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In a Sept. 3 article, Yahoo! Sports quotes a National Football League owner saying that Chargers's head Dean Spanos's "dream is to go to L.A., and it may happen." The writer says that a few years ago, the other NFL owners would have pressured Spanos to sell the team before such a departure could be pulled off. Now Spanos has maneuvered himself into a better position. The owner's pronouncement to Yahoo! is hardly a surprise, because for almost a decade it has been obvious that Spanos was going down two tracks: he coveted L.A., but wanted to retain his options in San Diego in case the league stymied him. The statements by mouthpiece Mark Fabiani have unintentionally indicated this was the Chargers' strategy. In the article, the NFL owner makes a preposterous statement, "Without a stadium, he [Spanos] realizes they can't compete [financially] and he has legitimately tried tried to get one built." Ha! The writer says that Spanos's "sincere efforts to make a stadium work in the San Diego area have been met with civic indifference." Ha! Ha! The facts are that the Chargers's so-called "sincere efforts" have been a joke. Beginning with the idea to build a stadium at the Qualcomm site, through Chula Vista, through Oceanside, and now downtown, the team has offered half-baked, financially-unworkable plans for a stadium. That has been obvious. The current downtown proposal is the silliest of all: asking a financially insolvent city to plunk at least $600 million to $700 million of taxpayer money into a tiny site is intended to be an insult. Such proposals haven't met with civic indifference: they have been met with jaw-dropping incredulity, except at Centre City Development Corp., which would blow any amount of taxpayer money on a downtown project that would line developers' pockets.

San Diegans should take this article seriously: the Chargers DO covet L.A. and have for years. My guess is that back in the late 1990s when the team promised to remain two decades if the stadium could be made football-only, a relocation to L.A. was already the long term strategy.

This Yahoo! article was quoted this morning in the Voice of San Diego. To the best of my knowledge, other media didn't pick it up first.

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Comments

Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 12:58 p.m.

Response to post #1: Oh, I agree that nothing is likely to happen soon. I have said that several times on this blog. The threat of a lockout or strike, along with the lack of financing and the state of the economy, puts this off at least through 2011, and probably much longer. The Chargers know that. I don't think any new stadiums will be built, including in Santa Clara and Minnesota (not to mention L.A.), until the labor issue is out of the way. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd Sept. 7, 2010 @ 1:08 p.m.

Re #1: What I read about Roski's "piece" of the team is that it wasn't a majority. If you have information to the contrary, I'd love to read it, it would change my perspective concerning that site. I read that Roski wanted a minor stake in ownership, what I perceived to be around 10% minimum. That may have been inaccurate.

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 1:26 p.m.

Response to post #3: Roski has said all along that he wants a piece of a team. If he has specified how much of a piece, I am not aware of it. He is close friends with the Spanos family. I think it could work. But I also think Roski, a big talker, is out of the picture for awhile. I don't think he is going to be able to raise the capital. Best, Don Bauder

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nativesd Sept. 7, 2010 @ 2:49 p.m.

Don

I hope you're right that these SOBs can't raise enough money in the short-term to entice the fools in the San Diego governing councils for going ahead with another scam on the public. While I enjoy watching the Chargers, I wouldn't pay a nickel to keep them from going to LA and I suspect an increasing number of San Diegans would agree with me. Unfortunately, if this ever comes to a vote, the powers-that-be will figure out how to include the whole county population in the vote in order to dilute the influence of San Diego city residents who would suffer the brunt of the financial pain. Meanwhile, your former employer, the U-T, merrily goes about pumping for the Spanos in every one of its sections. And oh yeah, it quietly hiked the price of the M-Sat issue to a buck beginning yesterday, Labor Day. Guess they've got to pay for all that high-priced designer talent imported from Orange County. Yechh.

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David Dodd Sept. 7, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

Interesting, crys, I hadn't read that before. I will almost guarantee that Roski knows that the Spanos family won't give up majority ownership, so perhaps Roski is referring to that second team (I believe he wants two teams in that proposed stadium). Roski is a minority owner of the Kings and Lakers and that's all it took for him to finance Staples Center.

