional forty-year old multi-purpose stadiums to college stadiums that have historical relevance and were built with football only in mind (no major college baseball teams play in a football stadium) is comparing apples to oranges. The Rose Bowl will always be a great venue for college football, but it won't work for professional football. I'll happily detail why if you need it.

I have neither love nor respect for the ownership of the Chargers. I'm not a fan, and I'll never see a game (I've turned down free tickets). I have nothing emotionally invested in my stance, simply that I do understand how much money professional sports teams can mean to a city. I'm simply disappointed that neither side attempted a reasonable compromise.

It's simple then, to conclude that San Diego does not want a professional football team.

Regarding San Diego's market: I disagree with the definition. Areas of Orange and Riverside Counties feed into the market, as well as the portion of Northern Baja California that has passports, the latter of which are larger than many people think.

Respectfully, RG

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 6:09 a.m.

Response to post #21: If you disagree with the definition of the market, you'll have to take it up with the U.S. government, which defines various metro markets. If the definition of the San Diego metro market (the county) has changed, I am not aware of it. Certainly, you could argue that Temecula and environs belong in the San Diego metro market. Some went to include Tijuana and parts of Orange County. As to Qualcomm: pro football teams play only eight regular season games and two pre-season games at home. That's ten days a year. Toss in a few tractor pulls. The City of San Diego is broke. Would such an expense pay off? Hell, no. Best, Don Bauder

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SanDiegoParrothead June 12, 2009 @ 8:22 a.m.

Now I'll first admit that I've never been to Comic Con, but couldn't this one convention "expand" into the hotels that already ring the convention center? Most hotels have large ballrooms. Can some of this convention be staged in these ballrooms?

Don, you keep mentioning task force. WHo's on the task force? We need names!

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 9 a.m.

Response to post #23: Who's on convention center task force: Co-chair: Cheryl Kendrick, former chair of the convention center and Steve Cushman, chair of the port. Members: Richard Bartell, general partner of Bartell Hotels; Susie Baumann, restaurateur; Gordon Boerner, SD National Bank; Patrick Duffy, general manager of Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel; Bill Evans of Evans Hotel Group, former board member of convention center and ConVis; Pete Garcia, chair of SD Economic Development Foundation; Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasury of SD and Imperial Counties Labor Council, perennial supporter of taxpayer-financed corporate welfare projects; Lani Lutar of SD County Taxpayers Association, also traditional supporter of welfare projects that benefit the affluent, such as the ballpark; Fred Maas, chair of CCDC; Mike McDowell, exec vp of Atlas Hotels and CEO of SD Lodging Industry Association; Vince Mudd, president of Office Interiors and treasurer of SD Regional Economic Development Corp.; Bob Nelson, PR man now secretary-treasurer of San Diego Theatres; Bill Sauls, downtown attorney now serving both CCDC and Downtown San Diego Partnership, also board of East Village Association; Mark Steele, architect, once chair of Planning Commission, once involved with Chargers stadium attempts, and Diane Takvorian of Environmental Health Coalition. She is the only one on the task force who might look objectively at supporting corporate welfare projects. Having seen this list, do you see what I mean? The task force is stacked, just as Mayor Jerry Sanders's charter reform commission was stacked with real estate industry lobbyists and lackeys. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 12, 2009 @ 12:35 p.m.

Don, San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States. Conventions are not limited in attendance by the City of San Diego. Concerning the Chargers, they draw from Los Angeles very well since there is no team there. Once they are in Los Angeles, San Diego Chargers fans who can get tickets will happily go up there and spend their money. And stay in their hotels. And eat their food.

By refriedgringo

Tt'll take several billion Big Macs to cover the debt on a BILLION!! dollar stadium that is used 8 times per year.

Have fun with the Happy Meals-I'll take a pass.

Bye bye Chargers, don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

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David Dodd June 12, 2009 @ 1:14 p.m.

Surfpuppy,

First of all, a new stadium would certainly host plenty of other events. The stadium is used 10 times per year for a professional football team. Soccer games - especially when the Mexican National team and even games involving Mexican League teams plays, the draw is tremendous. Throw in concerts, motocross, and so on, and it isn't as if the stadium sits empty for 355 days out of the year.

And I'm certainly not suggesting that the City of San Diego should fork over a billion dollars. Simply, I am saying that there have been no attempts at real negotiation. The City of San Diego does not want the Chargers to remain in San Diego. As I have said, I couldn't care less, I'm not a Chargers fan, nor do I like the ownership.

But there were ways that a deal could have been struck, ways that would have limited financial obligation by the City of San Diego. Unfortunately, we'll never know what could have been accomplished. The City of San Diego - the representation in terms of elected and appointed officials - have proven time and time again that they do not know how to negotiate, or the debt would be much less. The only thing I know for sure is that the revenue will be missed when the Chargers move to Los Angeles.

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Ponzi June 12, 2009 @ 2:30 p.m.

Conventions rise and fall. At one time Comdex, the annual computer trade show was one of the biggest conventions in the world and filled up Las Vegas with some 250,000 attendees.

Comdex is no longer. Dead. Gone.

Comic Con might relocate the Las Vegas, or break into two conventions held in different cities. Whatever San Diego does with the convention center, they should not count on any conventions to be a constant.

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 3:15 p.m.

Response to post #25: Research has shown that pro sports stadiums do not draw many people from outside the home market. The Chargers get some fans from Orange County and Mexico, but their numbers wouldn't be imposing. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 3:19 p.m.

Response to post #26: City of San Diego negotiators had their pants taken down by both the Chargers in 1997 and the Padres in 1998. However, even sophisticated cities get taken. New York taxpayers picked up half the $2 billion-plus tab for the new Yankees and Mets stadiums. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 3:22 p.m.

