Sketch featured in Sports Illustrated article
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"The Strike Zone," a feature of Sports Illustrated, pointed out on February 28 that half a century ago, San Diego considered a floating sports stadium.

It would float on Mission Bay, attached to Fiesta Island. It was proposed by Barron Hilton, original owner of the Chargers. It would seat 53,000. There would be a 13,000-seat main grand stand behind home plate.

Then, two separate 20,000-seat grandstands would float to attach to the landlocked 13,000-seat portion. The floating stands could be moved to straddle a football field just down the way.

However, the price tag escalated to $41 million, double the original estimate of $20 million. Thus, the landlubber stadium now known as Qualcomm was built for a mere $27 million.

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Comments

aardvark March 2, 2014 @ 10:58 a.m.

Too bad--would have been great for the OTL finals every year.

2

Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 3:56 p.m.

aardvark: And think of all the water sports. San Diego could subsidize and host the America's Cup every year. Best, Don Bauder

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Matt101 March 2, 2014 @ 12:33 p.m.

I like Mission Bay, and I enjoy cycling around the Bay and on Fiesta Island -- but the current state of Mission Bay is far from its original condition. I hope it stays nearly as is, but it's not the "natural state".

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 7:56 p.m.

viewer: But those parking cars for the floating ballpark would have been polluting the air, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 4:06 p.m.

Matt101: You have to go into remote parts of the back country to find things in their original state. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 3:58 p.m.

viewer: What's a recreation location when the City can have a massively subsidized pro stadium or two? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 7:57 p.m.

viewer: I have never made a pro-development comment except sarcastically, as that one was. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 11:44 a.m.

viewer: As I said, the statement was total sarcasm. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder March 2, 2014 @ 12:53 p.m.

FLOATING Stadiums for Foul Balls As in floating Mega Loans for them (at our expense) That benefit their wealthy Owners & Contractors Who are all Big Political Donors.

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 3:59 p.m.

Founder: Haven't you figured out that the City is run for wealthy owners and contractors who are big political donors? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 4:01 p.m.

viewer: Earthquake, schmearthquake. Subsidized sports palaces are more important than protection from calamities. In fact, it's going to come down to exactly that with Chargers stadium. Best, Don Bauder

1

Duhbya March 2, 2014 @ 6:34 p.m.

You be display in detail of satiric ability lack of there (at the minimum). MAXIMUM intensity minus MCM. You be said of many ideas for SDR future of topical issues. Explore. Publish. Who to write such articles of which posting need exist. Propose possible employment of future opportunity. You. For. Column to be called "Spewer".

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 8 p.m.

Duhbya: You have mastered viewer's style. Congratulations. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 8:09 a.m.

Duhbya: Don't be modest. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 7:59 p.m.

viewer: Your leg is being pulled. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 8:08 a.m.

viewer: Who paid Don? Secret. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya March 3, 2014 @ 11:43 a.m.

Wait a minute....you get paid for this??

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 11:46 a.m.

Duhbya: Don't I deserve something for answering posts all day long? Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya March 3, 2014 @ 2:02 p.m.

Surely, but doesn't the subsidy provided by the city suffice?

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Don Bauder March 16, 2014 @ 9:42 a.m.

Duhbya: Every subsidy check I get from the City of San Diego bounces. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya March 16, 2014 @ 2:58 p.m.

Proposed new city slogan: "Nothing gained - nothing gained".

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 4:03 p.m.

viewer: For just one example, runaway wildfires can't be handled by police -- or by an undermanned firefighting force. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh March 2, 2014 @ 4:18 p.m.

We've heard proposals to float the airport out at sea. So, if someone wanted to float a stadium this time around, it would not have to be in Mission Bay. Of course, putting a stadium off the coast to the west of, say, Point Loma is ridiculous, but is that any more ridiculous than putting it downtown? The whole concept is just out of the question, but that won't stop it. The only thing that could stop it is finances, as in a situation where no lender(s) would provide the dough. Stranger things have happened, but I hold out little hope for sanity to prevail.

1

Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 8:03 p.m.

Visduh: San Diego's own financial slough should stop the football stadium, but won't. Possibly refusal of lenders to finance it could do the job. I've been hoping such a refusal would block the economic idiocy of the convention center expansion. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell March 2, 2014 @ 6:01 p.m.

They could build the new stadium in Mexico, right on the border. Build it with Mexican labor and avoid high workers compensation costs, union feather bedding, the obscenity of prevailing wages, etc. If a worker gets killed give him a decent Christian burial like Jimmy Hoffa and put him in the foundation. Put the stadium on the Mexican side of Otay Mesa and the parking lots on the US side. The Mexicans could use the stadium for bull fights when the Chargers don't need it.

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Don Bauder March 2, 2014 @ 8:08 p.m.