Concerning your point about the casino holdings, I concur with all of it and have read as much. I still don't think the stadium is off of the table, and I guess we'll find out once the NFL resolves next year's labor dispute and the economy improves.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 7, 2010 @ 5:16 p.m.

I said in 2008 when the economy melted down that there would be no financing for an LA stadium, much less one built on spec.

We could ONLY HOPE that Spanos carpet bags his way to another location-we could AFFORD to give away $78 million in 96, and we sure cannot afford to give away $500 million today.

A stadium in San Diego financed and paid for by taxpayers are over. The days of corporate welfare/giveaways are over.

The jig is up.

If the Chargers want to move to greener pastures it is not going to happen for some time. At least 5-8 years IMO. The economy has grounded the Spanos Crime Family from fleeing the jurisdiction.

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 5:50 p.m.

Response to post #5: There is already talk that the county would come in on the new stadium downtown. Even if county taxpayers picked up half the tab, the project would still break the back of City of San Diego finances. Oh, and thanks for the info on the U-T's price hike. I didn't know. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 6:06 p.m.

Response to post #6: It would appear from the articles you present that Roski wants a big piece of any team that would play in a stadium he built. I don't know that this would necessarily eliminate the Chargers, though. Almost any owner would sell if he or she got a really fat offer, and might be able to buy another team. As to the casino: this is so hypocritical. The NFL was founded by big-time gamblers and gangsters. Al Capone backed both the Chicago Cardinals and Bears, the founder of the NY Giants was a bookie, the founder of the Browns was a member of the Mayfield Road Mob, the Steelers' Rooney was a big-time gambler and the family still owns racetracks, Art Modell had business connections to the Cleveland mob, the Chargers' Gene Klein was a business partner with mobsters, the 49ers De Bartolo family has been big in gambling, and on and on and on. There are casino owners in other sports. Some current NFL owners are high rollers. Gambling is the raison d'etre for the NFL. Why do you suppose newspapers run the point spreads? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 6:09 p.m.

Response to post #7: Some day you will be able to place bets on games inside the stadium, as you do today at a racetrack. Pro sports and gambling are inseparable. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 6:11 p.m.

Response to post #8: Yes, this topic has been discussed many times before. And it will be chewed on many times again. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2010 @ 6:15 p.m.

Response to post #9: I hope that you are right -- that the days of the pro sports welfare queens are over. I agree that nothing is going to happen for a couple of years -- maybe 5 or 6. But the scam will return. Best, Don Bauder

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nativesd Sept. 7, 2010 @ 7:29 p.m.

Hey Don

Slightly different topic but in the realm of media. Check out the Wednesday New York Times Food/Dining section on the US government's case against the French Gourmet restaurant in Pacific Beach. All the rock-ribbed conservative types who rail against illegal immigration suddenly face a dilemma when one of their favorites is caught hiring illegal immigrants brazenly. Also, none of this has been in the UT except for a brief article when the first indictment came down. Probably because The French Gourmet catered some shindigs at the Copley spread in La Jolla?!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/dining/08crackdown.html?hp

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johnsd Sept. 7, 2010 @ 11:13 p.m.

All the rock-ribbed conservative types who rail against illegal immigration suddenly face a dilemma when one of their favorites is caught hiring illegal immigrants brazenly.

This link will work: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/dining/08crackdown.htm

It is a good article and it presents the dilemma that illegal immigration presents: The human side of illegal immigration, which from an emotional and compassionate perspective it is very difficult to be against, versus the respect for the law that every civilized society requires to function.

Mr. Malecot appears to be both a compassionate employer and an intentional law breaker. He is trouble, and if the charges against him are correct, he should pay for it. Supposedly E-verify works fairly well and it should be mandatory. Many businesses exploit illegal immigration to pay less than they have to. If your business cannot pay fair wages, then there is a problem with your business model or with your competition. Shifting the costs of illegal immigration onto society is neither right nor fair. If there is a labor shortage, which in today's economy is doubtful, then you should be lobbying for a guest worker program that does things legally. I find it interesting that an expensive restaurant cannot pay a decent wage, yet a fast food place like In-N-Out pays above market wages and has a motivated workforce. Most of the employees at the restaurant in National City are hispanic and many speak Spanish, but they all also speak English. The same is true of the one in Kettleman City in the Central Valley.