Response to post #27: Very good point. Conventions come and go. Also, with convention centers vastly overbuilt and the economy still in the megrims, convention planners drive hard bargains. San Diego would have to slice prices to keep the juiciest conventions and meetings. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 12, 2009 @ 8:25 p.m.

First of all, a new stadium would certainly host plenty of other events. The stadium is used 10 times per year for a professional football team. Soccer games - especially when the Mexican National team and even games involving Mexican League teams plays, the draw is tremendous. Throw in concerts, motocross, and so on, and it isn't as if the stadium sits empty for 355 days out of the year.

And I'm certainly not suggesting that the City of San Diego should fork over a billion dollars. Simply, I am saying that there have been no attempts at real negotiation. The City of San Diego does not want the Chargers to remain in San Diego. As I have said, I couldn't care less, I'm not a Chargers fan, nor do I like the ownership.

But there were ways that a deal could have been struck, ways that would have limited financial obligation by the City of San Diego. Unfortunately, we'll never know what could have been accomplished. The City of San Diego - the representation in terms of elected and appointed officials - have proven time and time again that they do not know how to negotiate, or the debt would be much less. The only thing I know for sure is that the revenue will be missed when the Chargers move to Los Angeles.

By refriedgringo

===================

I have no idea how long you have lived in San Diego, but we have had several pro soccer teams. They do NOT draw crowds (even championship teams), they do NOT make money and they would NOT support a new stadium.

Mexican National team????.....games involving Mexican League teams ???....... the draw is tremendous?? Are you for real???

Please show me where you dreamed up this fantasy??? Mexico is a third world country that has NO MONEY, TJ even less, no Mexican soccer team is going to play in San Diego, much less make any money. Where did get that hare brained scheme??


"And I'm certainly not suggesting that the City of San Diego should fork over a billion dollars. Simply, I am saying that there have been no attempts at real negotiation."


Listen, YOU may not be suggesting that, but the Spanos crime family is, and has been for over 10 years now. So the notion that a city which is dead broke and over $5 BILLION dollars in debt should "negotiate" to give away hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to a BILLIONAIRE pro sports whiner is pure nonsense. It does not even pass the laugh test.

Here I have a better idea, if you want to give YOUR money away to a BILLIONAIRE, go at it, no one is holding you back. But you are not giving MY money to that whiner Spanos.

There is NO WAY a "deal can be struck" that limits taxpayer money for the Spanos crime family. Zero. None. Nada.

We already "struck a deal" with the Chargers in 1998, and they breached it. We won't be striking anymore, and you can take that to the bank.

Bye bye Chargers, see ya later. I will shed a crocodile tear or two when you leave.

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David Dodd June 12, 2009 @ 9:12 p.m.

  1. I was born in San Diego, in 1961, at the old Balboa Naval hospital. Where did you MOVE HERE FROM?

  2. I am more aware of the history of San Diego sports franchises than you are, that's a promise. You left out minor league hockey and ABA and NBA franchises that failed. You also failed to note that the Chargers started in Los Angeles. They will return there.

  3. You are not aware of the draw of MEXICAN soccer because you obviously have no idea and have not researched it or you wouldn't be disputing it. Americans hate soccer and Mexicans love soccer; American soccer teams do poorly here and Mexican teams sell out. That's a fact.

  4. I fully understand that you believe that sports franchises should be not-for-profit. If you own or work for a business that doesn't wish to profit, then I'm your biggest customer. Unfortunately, you'll be out of business before I can take advantage of it.

  5. You can copy and paste very well. Unfortunately, your reading comprehension isn't as good. I dislike Charger ownership, and couldn't care less about the Chargers. I dislike San Diego politicians and appointed representatives because they are unable to negotiate properly. Did you not read that?

  6. Calling the Spanos family "criminals" is slander. You really need to be careful what you write online, it could be removed from this site or worse if deemed inflammatory.

  7. When the Chargers move to Los Angeles, the stadium will be built using 100% PRIVATE FUNDS. No taxpayer dollars will be used. The little village of San Diego was too inept to pull this off. Perhaps the people who decided that it shouldn't be built - and that no sports teams at all should be here anyway - are as much to blame as the politicians.

  8. San Diego doesn't need the revenue, just more debt. Right? The loss of revenue should be no problem, we'll just raise everyone's taxes! :)

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 9:40 p.m.

Response to post #31: I agree that the Chargers reneged on their deal of 1997. They got a completely refurbished stadium and agreed to remain for a couple of decades. Suddenly, they wanted a new one, citing a loophole that their shrewd lawyers had put into the contract. Then former Mayor Murphy gave in and gave away the store. The team can leave easily, although it may encounter roadblocks, including perhaps the other NFL owners. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 9:48 p.m.

Response to post #32: I don't know that anyone said sports franchises should be non-profit. On another point: nobody would object if a stadium were built with 100% private funds. But you have to watch out. Sports franchises will claim that their palaces are built with 100% private funds, but when you dig beneath the surface, you find it isn't so at all. They may be given land by government, which also may give the teams big tax breaks. And there are many other tricks. As to LA, the NFL would probably chip in to help build a stadium in that market, one of the nation's largest. It wouldn't do the same for San Diego or other small-to-medium markets. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 15, 2009 @ 10:37 p.m.

6. Calling the Spanos family "criminals" is slander. You really need to be careful what you write online, it could be removed from this site or worse if deemed inflammatory.

LOL...what a meltdown.

Hey Perry Mason Jr, Google NY Times v. Sullivan and see what it says.

You are one of the Spanos CRIME family kool aid drinkers!

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SurfPuppy619 June 15, 2009 @ 10:40 p.m.

7. When the Chargers move to Los Angeles, the stadium will be built using 100% PRIVATE FUNDS. No taxpayer dollars will be used.

Oh brother, another WHOPPER.

There has not been a SINGLE stadium- ANY stadium, not just football, built with "100% PRIVATE FUNDS" in the last 30 years.