Burwell: One goalpost could be up against the wall. Anybody who catches the football kicked through the goalpost will be shot as an alien thief. There are multiple possibilities here. Congratulations for your creative thinking. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 8:12 a.m.

viewer: Unfortunately, they play futbol in Mexico, not football. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya March 3, 2014 @ 8:55 a.m.

And could be the new home field of the USD Toreros. You can guess what the halftime festivities might be.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 11:51 a.m.

Duhbya: Halftime could feature Tore Errors -- like the purported accidentally torn costume that bared a singer's bosom during that Super Bowl halftime show years ago. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 12:14 p.m.

Duhbya: It was not up to your standards. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK March 3, 2014 @ 7:30 a.m.

good idea, it the team stinks, they could have it towed to another city.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 8:13 a.m.

Murphyjunk: That would be easier than the usual ploy: threatening to move unless the city builds the team a billion dollar stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark March 3, 2014 @ 5:18 p.m.

Or when the stadium is declared obsolete, it could be towed out to sea to be sunk for artificial reefs.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 7:13 p.m.

aardvark: That would be one way to beat the Dolphins. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi March 3, 2014 @ 8:23 a.m.

I have a feeling there is going to be a barrage of stadium articles in the U-T now that the puppet has taken the leading role in city hall.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2014 @ 11:56 a.m.

Ponzi: You can count on a barrage of propaganda in the U-T. It will be echoed on TV. It is a sure thing. If the City can get away with destroying emails after one year, the con men who ousted one mayor and put the puppet in office won't be exposed. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 7:20 a.m.

viewer: So you think the council will be more responsive to petitions coming in over the table than money flowing under it? Best, Don Bauder

0

ImJustABill March 3, 2014 @ 9:12 p.m.

You think this is bad - in Texas a HIGH SCHOOL football stadium built for $60 MILLION has been closed to repair cracks - after only 2 years.

http://msn.foxsports.com/southwest/story/texas-high-school-s-60-million-football-stadium-has-extensive-cracking-022714

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Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 7:22 a.m.

ImJustABill: Yes, I have read about that. I don't know what is worse: a high school football stadium built for $60 million or the cracks appearing after only two years. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel March 4, 2014 @ 9:56 a.m.

Don't disagree on the excess of a $60 million HS stadium. That said, let me throw in a couple of things.First, since you seem unlikely to be one who follows HS sports of any kind, and especially HS football, I can tell you that HS football in Texas is HUGE. It is the national pastime as far as Texas is concerned. Allen, Tx also happens to be an extremely affluent Dallas suburb and Collin County is one of the wealthiest counties in Texas. As I recall from the from an article when this monstrosity first opened, the median household income is somewhere around $100k. And something like 65% of the voters approved the $119 million in bonds for the new stadium, as well as a school auditorium and other facilities. Ya know what they say, everything's bigger in Texas.

0

aardvark March 4, 2014 @ 10:58 a.m.

Guess $60 mil wasn't enough. A few extra million might have kept the place together.

0

Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 12:22 p.m.

aardvark: I wonder who owns the cement company that built the stadium. Halliburton? Best, Don Bauder

1

Don Bauder March 6, 2014 @ 1:51 p.m.

viewer: You mean a subcontractor may be at fault. You can bet the general contractor is blaming a subcontractor, or perhaps the architect. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 12:21 p.m.

danfogel: Yes, everything is bigger in Texas -- particularly chronic bouts of megalomania.

Some years ago, a former Colorado governor got in trouble for telling this story: A 450-pound Texan died while visiting Colorado. Officials called all over the state, but nobody could come up with a coffin large enough. So they gave him an enema and buried him in a shoe box. The governor got so much pressure from Texas he had to apologize. Best, Don Bauder

0

danfogel March 4, 2014 @ 7:51 p.m.

And you don't think that megalomania is rampant in California?? Now that's funny

0

Don Bauder March 5, 2014 @ 7 a.m.

danfogel: I never said that megalomania is not rampant in California. It is. I will say this, though. Many years ago, some wag -- I believe it was H.L. Mencken -- said that the world was tipped on its axis and all the nuts rolled into Southern California. That should be revised: the world was tipped on its axis and the nuts rolled into Texas.

California has no one who is nuttier than Ted Nugent, who is admired in Texas. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya March 5, 2014 @ 7:24 a.m.

"...the world was tipped on its axis and the nuts rolled into Texas."

With a stopover in South Carolina. Or Arizona, or Floriduh, or.....?

Perhaps "our" Mencken could supply a treatise on the subject.

0

Don Bauder March 5, 2014 @ 9:44 a.m.

Duhbya: You are so right. H.L. Mencken's old adage requires an update. The world was tipped on its axis, and the nuts rolled out, settling in Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Tennessee, and California. Maybe our Mencken can improve on this. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel March 6, 2014 @ 11:47 a.m.