It has been many years since I ate at the French Gourmet--in fact he was still on Pearl Street in La Jolla after separating from the French Pastry Shop in the Bird Rock area. I try not to patronize establishments that hire illegal aliens. However, it is none of my business to inquire unless I am directly employing them. I fail to see how it is possible to know that the restaurant's patrons are "conservative" from the one person who is quoted in the article.

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johnsd Sept. 7, 2010 @ 11:19 p.m.

I hope the Chargers do not leave San Diego since many people here are very devoted fans. However, other than eliminating burdensome regulations and expediting the permitting process, not one cent from the taxpayers should be spent to subsidize millionaires and billionaires. It is time to stop fleecing the taxpayer by those who are well-connected and greedy.

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:28 a.m.

Response to post #15: Funny you should comment on that article, because you will see that I posted something about it very early this a.m. on the blog. Fascinating piece with stark implications for restaurants and their customers. I combined it with another Times story today on the debt owed on subsidized pro sports stadiums that have already been torn down or abandoned. As to Copley: I doubt that any bias toward the French Gourmet from the Copley years would influence the current management. Some of the biases and sacred cows of that era may persist (say, favoring massive subsidization of billionaire sports team owners), but it wouldn't be because the Copley ghosts are still present. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:37 a.m.

Response to post #16: You raise excellent points, just as the Times article does. Keep the economic factor in mind: food is cheaper in supermarkets and restaurants because of illegal aliens working for extremely low wages. Americans don't want to face that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:40 a.m.

Response to post #17: Agreed: it would be best if the Chargers stayed in San Diego completely unsubsidized. But once the labor disputes are out of the way, some other city will woo the Chargers with massive subsidies. This is how the pro sports owners work this scam. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:45 a.m.

Response to post #18: Interesting that Forbes believes Anschutz's net worth came down from $14 billion to $6 billion in a decade. You almost want to go to church and pray that the poor fellow will recover. He only has $6 billion left. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:50 a.m.

Response to post #19: Yes, the Cowboys stadium is now becoming the model that every other NFL owner covets. Baseball owners want a ballpark like the one New York taxpayers provided the Yankees. It is vile conspicuous consumption, especially considering that taxpayers who can't afford to attend have picked up so much of the tab. Their own tax money priced them out of going to games. Society has to ask itself: should this much money be spent on a football facility used 10 times a year, plus perhaps a few rock concerts? And a facility that most in the community cannot afford? Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Sept. 8, 2010 @ 10:09 a.m.

send them to hollywood with the rest of the over paid entertainers

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 8, 2010 @ 11:08 a.m.

There is already talk that the county would come in on the new stadium downtown. Even if county taxpayers picked up half the tab,

LOL...the county could not even pick up 5% of the tab.

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David Dodd Sept. 8, 2010 @ 11:14 a.m.

Re #12: Sort of interesting, and probably perfectly ironic, that a sport driven in part (in a LARGE part) by people who enjoy gambling on the outcome of the games would take such a strong stance against anyone owning a casino.

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David Dodd Sept. 8, 2010 @ 11:52 a.m.

"LOL...the county could not even pick up 5% of the tab."

The county has nothing to gain from a new stadium. They will not contribute a cent to it.

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 12:26 p.m.

Response to post #25: At least, it is a free market, of sorts, that determines pay of Hollywood stars. By contrast, players are subsidized because the billionaire team owners are lavishly subsidized by impecunious taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 12:28 p.m.

Response to post #26: The City wanted the County to come in on the ballpark. The head of the County at the time wrote a long list of probing questions to Mayor Golding. That was the end of that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 12:30 p.m.

Response to post #27: It's not irony. It's total hypocrisy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 12:32 p.m.

Response to post #28: County residents make up a large percentage of those attending the games, though. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 8, 2010 @ 2:39 p.m.

The City has even less money than the county.