Better to keep mouth shut and be thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

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David Dodd June 15, 2009 @ 10:49 p.m.

"LOL...what a meltdown.

Hey Perry Mason Jr, Google NY Times v. Sullivan and see what it says.

You are one of the Spanos CRIME family kool aid drinkers!"

Doesn't matter to me dude, I can't stand the Spanos clan, but your risks are your own.

"Oh brother, another WHOPPER.

There has not been a SINGLE stadium- ANY stadium, not just football, built with "100% PRIVATE FUNDS" in the last 30 years.

Better to keep mouth shut and be thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

Again, you're obviously not informed about the guy building the stadium. Better to keep posting silly responses to mine. And then, you can just claim that it's all crooked and that somehow the L.A. taxpayers are funding what's already underway without their knowledge in a State that's in debt. Again, dude, do your homework (do you ever research before responding or is it all just off the cuff?). Do you know who is building that stadium and how he's funded other projects?

Apparently not. But please, be that fool you speak of and tell me who you think it is...

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 6:54 a.m.

Response to post #35: Oooooh, this is getting nasty. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 6:56 a.m.

Response to post #36: I believe the Washington Redskins stadium was built with private funds -- genuinely private. I believe the North Carolina Panthers' stadium may be private, too, but my memory may be failing me on that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 7:21 a.m.

Response to post #37: Ed Roski plans to build an NFL stadium in the City of Industry. As to whether it will be built with private money: the devil will be in the details. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 16, 2009 @ 11:35 a.m.

Again, you're obviously not informed about the guy building the stadium. Better to keep posting silly responses to mine. And then, you can just claim that it's all crooked and that somehow the L.A. taxpayers are funding what's already underway without their knowledge in a State that's in debt. Again, dude, do your homework (do you ever research before responding or is it all just off the cuff?). Do you know who is building that stadium and how he's funded other projects?

Apparently not. But please, be that fool you speak of and tell me who you think it is...

By refriedgringo

Well "dude" no one is "buidling a stadium". Yet nother one of your baloney lines. In fact no one even thinks for a second that the stadium could be built on the bogus claims that have been made. NO ONE (edxcept y.ou that is).

But hey, please feel free to pvoe me wrong and link to this new stadium construction, show us all how smart and knowledgeable you are with a link to your claims.

So once again, you're way out of your league here. You obviously do not know anything about stadiums, or even the So Cal market.

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David Dodd June 16, 2009 @ noon

The stadium will be built a few miles from where I grew up. Why provide you with links? I assume you know how to use a search engine, you do your own work. The stadium will be privately funded. Period. You don't have to believe me, you can continue to be insulting, it doesn't bother me. I'll give you a tip to begin your search: Begin with finding the letter written by the mayor of Diamond Bar to the residents of Diamond Bar after Majestic Realty reached a settlement with the city of Diamond Bar. Try the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, it was probably printed there.

100% privately funded means what it means.

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gardenparty June 16, 2009 @ 12:32 p.m.

refriedgringo, You are missing one important ingredient in the deal, The NFL's cooperation. This is from the AP story talking about the agreement you refer to: "Majestic only plans to move ahead with the project if it is able to attract an NFL team, which has so far not happened" Until there is a team signed sealed and delivered, and approved by the NFL, Roski won't even break ground. So as of now , it's just a plan, not reality.

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SurfPuppy619 June 16, 2009 @ 12:47 p.m.

The stadium will be built a few miles from where I grew up.

Wow, you grew up in that area?? Yuch!

BTW, no stadium is being built, now or in the future. That's why you can't post a link. I called you on your BS and I busted you-you know it, I know it and now so does everyone else.

And for the record, there have been thousands of kooks spouting the same baloney as you have, about building a new stadium in the LA area, since the Raiders left in 1995. That was 15 years ago, and we're no closer now than we were then.

But we still get kooks like you claiming otherwise.

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SurfPuppy619 June 16, 2009 @ 12:51 p.m.

Until there is a team signed sealed and delivered, and approved by the NFL, Roski won't even break ground. So as of now , it's just a plan, not reality.

By gardenparty 12

Acually it is not even a plan, it is a "pipe dream" because he has no $$$$$$$$$$$ or financing (and this was before the credit crunch).

I could CLAIM I was going to build a new LA stadium, but talk and action are not the same thing.

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David Dodd June 16, 2009 @ 12:57 p.m.

But Roski's smart. He knows what we're all speculating, that the Chargers are gone and are looking for a home. None of this will become public yet, Spanos is smart enough to leave hopeful fans clinging to the notion that the Chargers might stay. Roski and Spanos go way back.

From 2008:

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/120164

If you read between the lines, it isn't difficult to draw the conclusion that - in spite of public comments - they have already struck a deal (the article says otherwise, of course). There are also a couple of clues I'd rather not reveal, but if you can reach the conclusion that the Chargers are leaving San Diego, then the short move up to that area twenty miles East of Los Angeles is the perfect move.

True, he isn't going to break ground until the Chargers plan to announce that since all efforts have failed in San Diego to build a new stadium, and that while the Chargers love the people of San Diego, that the team is moving to Los Angeles and that San Diego residents are welcome to drive a couple of hours north and enjoy the team.

To announce it now would be foolish. Even if they win the Superbowl, unless some billionaire came along and built a stadium in San Diego, they're gone.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 12:57 p.m.

NOTE: We have been debating whether the planned $800 million stadium in the City of Industry will be subsidized. In January, the voters (by 60-1 -- there aren't many people in this little burg) OK'd a $500 million bond to go for infrastructure: streets, sewers, etc., some of which will serve the new stadium if it is built. So a subsidy is already in place. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd June 16, 2009 @ 1:10 p.m.

True, Don. I'll assume that you know about the City of Industry. It is an incredibly long strip of narrow land that goes from the western edge of Pomona out to Whittier, stradling the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroad tracks. When I was a kid, there was little there, we used to tape pennies to the tracks and the trains would smash them.

