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Hypocrisy, thy name is Larry Lucchino. A column in the Tuesday (July 13) Wall Street Journal lauds the Boston Red Sox for bringing fans to its 100-year-old stadium without taking "a dime of taxpayer money." The Red Sox have shown how disingenuous the argument for taxpayer-financed ballparks is, says the Journal. Then Lucchino, of all people, steps to the plate: "We knew the perils of asking for public money," quoth he. (He is chief executive of the Red Sox.) Lucchino explained that fans "get annoyed when teams ask taxpayers to build a stadium, and then raise ticket and concession prices on the very people who paid for it," says the Journal. Amen. The column does not mention that Lucchino wangled an enormous taxpayer subsidy for the building of Camden Yards in Baltimore, then engineered the stripping of $300 million from San Diego taxpayers for Petco Park.

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nativesd July 14, 2010 @ 6:57 a.m.

Don

I would hope you would submit your post to the Journal as a letter to the editor. Nice that the holier-than-thou conservatives there would know all the facts.

And be sure to see the propaganda piece masquerading as journalism on the front page of the U-T this morning regarding the "great deal" that publicly-subsidized ballparks are! (courtesy of the SDEDC)

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JustWondering July 14, 2010 @ 7:12 a.m.

What's the old adage? Buyer beware!

Even the 2010 1st place Padres have problems filling a small ballpark, and will most likely end their season with fewer fans attending than previous years at Petco.

Now the Chargers and Billionaire Spanos family want taxpayer money too. They are proposing an UNDERSIZED stadium, in terms of Superbowls size requirements, yet pitch getting the feat back as part of lure for San Diegans.

Combine that with the fuzzy math used by Chief Charger fabricator and spinmeister Mark Frabiani and you have an "Alice in a Hidden Tax Subsidy Wonderland." No doubt this tale will become a Nightmare on Elm Street horror on San Diego's bottom line.

While its true a new stadium provides some good paying temporary constructions jobs, it also saddles the taxpayers with a huge debt and further drains the City's General Fund.

Don't be fooled by the smooth talking politicians doublespeak. Raising CCDC's spending cap TAKES dollars AWAY from the general fund where you as taxpayers pay for the city's day to day services like parks, libraries, police, fire, paramedics and road maintenance.

So buyer beware, pay for the services you want as mentioned above, or buy a billionaire owner and the millionaire players a football stadium. You don't have the money for both.

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Don Bauder July 14, 2010 @ 12:27 p.m.

Response to post #1: I have not yet seen the study saying Petco was a success, but I have seen many studies like them. I can almost tell you how the conclusion was reached. First, it was done by a pro sports consulting firm that was bought and paid for. Studies by such organizations are summed up thusly: those who do the studies can add, but they can't subtract. For example, they will say that X number of vendor and cooking jobs were created at the new ballpark, but won't note that the people taking those jobs had worked at Qualcomm, so there was no net gain. They will count the number of people in the ballpark and how much they spent but they won't take into account the fact that if those people had not gone to the game, their money would have been spent elsewhere. Only money brought in from outside San Diego County is a net plus, and that's a tiny sum, except when Dodgers fans come down from L.A. The study probably put a value on the ASSETS that were created, but never took into account the fact that those buildings (condos and hotels) are almost empty. But again, I haven't yet seen the study. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 14, 2010 @ 12:38 p.m.

Response to post #2: Good points. The math is not only fuzzy, it is fraudulent. What is really bothersome is that the U-T continues to spout establishment propaganda without looking into these frauds. Earlier, the U-T had a big piece on Comic-Con that was nothing more than a propaganda pitch for an expanded convention center. Actually, there have been several such pieces. This morning's piece on the stadium was the same. Perhaps going ahead with the Sanders legacy plans (subsidized Chargers stadium, expanded convention center, new city center, library despite a $32.5 million shortfall) might be beneficial; the City would go into bankruptcy and be forced to emerge from its dreamland. But the empty shells of unfinished structures would be a blight. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 14, 2010 @ 4:29 p.m.

Compared to our Stadium Fenway Park is a dump, but fans love it. Our present Stadium is structurally far more permanent, and there is no reason we can't enjoy it for decades. No one complained about it before the Chargers began their whining shortly after an expensive renovation. The Chargers will break any agreement they sign if past performance is any guide.

There was no NFL when Fenway Park was built. If we maintain our stadium, it could outlast the NFL. Sports fall in and out of favor. Well designed concrete structures like our Stadium can remain useful for hundreds of years.

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JustWondering July 14, 2010 @ 4:58 p.m.

The Chargers complain about revenue sources...just how much would it cost to remove all the old fixed advertising and put in new electronic board?

I suspect it would be a lot less that $750 million the taxpayers would ultimately be saddled with for a new undersized stadium downtown.