Mike Aguirre held a news conference yesterday saying San Diego WAS essentially BK, and should file right now-and that the money Sanders is throwing at the problem - including a new and increased sales tax- is a waste. I agree with him 100%.

Remember the "tobacco" lawsuit money, an annuity that Sanders promtly cashed in for 40 cents on the dollar-all of it went right into the pension fund and we are no better off now than we were 2 years ago when he did that-and we will be worse off goign forward.

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Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:02 p.m.

Response to post #33: No better off? In some respects the situation is worse. Best, Don Bauder

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Verne Sept. 9, 2010 @ 1:05 a.m.

Regarding the LA stadium proposals -

Roski's plan now has competition - with the latest proposal coming from AEG - which would build a stadium next to Staples Center. There seems to be momentum building for the downtown location, particularly if the stadium includes a roof, which would allow the location to be used as convention space in addition to a football stadium.

As for when a stadium actually gets built, and then gets occupied by an NFL team, it will depend on the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players, ie, the CBA. I believe the the CBA deal will be done sometime in the fall of 2011. Once the deal is done, owners will know what their revenue projections will be in future years, etc...

The two teams with stadium issues that will reach a climax in 2012 are the Chargers and Vikings. If neither team gets a deal approved in 2012 for a new stadium, and with the CBA negotiations out of the way, then I believe we will see both teams moving to LA for the 2013 season. Once a commitment is in place for at least one team to move to LA, only then will groundbreaking for the LA stadium begin. During construction, the teams can play in the Rose Bowl or Coliseum.

While I don't believe in conspiracies, I do believe that we can gauge the sincerity of the Chargers by how much effort and money they put into a potential ballot initiative to build a stadium in downtown San Diego. At this point in the process, I'd say the odds are 60-40 in favor of the Chargers moving to LA.

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Don Bauder Sept. 9, 2010 @ 7:52 a.m.

Response to post #35: I haven't followed the progress of that proposed stadium near Staples since writing a column on it and the Chargers's goofy downtown idea a couple of months ago. Keep in mind that this kind of dancing around has been going on in LA for a decade and a half -- various competing stadium proposals that evanesce. There would be tremendous opposition to pro teams playing on a temporary or permanent basis in the Rose Bowl. Pasadena is having none of it. The NFL doesn't like the Coliseum -- perhaps even on a temporary basis. These are barriers. Long term, however, your 60-40 odds seem to be about right. The Chargers DO covet LA. They want San Diego in their back pockets in case LA doesn't work out. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 9, 2010 @ 8:03 a.m.

The two teams with stadium issues that will reach a climax in 2012 are the Chargers and Vikings. If neither team gets a deal approved in 2012 for a new stadium, and with the CBA negotiations out of the way, then I believe we will see both teams moving to LA for the 2013 season

I cannot comment on the Vikes, but there is no way the Chargers are gong anywhere for the next 7 years minimum.

With capital markets still frozen, a burdensome regulatory process and no team, the chances fo a stadium being built anywhere in LA, or the country for that matter, are slim and none.

This aint the go go dot com bubble years anymore.

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Don Bauder Sept. 9, 2010 @ 10:18 a.m.

Response to post #37: One worrisome factor is that federal economic stimulus money might be used for construction of a stadium in some markets. I know it has been discussed. I don't know if it has been resolved. Best, Don Bauder

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Verne Sept. 9, 2010 @ 2:41 p.m.

Don, I agree with you that in the past there was no consensus to build a stadium in LA. And the AEG plan has yet to be finalized. But lets not forget that AEG is the majority owner of Staples Center - so if anyone has shown ability to get something done, it has been AEG. But looking more closely, I believe that Roski's plan has far fewer obstacles and is further along in the process. In fact, Roski already has the land and environmental studies taken care of. The only thing stopping Roski from groundbreaking has been a lack of commitment from an existing NFL team to move into his stadium. But that will change after the CBA is signed. It's no longer a matter of "if" a stadium will be built in LA, it's a matter of how soon.

Once again, in my opinion, everything hinges on the new CBA. There have been reports that certain small market teams receive subsidies from the NFL. But there is talk that NFL owners want to eliminate those subsidies. If the subsidies are removed, teams like the Chargers would look at the potential revenue streams from the LA market very favorably. Furthermore, a small market team that moves to LA with a new stadium in place would increase the value of their franchise dramatically.