C. of I. has a population of less that 1,000. Of the two cities surrounding the site where the stadium will be built, a settlement has already been reached with Diamond Bar and as soon as Walnut stops demanding improvements that have nothing to do with the stadium then they'll get some money as well.

Regarding the bond act, as much money as that sounds like, there is a ton of factories, retail outlets, malls, and so on. It isn't an unreasonable amount considering all that is there now, irrespective of the stadium.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:20 p.m.

Response to post #41: If it ever gets built, you can be sure there will be plenty of photos floating around. Roski likes his publicity. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd June 16, 2009 @ 1:22 p.m.

Surfpuppy, Roski alone is worth 2.5 billion. And billionaires love billionaires, I'm sure he has enough backing for this. It isn't like Morad buying the Padres with a bunch of millionaire buddies, Roski is a serious player. He helped to fund the building of Staples Center (privately, 375 million) and has minority stake in both the Lakers and the Kings.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:22 p.m.

Response to post #42: See note above. The City of Industry has already passed a $500 million bond for infrastructure, some of which will service the stadium if it is built. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:28 p.m.

Response to post #43: The NFL wants a team in Los Angeles and will throw in some money to help get it built. The league doesn't give a hoot about what happens to smaller cities like San Diego. Former Commissioner Tagliabue threw out a threat at the last Super Bowl in San Diego: this is the last one here, he said, because the stadium isn't good enough. More NFL blackmail. Best, Don bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:32 p.m.

Response to post #44: Yes, there have been a number of stadium proposals in L.A. None has reached fruition. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:35 p.m.

Response to post #45: Roski claims he has financing. But does he? Some think he might get the federal government to toss in money as part of its infrastructure program. Ridiculous, of course, but everything is these days. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:40 p.m.

Response to post #46: I believe that the Chargers want to leave San Diego. I have been writing that for almost a decade. The question is whether Roski can build and whether the NFL owners would approve a Chargers move rather than, say, a relocation by the Minnesota Vikings. Incidentally, the Chargers do not love San Diego and never have. The Chargers love money. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 1:44 p.m.

Response to post #48: From what I have read, City of Industry has fewer than 300 residents. Only 61 bothered to vote on the infrastructure bond which will help those other businesses, but will also serve Roski's proposed stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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JakeSD June 16, 2009 @ 2:02 p.m.

Gillette Stadium in Mass. was built with private funds. I think some public funds were used to improve infrastruture (route 1-main access to stadium) but that road needed it anyway.

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gardenparty June 16, 2009 @ 2:23 p.m.

gringo, In this case, I agree with surfpuppy, it ain't gonna happen. I remember an article not too long after the CI/DB settlement, (NYT I think, maybe Don recalls it?). Somewhere it mentioned Roski's worth was over 60% commercial real estate and it had dropped to 1.5-1.8 billion. I don't think anyone expects the commercial re market to improve anytime soon, so that number will almost surely drop. I'm sure he has a pretty big bank account, but it's not like he's gonna write an $800 million check. As for his billion dollar "friends", neither he or any of his "associates" has yet to name any of their investors and none seem to want to step forward on their own. And don't forget to throw in a few hundred million more for him to buy at the very least part of a team. Roski himself has said he has to own at least part of the team (will the Spanos family even give up part of their ownership?) A couple of other obstacles come to mind. If you go back to the very first discussions, the NFL has indicated they want 2 teams in LA not just one, one of which may or may not be an expansion franchise. Only makes sense for the 2nd largest market. Now with a 2013 completion date, at the earliest, that means 2 teams playing in LA for at least 1 season in either the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum. Last I heard, neither venue had expressed an interest in participating. Then there's that pesky old gambling affiliation. NFL league rules clearly prohibit team owners from also owning casinos because they do not want professional sports tainted by links to gambling. I think Roski's attitude that "his ownership of the casino will have zero impact on his partnership's bid for an NFL franchise" is not appreciated by the NFL. Also don't forget that Michael Ovitz' group has been trying to get a team in LA for a while, and I would think he curry favor with the NFL more than Roski. And as Don pointed out, twice, CI (all 84 registered voters) passed a $500 million bond issue, $150 million of which would pay for stadium-related infrastructure projects. That's definately not 100% private money.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 7:26 p.m.

Response to post #57: Yes, the state threw in a big chunk for infrastructure on that one, but the rest was private. It was high comedy. Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, threatened to move the team to Hartford, Connecticut, a rundown city with neither the population nor the discretionary income to support a pro football team. The state of Massachusetts stayed firm: no taxpayer money. So Kraft put up the non-infrastructure bucks. That is a lesson for cities: if they will hold out long enough, the owner will cave in. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 7:37 p.m.

Response to post #58: Actually, pro sports owners have a long history of being casino owners, bookies, high rollers, and mobbed up characters. The NFL has historically been the dirtiest league, although it may be trying to be cautious now. However, my guess is it would figure a way to look the other way on Roski, just as the NBA looks the other way on the Sacramento Kings owners, who also own casinos in Vegas. Overall, your points are well taken. I can't see, though, how two teams would work in LA. Look what happened when it had the Rams and Raiders. Both left. Incidentally, the Rams are making noises about moving from St. Louis, which showered the team with money when it left LA. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 16, 2009 @ 8:12 p.m.

True, he isn't going to break ground until the Chargers plan to announce that since all efforts have failed in San Diego to build a new stadium, and that while the Chargers love the people of San Diego, that the team is moving to Los Angeles and that San Diego residents are welcome to drive a couple of hours north and enjoy the team.

To announce it now would be foolish. Even if they win the Superbowl, unless some billionaire came along and built a stadium in San Diego, they're gone.

There is no financing for a pro football stadium. There is no financing for any kind of stadium. There is no financiing for ANYTHING right now, and the credit crunch has not, and is not, easing.