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SurfPuppy619 July 14, 2010 @ 6:34 p.m.

Then Lucchino, of all people, steps to the plate: "We knew the perils of asking for public money," quoth he.

LOL....that belongs in a stand up routine :)

You have to love the guys chutzpuh.

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SurfPuppy619 July 14, 2010 @ 6:39 p.m.

Our present Stadium is structurally far more permanent, and there is no reason we can't enjoy it for decades.

Ins't that EXACTLY what Susan Golding and Alex Spanos said when they scammed $78 million to upgrade Jack Murphy in 1996??? That the deal would keep the Chargers in San Diego for decades to come????

Unless we are now counting decades as 365 days it is BS. The Chargers were moaning and whining within 2 years of the Jack Murphy contract being signed. The ink wasn't even dry. So much for decades of use.

I don't care what, when, where or how these clowns build their stadiums, as long as they use THEIR OWN $$$$$$.

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Don Bauder July 14, 2010 @ 7:19 p.m.

Response to post #5: Good points. Qualcomm is well designed. Fenway Park is almost 100 years old and Wrigley Field is probably around 90. College stadiums such as those of Michigan and Wisconsin are over or close to a century old. Sure, you have to keep up with maintenance, and make additions, but they last and last. Check out Rome. Or Turkey. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 14, 2010 @ 7:22 p.m.

Response to post #6: It would certainly cost a helluva lot less than pouring $700 million to $900 million into a downtown stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 14, 2010 @ 7:24 p.m.

Response to post #7: It's chutzpah, yes, but it is also hubris. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 14, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.

Response to post #8: The Chargers reneged on the deal almost immediately. One reason is that their lawyers had completely de-pantsed City of San Diego lawyers, permitting the team to find an avenue out. Another reason is that the Chargers have never been an honest organization. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 15, 2010 @ 9:55 a.m.

Not only have the Chargers broken every recent agreement, but the NFL has been found to be breaking restraint of trade laws in every contract dispute with the Players Union. The NFL is on very shaky legal ground. Not only do they abuse their players, but they prevent cities like ours from fielding teams after they leave us with empty stadiums built to suit them. In Southern California alone there are enough empty stadiums and talented football players to form a new professional league. The NFL prevents this by monopolistic practices, but an enterprising group could break this monopoly, it's happened before, that's how San Diego got the Chargers.

The Stadium is solid concrete, the NFL is criminal conspiracy built on closed books. Properly maintained the Stadium should outlast the NFL by hundreds of years.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2010 @ 1:12 p.m.

Response to post #13: By promising to stay in San Diego and then suddenly wanting a new stadium, the Chargers were breaking an agreement. It's part of what the NFL is all about. Best, Don Bauder

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Robert Johnston July 18, 2010 @ 6:08 p.m.

We still are seeing the favorite game of NFL & MLB team owners is still going strong. You would have thought that they would have learned their lessons by now...but it's rather obvious they never will.

Now their trick is to build their "Xanaduian Pleasure Palaces/NFL Ballpark/Moneypit" undersize. Guess why? That's right, folks...to drive away Joe Six-Pack Fan in favor of the "swells" and other rich folks that folks like Spanos want to be seeing the Chargers (and in a lesser way, the Padres).

Why is this?

Simple--they can afford the "Seat Licences," luxury suite boxes, and other moneymakers that will pump money's mammy into the bank account of...The Spanos Family! And if they can get away with pulling a Donald Sterling and turn the Chargers into a reeking pile of compost-cum-NFL team? Don't put it past the Spanos family if it will make them a few bucks!

Private ballpark financing? Don't make me laugh, Meatwad! No owner of a "major league" sports team truly wants to go that route...they are just too greedy to begin with! They would rather milk the public money teats than shove a crowbar into their wallets and do the proper thing.

That being said...if they want a Xanaduian Pleasure Palace/NFL Stadium, they need to pay for it--ALL of it--out of their own bank accounts. No grumbling, no whining, no threats to move said team to the Ninth Ring Of Hell because the public will not pitch in! If they want it, they have to do like Joe Six-Pack and pay for it themselves!

Otherwise, they can either make due with Qualcomm, sell the team--or go ahead and move on to Industry; L.A; Las Vegas; or The Dark side Of The Moon, for all I care. The world will not end if the Chargers (and the Spanos Family) were to get gone--we have far more pressing issues than feeding the Spanos Family's bank account in the name of keeping a NFL team here in San Diego!

--LPR

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Don Bauder July 18, 2010 @ 10:06 p.m.

Response to post #15: Remember, Lucchino is now in Boston. It refused to build a palace for the Patriots' Kraft family, which finally paid for one, although Mass. put in some infrastructure. So Lucchino has changed his stripes to adapt to his new environment. If he moved to another team hell-bent on extracting a billion from its home city, Lucchino would change his stripes again. Best, Don Bauder

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