Reports suggest that a new San Diego stadium initiative will be on the ballot in 2012. If it passes, the Chargers will stay. If it fails, the Chargers would have no reason to stay after 2012, especially if Roski or AEG makes a deal with Spanos. If the Chargers became a lame duck team in San Diego, fans would lose interest and ticket sales would drop. Therefore, even if a stadium isn't yet completed in LA by 2013, the Chargers would have little choice but to move into one of the existing LA stadiums in 2013 and play there until a new stadium is completed.

Finally, the key to test the Chargers sincerity will be how large their PR campaign will be regarding the 2012 ballot initiative. It will take a considerable amount of public good will, as well as millions of dollars spent on marketing to persuade the voters to support a new stadium. In addition, the Chargers will need to field a winning team. Looking back at the Petco PR campaign, not only did the Padres buy themselves a playoff contender, but they spent big bucks on a media marketing blitz to persuade voters. It worked for the Padres because the Padres really wanted to stay in San Diego. I'm not yet convinced the Chargers want to stay.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 9, 2010 @ 4 p.m.

It's no longer a matter of "if" a stadium will be built in LA, it's a matter of how soon.

============== Baloney, an LA stadium is no closer to being built today than in 1995-and in 1995 they were sying the same thing as you are.

No LA stadium for at least 10 years, minimum.

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Don Bauder Sept. 9, 2010 @ 4:53 p.m.

Response to post #39: I agree that the Chargers would prefer LA, but they are making good money in San Diego and want to keep that possibility alive because other NFL owners might block them from going to LA, or a new stadium there might never be built. Thus, if the downtown stadium vote goes on the ballot in 2012, and loses, I don't think the Chargers would automatically leave. They would if they had LA or some other juicy market locked up. But they wouldn't leave if they didn't have another deal in their pocket. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 9, 2010 @ 4:55 p.m.

Response to post #40: Are you running for mayor of San Diego, SurfPuppy? Your assurances on this topic would garner you a majority vote. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd Sept. 9, 2010 @ 5:03 p.m.

I have to agree with Verne here. Don, you say that the Chargers are making good money here in San Diego, and I don't doubt that, but they would make tons more in the L.A. market.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 9, 2010 @ 5:09 p.m.

: Are you running for mayor of San Diego, SurfPuppy?

If I was elected Mayor there would be either serious pay and comp cuts, or a BK filing.

One of the two need to happen, and fast.

I am positive the Chargers will not move for a few reasons, the biggest being we're in a depression and no welfare is going to be given, the second is that there is no money to finance the golden white elephant.......

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Verne Sept. 9, 2010 @ 8:37 p.m.

Don, you are correct with your assessment that the Chargers are making good money in San Diego, but two points I'd like to make.

1) The Chargers want to make even MORE money that can only come with a new stadium.

2) Reports suggest that some of the Chargers revenue comes in the form of NFL subsidies. As I stated earlier, NFL owners might want to eliminate small market subsidies. If that happens, the Chargers will want to recoup their losses.

Another point that cannot be ignored - if the Chargers stadium ballot initiative fails and a new San Diego stadium doesn't get built, it would make no business sense whatsoever to stay in San Diego if the LA option is available. An NFL team located in LA with a new stadium would be valued at around a billion dollars. Whereas an NFL team located in San Diego with an old stadium wouldn't be worth anywhere close to that.

The general opinion among many Chargers fans is that an LA stadium won't get built because of past history, bad economy, etc... I wouldn't put much stock in what happened in the past. Roski is the real deal, as is AEG. Roski already has the land, and will fund the majority of the construction. All he needs is a commitment from a team. That commitment could come in 2012, whether it be the Chargers, Vikings, Jaguars, or possibly another team.

Don't get me wrong, I want the Chargers to stay in San Diego, whether it be in a new or old stadium. But I'm not very confident that the Chargers will be here in 2013. The only way I could see the Chargers staying would be if the Vikings, Rams, or Jaguars get to LA first.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 9, 2010 @ 10:57 p.m.