Like I said, there have been plans galore about building football stadiums in LA going back to Al Davis' pipe dream of a stadium in Irwindale. That didn't fly 22 years ago, it doesn't fly today, and it won't fly in another 22 years.

If the NFL had the juice to build a stadium or put a team in LA then they would have done it during the biggest economic expansion of the last 50 years. Now we are in the biggest economic slump since 1933. It ain't happening-because if it was it would already have been a done deal.

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David Dodd June 16, 2009 @ 9:14 p.m.

Surfpuppy, if I'm wrong and you're right, I'll take out an ad in the reader and proclaim it. The Chargers are long gone. If I'm right and you're wrong... ?

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 9:48 p.m.

Response to post #61: Pro sports attendance is down. I agree that there won't be much money available from financial institutions for new stadia of any kind. However, there will probably be some. People are pretty stupid; bankers are among the slowest on the learning curve. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2009 @ 9:50 p.m.

Response to post #62: Now there is a good way to settle disputes. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 16, 2009 @ 11:07 p.m.

response to # 60 Don the Rams and Raiders leaving L A was not an issue caused by having 2 teams. The Raiders left because Al Davis is a greedy bastard conman. He went for the money and nothing else, pure and simple. He feigned concern over stadia isuues, here, Irwindale, etc, but it really was about the money. The Rams left because John Shaw couln't get a stadium deal. I had season tickets at the time and I can tell you from personal experience that the Big A was a crappy place for football. The truth be told, I think Georgia would have liked to stay but Shaw ran the team and when St. Louis came acourting with their sweet honey pot of a deal, it was game over. As I recall it was the NFL who actually first brought the issue up back when the NFL was awarding the franchise which eventually went to Houston. Here's a quote from the NFL at the time: league spokesman Brian McCarthy said "The NFL would not have a problem with Roski brokering a deal to get a team to move from another part of the country to L.A., as long as he didn't have an ownership stake in the team". My personal opinion is that Roski is still pissed that the NFL passed over he and Eli Broad 10 years ago. But I think the point about the Chargers moving to CI with or without another team is a mute one; I don't think the stadium ever gets built.And without a new stadium,the NFL will not allow any teams into L A

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David Dodd June 16, 2009 @ 11:19 p.m.

gardenparty:

I respect your point of view very much. Like yourself, I lived through the Rams/Raiders crap in L.A., and a lot of what you say is right on the money. We disagree abouy the C. of I. stadium - and only time will tell about it - but you make your points elegantly. I reckon we'll find out what happens sooner rather than later. I'm convinced Roski is driven to get it done and if I'm wrong I'll say so publicly.

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 6:29 a.m.

Response to post #65: L.A. is one of the few cities with intelligence: it has clearly said there will be no government subsidies. A nearby town like City of Industry might chip in. Last time I checked, Pasadena is out of the running. The NFL said at one point that the Coliseum was out. I hope, for the sake of San Diego, that the Chargers remain at the Q and continue to rake in money. But the team's owners do want to get out of town and get a fat subsidy. In this environment, it could be tough. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 6:31 a.m.

Response to post #66: Roski is "driven." That is for sure. He is driven by greed and gall, like NFL owners. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 17, 2009 @ 10:38 a.m.

And without a new stadium,the NFL will not allow any teams into L A

By gardenparty

I have to disagree with you here.

If an NFL team wants to go into LA, with or without a new/renovated stadium, it has the power to do so unilaterally.

They need NO stamp of approval from the NFL, or anyone else. Al Davis proved that when he fled Oakland in 1981. The NFL filed suit and lost (Davis coutnersued on anti trust grounds and won-getting the treble damages allowed under such a lawsuit-and then to add insult to injury he won the Superbowl).

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JakeSD June 17, 2009 @ 1:52 p.m.

The Chargers wouldnt move to LA unless they had a new stadium or the plan with subsidy to build one (i.e. play in Coliseum for 2 years until stadium is built).

What I dont get is how the cost to build a stadium has gone from $300 millon to $600 million to now $1 billion. I realize certain costs had gone up (concrete, steel) during 2003-2006 but in this recession many commodities have dropped and there should be PLENTY of labor available.

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SurfPuppy619 June 17, 2009 @ 2:28 p.m.

What I dont get is how the cost to build a stadium has gone from $300 millon to $600 million to now $1 billion.

The cost is not in labor or materials, the cost is in the goodies added to the product.

Look at it like this, a $300-$500 stadium 5 years ago was like a Chevy, but the stadiums since then are Cadillacs fully loaded with all the options.

To wit, the new Dallas Cowboys $1.2 billion dollar palace (and I do mean "palace");

http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/

http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/photo_gallery.cfm

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 4:58 p.m.

Response to post #69: I don't know if the Davis case would be a precedent. All along, it has been assumed that Alex Spanos would need the OK of other owners if he wanted to move the team. Good question. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 5:03 p.m.

Response to post #70: I believe the main reason cost estimates of new stadia have gone up is that facilities have become so much plusher. It's hopscotch: if one team gets its city to subsidize five luxury restaurants inside the stadium, the next team wants seven. Etc. It's the luxury suites that pay off for teams. They are getting ever more luxurious -- obscenely so. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 5:07 p.m.

Response to post #71: And the teams will tell their home cities -- dishonestly -- that they need the more luxurious stadia to make the teams competitive. It's not true in these days of salary caps, drafts, etc. But politicians swallow it. So do taxpayers, apparently. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 17, 2009 @ 5:12 p.m.

It's the luxury suites that pay off for teams.

The ONLY reason the luxury suites pay off for teams is because that is the way the NFL has set up their revenue rule book.

The teams don't split any luxury boxes with the NFL-because it was set up that way-obviously to force muni's to build new stadums with these luxury boxes to "remaim competitive". It is a scam, purposely designed to get new stadiums built at taxpayer expense, to "remain competitive".