Nugent IS called the Motor City Madman, after all.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2014 @ 1:59 p.m.

danfogel: Yes, Nugent is originally from Detroit, the Motor City. But the Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate campaigned with him. Now the Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate, who is every bit as bonkers as the Texas one, is embracing Nugent. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill March 5, 2014 @ 11:35 p.m.

Then again, if HS football is huge enough in TX they should be able to charge enough for tickets to pay for a 60M stadium - that way people who want to pay for football can have it and people who don't want to pay for football don't have to pay for it.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2014 @ 7:01 a.m.

ImJustABill: If the median income and education level in that Texas town are so high, you would think someone would have monitored the construction of that $60M stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel March 6, 2014 @ 11:45 a.m.

ImJustABill, one of the things I remember reading at some point was the fact that one of the points that was made clear before the bond issue was voted on was that the school district that controls the stadium never intended to recoup the money it cost to build the stadium, only that revenue they received from the stadium would exceed the cost of operating it. And again not to defend a $60 million HS ANYTHING, but it was put to a vote and almost 2/3 of the voters voted in favor of it. No matter what the issue, that's a pretty big margin. And isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

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Don Bauder March 6, 2014 @ 2:08 p.m.

danfogel: In San Diego, 60% of the voters OK'd the Petco Park scam. In most cities, if there is a vote, the subsidy for billionaires' stadiums passes. One reason is that the team wanting the subsidy outspends the opposition by 100 to 1 or more. Another reason is that local media coverage is slanted in favor of the project; media make big bucks from sports advertising.

You ask if that's the way it is supposed to work. Consider Washington D.C., which picked up 100% of the tab for the pro baseball team stadium while the school system was broke and schools were collapsing. In California, the money going for subsidies for pro sports, hotels, shopping centers, auto dealerships, etc. was coming out of schools until Jerry Brown intelligently ended redevelopment, which had been meant for the poor but had been kidnapped by the rich. I ask you: is this the way it is supposed to work? Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel March 6, 2014 @ 5:23 p.m.

You're talking apples and oranges. I know you don't approve with public money being spent on sports whether it be at the professional level or, apparently, all the way down to the HS level.But this was not about subsidies for pro sports, hotels, shopping centers, auto dealerships, etc. This wasn't some billionaire owner wanting someone to build a stadium for him in a major metro area, so don't throw out that comparison. This was a group of citizens who worked to get a a measure in front of the voters to build a stadium that would be used by the community, including their own kids. And btw, it wasn't just the football stadium. It also included a fine arts auditorium for the high school and a district service center for maintenance, student nutrition and transportation. Also my comment about this being the way it's supposed to work was in reference to the second part of ImJustABill comment. Some people brought an idea to a school board, it went thru the process and turned into a ballot measure. About 60K voters had the opportunity to express their opinion with their vote and those who did approved the issue with 63.66 percent of the vote. Isn't that the way the process is supposed to work? The issue was brought before the people and the people had their say. Somebody "won" and somebody "lost". As I have said, I don't agree with a $60 million HS stadium. But I have no problem with the process, even if it was something I disagree with. And ye, that's the way it's supposed to work. BTW, Katy, Texas voters voted against a $99 million bond package last year in a 55%-45% vote. The reason apparently was the proposed $69.5 million stadium included in the package.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2014 @ 8:19 p.m.

danfogel: And in this case, the people who lost were the 63.66% of the voters who approved the goofy thing, whose cement is now crumbling. I suppose they will vote to put another $60 million into it.

I oppose the subsidization of professional sports team owners' facilities. I oppose the professionalization of so-called amateur athletics, at the college and high school levels. If our society had plenty of money to spend on education and other critical social needs, I would not object to either the subsidies for billionaires or the professionalization of purportedly amateur sports. But our society does not have that kind of money, and our educational system, for one example, shows it. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel March 10, 2014 @ 10:36 a.m.

"And in this case, the people who lost were the 63.66% of the voters who approved" I'm not sure how you reason that one out. They got their vote and won. They got their stadium and their fine arts auditorium for the high school and a district service center for maintenance, student nutrition and transportation. Yeah, after just 18 months it's shut down until it can be repaired. and thanks to some strange construction indemnification laws in Texas, it's possible there may be legal issues before it gets done, but at some point it will reopen. Now maybe you could call the ones who voted against it the losers. They voted no, lost and then had to help pay for something that's closed, at least for now, after only 18 months. But to me, the real losers are the kids who now can't use the stadium. No using the classrooms and training facilities in the stadium, no graduation ceremonies that were to be held there, no band contests, none of the things that the students were going to participate in can be held. Yeah, I would call them the real losers. And I would hardly call the building of this stadium the "professionalization of so-called amateur athletics". But that's just me.

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