How hard do you think it would be for the NFL to change their rules to either 1) make the owners split the luxury box revenue, or 2) make some other arbitrary section of seats not subject to the revenue split with the league?

It is a game to soak money from taxpayers to get new stadiums built (with taxpayer money).

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 5:29 p.m.

Response to post #75: I agree with your points. The NFL lets teams keep their luxury box revenues so that they can sucker their home cities into coughing up subsidies more easily. You are right: it is a scam. The taxpayer subsidization of pro sports teams in every city is a scam. It also represents a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the superrich -- all with the politicians' -- and sometimes the taxpayers' -- enthusiastic support. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 17, 2009 @ 6:26 p.m.

surfpuppy, you are correct. I remembered the lawsuit AD filed AFTER he moved back to Oakland. He sued the NFL again because he thought they were to blame for his having to relocate back to Oakland. He felt the NFL didn't do enough to resolve the revenue issues that came from playing in the Coliseum without it's being " modified " for football. Obviously, he lost that one. But I did forget all about the antitrust lawsuit. In a partial answer to Don's question, I believe that not too long after the AD lawsuit, the NFL changed it's bylaws and constitution and eliminated the owners approval vote for relocation, but I believe an owners vote IS neccessary for change in ownership involving the sale of a team. I also know that the NFL also charges a "relocation Fee' if a franchise moves. I don't know the exact calculations but the example I saw was about $500 million if the Rams wanted out of St Louis and back to L A. The NFL's rules also eliminate giving a team any league money if that team breaks a lease to move. Since the Rams and the Chargers are valued pretty closely, that means someone would need to come up with about 1.75 billion to get majority ownership, build the stadium and move the team. In this financial climate, it ain't gonna happen unless you have the cash. Can anyone say Carlos Slim?????

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SurfPuppy619 June 17, 2009 @ 8:16 p.m.

I believe that not too long after the AD lawsuit, the NFL changed it's bylaws and constitution and eliminated the owners approval vote for relocation.

When Al Davis moved in 1981 the rule was you needed a 3/4 (75%) approval from the other owners to move a team. No team in NFL history, up until that point in time, had ever moved a team from a supportive, and highly profitable, market. Al Davis changed the game with that 1981 move. He took the Raiders, a team with a HUGE fan base that was making good money for him and the other partners and went to LA to make even more money.

The anti trust problem was in the arbitrary % needed for approval to move a team, the 75% number, because it was arbitrary. BUT, if the % (75%) was not an arbitrary %, and was instead JUST a simple majority vote (50%+1), it would have likely passed the anti trust test.

The NFL refused to amend their positon of 75% and rolled the dice. They lost.

Now after Al Davis played LA against Oakland, and blackmailed the two cities for huge tax give aways that went directly into Al's pocket, the NFL saw how this game was played, and how it could work to increase the value of ALL NFL owners and the NFL itself. Just play cities off against each other.

Pretty soon it was not just the NFL pulling this scam, but MLB and to a lessor extent all pro sports teams.

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Don Bauder June 17, 2009 @ 8:16 p.m.

Response to post #77: Carlos Slim seems to prefer investing in legitimate enterprises such as the New York Times. I can't gainsay your legal analysis because I confess I just don't know. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 18, 2009 @ 11:41 a.m.

response to #78 part 1 The interesting about 75% approval thing is that it had been unanimous approval that had been required. It was part of Rule 4.3 of Article IV of the NFL Constitution. When the Rams left the Coliseum for the Big A in the late 70's, the Coliseum was trying to find a replacement team, but it ran into an obstacle: the afore mentioned Rule 4.3 of Article IV of the NFL Constitution.

Rule 4.3: Any transfer of an existing franchise to a location within the home territory of any other club shall only be effective if approved by a unanimous vote; any other transfer shall only be effective if approved by the affirmative vote of not less than three-fourths or 20, whichever is greater, of the member clubs of the League. Rule 4.1 defined home territory as "the city in which [a] club is located and for which it holds a franchise and plays its home games, and includes the surrounding territory to the extent of 75 miles in every direction from the exterior corporate limits of such city ...." That meant the Coliseum was in the "home territory" of the Rams. The Coliseum sued, and lost, but the NFL Executive committee changed the rule to read: The League shall have exclusive control of the exhibition of football games by member clubs within the home territory of each member. No member club shall have the right to transfer its franchise or playing site to a different city, either within or outside its home territory, without prior approval by the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the existing member clubs of the League.

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gardenparty June 18, 2009 @ 11:45 a.m.

response to 78 part 2 You're the lawyer not me, so I don't know if a simple majority vote would have really made any difference, as apposed the the 3/4 requirement. I do know that the basis for the NFL's defense was that the NFL was a "single business entity" and therfore incapable of combining or conspiring in restraint of trade. Like I said, I'm not a lawyer so the only knowledge I have of The Sherman Act is what I've read. Section 1 deals with restraint of trade and the court ruled that "Rule 4.3 violates Sec. 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1. Section 1 literally prohibits every agreement, conspiracy, or other concerted activity in restraint of trade." After reading the court's decsion, even a layman such as myself would have decided against the NFL. The way I read the decision I really don't think the number of votes the league required played that big a role. Again, just a layman, but if a contract illegally restrains trade, does it really matter if it's a magority, unanimous or even just 1 vote?? A couple of interesting things people often overlook about this. First, the vote was 22-0 against all Davis( 5 abstentions) Secondly, the owners didn't actually vote to forbid the Raiders move. What they actually voted, 22-0, was not to schedule games with the Raiders if they moved to the Coliseum. I have never been a Raiders fan, Oakland or LA, though I have been a fan of a few players like Plunkett, Long, Marcus Allen. And I don't like Al Davis but in this case he was correct

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gardenparty June 18, 2009 @ 11:46 a.m.

response to 79 It appears I must work harder to convey my sarcasm.

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Don Bauder June 18, 2009 @ 9:37 p.m.

Response to post #80: You do your homework. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 18, 2009 @ 9:40 p.m.

Response to post #81: Al Davis may have been legally correct on this one, but he still goes down as the greatest extortionist in the NFL -- and that's saying something. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 18, 2009 @ 9:41 p.m.

Response to post #79: Don't worry: sarcasm is spoken here. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 18, 2009 @ 9:42 p.m.

You do your homework.

You aint kidding.

gardenparty laid out the details there bigtime.

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Don Bauder June 19, 2009 @ 6:16 a.m.

Response to post #86: We welcome gardenparty. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 19, 2009 @ 6:02 p.m.

response to # 86 Actually more coincidence than homework, I must admit. A while ago I read an LAT article about the possibility, or not, of the Rams moving back IF Roski ever gets his stadium built. It made reference to when the Rams left and Raiders moved into the Coliseum. No internet back then and when AD left again for Oakland, you couldn't find stuff like court rulings on line. Anyway, I ways curious enough to look it up and save it to read later. refriedgringo's posts about the Chargers reminded me of it. No big effort really.

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gardenparty June 19, 2009 @ 6:33 p.m.

Response to post #87: Thanks Don, but I've been here for a long time. I seem to change usernames every few months usually for no particular reason other than some name or phrase I hear stikes a chord with me. So I have the old one deleted andset up a new one. In this case, we were driving home after visiting our daughter and happened to hear the Rick Nelson song Gardenparty. My parents were big Ozzie and Harriet fans and my mom in particular seemed to like Rick(y) Nelson, for some odd reason. LOL.

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Don Bauder June 19, 2009 @ 11 p.m.

Response to post #88: You may say it involved no great effort, but it required having an excellent memory for details. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 19, 2009 @ 11:04 p.m.

Response to post #89: Believe it or not, my parents did not have a TV set in the Ozzie and Harriet days, when, as I recall, I was in high school (1950-54). By the time I was out of graduate school (late 1960), they finally had a TV, although they seldom watched it. Correct me if I am wrong about Ozzie and Harriet time frame.Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 20, 2009 @ 7:29 a.m.

I seem to change usernames every few months usually for no particular reason other than some name or phrase I hear stikes a chord with me.

By gardenparty

================ I like GP more and more with every post :)

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 2:42 p.m.

Response to post #92: I would like to know what his handle was before he became gardenparty. Best, Don Bauder

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SpliffAdamz_ June 20, 2009 @ 3:38 p.m.

Al Davis NFL biggest pimp!!! RAIDER NATION BABY!!! Hey wasn't the raiders here in SD , while the chargers were in LA???

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 8:17 p.m.

Response to post #94: Al Davis was in San Diego as an assistant coach, as I understand it. Then the new league (AFL) gave him a team in Oakland almost as an afterthought. The Raiders were never in San Diego, to my knowledge. I think the Chargers played only one season in LA before coming to San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd June 20, 2009 @ 8:37 p.m.

Al Davis was an offensive end coach for the Los Angeles Chargers, who moved to San Diego after one season. In 1963, he became the head coach for the Oaklnad Raiders. In 1966 he became the Commissioner of the AFL, but resigned six months later because he was against merging with the NFL. He then bought a 10% share in ownership of the Raiders and over the course of a few years managed to wrest control of ownership from the other partners, so that up to this day he remains a controlling owner.

He is now, in all probability, entirely senile (based on the last three years of draft results).

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gardenparty June 20, 2009 @ 9:49 p.m.

AD didn't become actually the majority owner in 2005 when he bought the remaing shares heirs of one of his original partners.He managed to become managing general partner by rewriteing the partnership to give himself control while the 3rd partner was out of the country.

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 7:45 a.m.

Response to post #96: In the back crevices of my mind, I thought Davis was with the Chargers in San Diego for at least a year. But if it was only when the Chargers were in L.A., I bow to your expertise. I had no idea that he was commissioner of the AFL for six months. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 8:17 a.m.

Response to post #97: Sounds like he wasn't senile in 2005, anyway. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd June 21, 2009 @ 10:39 a.m.

Don,

Al Davis came with the Chargers when they moved to San Diego, you are correct. And I agree with gardenparty's clarification on Davis' ownership.

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 12:08 p.m.

Response to post #100: So all the shingles haven't come off my roof. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 21, 2009 @ 1:37 p.m.

In 1966 he became the Commissioner of the AFL, but resigned six months later because he was against merging with the NFL. He then bought a 10% share in ownership of the Raiders and over the course of a few years managed to wrest control of ownership from the other partners, so that up to this day he remains a controlling owner.

He is now, in all probability, entirely senile (based on the last three years of draft results).

Yes, Al Davis was NOT an original owner of the Raiders, he was brought in by the original managing partner (whose name escapes me) and then Al Davis somehow got majority control fom the guy who brought him in-and this guy said Al Davis was the worst judgement of character he made in his entire life. Al Davis was the FIRST coach of the Raiders-for just that first year as I recall.

John Madden was an assistant of Don Corells in the early/mid 60's when Don was at San Diego State, and of course John went onto a great career as the Raiders head coach as did Don with the Chargers.

Al Davis is on his deathbed. About 6 or 7 years ago a buddy of mine ran into Davis at Trader Vic's in Emeryville (Bay Area) and even back then Davis was confined to a wheel chair.

If anyone saw some of Al Davis' news conferences in the last 2-3 years, and witnessed the rants the guy goes on you would know he has alzhiemers or some other aged problems that certainly affect his thought process. He is coo coo.

Very sad to see the winningest team in pro sports history go down the tubes like that.

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 3:10 p.m.

Response to post #102: Keep things in perspective: seeing a winning team go down in flames is really not as depressing as seeing the global financial system go down in flames. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 22, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

response to #102, a couple clarifications for you surfpuppy. It was the family of the guy who originally brought Davis in who sold him their principal owner shares. His name was Ed McGah; I think he made his fortune in real estate and construction. Sound familiar? Anyway he was actually one the 8 original founders of the raiders. He died back in the 80's I think. The other guy of whom you speak is Wayne Valley. He was the 3rd general partner, the one who screwed by Davis while out of the country. I recall that he was so po'ed that he sold his shared a few years later, but not to Davis. I remember reading someplace that Davis paid something like 20k for his original 10% ownership. Also, Davis wasn't the raiders first coach. I believe he was their 4th coach. Remember that in 60/61/62 he was with the Chargers. The Raiders started in the AFL the same year as the Chargers, in 1960. I think most of us here would agree that Davis has been his own worst enemy at times. But maybe the biggest irony of all is that his own actions precipitated the merger. He wanted to get the best of the NFL into the AFL and talked the owners into offering big money to lure the players. Pete Rozelle said a long long time ago that's what prompted the NFL owners to start merger talks. The just didn't want to have to pay yhat kind of money to keep their players. If they only had a cystal ball. LOL. Interestingly, Rozelle once also said that the concept of the 2 leagues was a good one, like MLB and a merger may or may have not occured at some point on it's own. But once the player raiding started it was inevitable. Seems, like Davis shot himself in the foot; it wouldn't be the last time. That said I will give him this. He certainly has to be considered one of the pioneer in for giving opportunity to minority players, coaches and executives when pro football was still run by some racist owners hostile to minorities. I think he's also the only NFL owner to put a woman in charge of an NFL team.

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 10:30 p.m.

Response to post #104: I have never heard that Davis was a pioneer in racial relations, but you seem to have great knowledge, so I won't contradict you. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 22, 2009 @ 11:30 p.m.

response to 105; There was a black player/coach in the league back before the NFL was called the NFL. The first black head coach in the modern was Art Shell. Prior to Art Shell Tom Flores was the first Hispanic head coach in the NFL and the first minority coach to win a Superbowl. Actually he coached to winning teams , in 81 and 84. Many, if not a majority, of the Raiders position coaches thru the years are former Raiders and many of them have been minorities. It seemed that Davis just wanted the best people and really didn't care about skin color; all he cares about is loyalty.

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 6:40 a.m.

Response to post #106: All he cares about is loyalty? Seems to me he cares a lot about money, too. Ask Irwindale. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 23, 2009 @ 7:52 a.m.

Many, if not a majority, of the Raiders position coaches thru the years are former Raiders and many of them have been minorities.

100% correct.

George Atkins was a former player and Raider coach, as was Wilie Branch, Jim Otto worked the front office for the Raiders for years. An old neighbor who played for the Raiders was a scout for the team. Davis is very loyal to his players.

I grew up in Oakland in the Raider glory days, and even followed them in LA the first few years, but as time went on I viewed them/Al Davis as nothing nmore than carpet baggers with zero loyality to their fan base. I will never again be a Raider fan, or at least while Davis owns the team.

I was thinking of Al Davis yesterday (before these latest posts) so I pulled up his profile on Wikipedia and there were quite a few things I didnt know (but thought I did)-like he was only 33 years old as head coach of the Raiders and the AFL Commissioner, just a 10% owner in the begining when he first bought in to the Raiders-as well as how he gained shareholder control over the Raiders.

It is a good read;

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SurfPuppy619 June 23, 2009 @ 7:59 a.m.

That said I will give him this. He certainly has to be considered one of the pioneer in for giving opportunity to minority players, coaches and executives when pro football was still run by some racist owners hostile to minorities. I think he's also the only NFL owner to put a woman in charge of an NFL team.

Totally agree.

After I read the wikipedia page on Davis I determined it was Wayne Valley who said Al Davis was the worst judgement of character he ever made in his entire life-obviously from when Davis gained control over the operations of the Raiders with the help of Ed McGah- even though Davis was only a 10% owner-again according to the wikipedia page.

Al Davis had an amazing life, but there is no doubt in my mind his mind has started to lose some brain power and maybe even some mental capacity- based on some recent press confreneces/rants I have seen- particularly the one where he fired the head coach last year and called the guy all sorts of names.

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 9:35 a.m.

Response to post #108: That Wikipedia entry is indeed a good read. How would you like to be a coach of the Raiders now, given the recent firings? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 9:38 a.m.

Response to post #109: Yes, it appears that the shingles are coming off Davis's roof. And nobody can do anything about it, since he is majority owner. Maybe the Chargers won't have to worry about the Raiders until Davis is out of the picture. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 23, 2009 @ 9:57 p.m.

Response o 107 I was referring to the importance of loyalty in terms of the people he hires. If you read some of the things he has said about the people he has fired, loyalty pops up in most of the conversations. Likewise for the people he keeps around him.

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 6:22 a.m.

Response to post #112: Is Davis talking about loyalty or obsequiousness? Sometimes the most loyal person is the one who tells the king that he is wearing no clothes that morning. I suspect Davis would fire that person, claiming he is disloyal. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 24, 2009 @ 8:07 a.m.

Is Davis talking about loyalty or obsequiousness? Sometimes the most loyal person is the one who tells the king that he is wearing no clothes that morning. I suspect Davis would fire that person, claiming he is disloyal.

Happens all the time.

Didn't you yourself say that when a UT Exec told Helen Copley David was not going to cut it as Editor she flipped, and fired the person????

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 8:41 a.m.

Response to post #114: Yes, long ago, David Copley went through all the departments on a training program. He worked with some of the top executives in La Jolla. Unanimously, the feeling was that he would not make it as head of the company. As I understand it, the LJ executives said they would go to dinner with Helen to break the news. Dick Capen, an executive VP, said he would do it himself. He did. And was out. That is all according to a story that is well sourced. Best, Don Bauder

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