Roski is the real deal, as is AEG. Roski already has the land, and will fund the majority of the construction.

Roski does not have the billion dollars to build a stadium, and therefore could not even dream of funding one out of pocket.

And I have said many times now that there is no financing for this kind of project, there has not been for 2 years, and won't be any in the near future. No funding, no stadium.

The Chargers are not going anyhwere fast, including LA....

I doubt LA will have ANY new stadium before 2025, at least 15 years out if not 20 or 30........we have been hearing these claims for the last 20+ years....Al Davis claimed he was going to build a stadium in Irwindale in 1988, that was 22 years ago, and Roski's claims are no different than those from Davis in 88...........

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 1:12 a.m.

In response to some of your comments -

First the easy part - if the Chargers,(or any other team that moves to LA), needs a temporary place to play until a new stadium is built, that would be of the least concern. Even if the Rose Bowl is out of the equation, there's still the coliseum, Dodger stadium, and Anaheim. While none of those locations would be ideal, they're more ideal than continuing to play in San Diego as a lame duck team without fan support. A half empty stadium in San Diego means lost revenue for the Chargers for as long as it takes for the new LA stadium to be completed. Trust me, if the Chargers need a temporary place to play in LA, they will have no problem finding a willing partner.

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 1:51 a.m.

In response to those who think LA cannot build a stadium because of past failures -

It's true that AEG had a proposal 8 years ago to build a new stadium. But to clarify, that proposal didn't fall apart, rather, AEG pulled the plan because the LA Coliseum Commission also had there own plan(and the political muscle). Had AEG stayed the course, they might have been successful, given the fact that they've proven they know what they're doing with the Staples Center project.

Now AEG is floating a new plan which they want to incorporate an indoor stadium/convention center that would be a multi-use project. AEG already owns a hotel, which would adjoin the new stadium/convention center and bring in additional revenue to the hotel. Because this project would be a multi-use convention center, as opposed to just a football stadium, the chances of getting public funding would increase. That's why political leaders are listening before giving a flat out "no" to the proposal.

As for Roski's proposal - his net worth is estimated to be around 1.5 billion, but that isn't as important as whether or not he has investors lined up to help pay the cost of his $800 million dollar stadium. Roski has given public statements suggesting that he does have investors lined up, and he also claims the NFL is aware of the situation. According to Roski,the problem that has stalled the stadium from going forward is the pending CBA negotiations. Like I stated in an earlier post, NOTHING will be done regarding team relocations until AFTER the CBA deal is finalized. Considering Roski already has the land, already has the environmental reports out of the way, and claims to have investors lined up, it would be foolish for some of you to minimize the real possibility that this deal might become reality just after the CBA is signed.

As for the Chargers, if the voters approve funding for a new stadium this discussion becomes a moot point. But the real question is whether or not San Diego will approve funding for a new stadium in this political/economic environment ? And given the fact the the city is in terrible fiscal condition, are the Chargers setting themselves up for defeat at the ballot box ? Which brings us back to the original point here, perhaps Spanos really does dream about moving to LA...

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:35 a.m.

Response to post #43: The Chargers are making a lot of money in San Diego. They have a ridiculously one-sided contract. Yes, they would prefer LA. But if LA was not ready for them, or the NFL owners didn't want to generate a storm by letting the Chargers depart, the team would like to stay in San Diego, unless some place like Vegas offered a really juicy subsidy. Yes, the Chargers prefer LA. But they want to have a cozy relationship in their second choice, San Diego. Notice that young Spanos told the U-T this morning that he didn't remember ever telling an owner that he preferred LA. Repeat: he couldn't REMEMBER having said that. You have been forewarned. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:38 a.m.

Response to post #44: You said that we are in a depression and no welfare will be doled out. But that doesn't mean no welfare will be doled out to billionaires. You have to keep San Diego priorities in mind. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:44 a.m.

Response to post #45: No argument from me. The Chargers are making good money in San Diego but would prefer making BIG money in LA. I have been saying that for years. In re your second point: I think both baseball and football will re-examine small market subsidies. It has come out that the Pittsburgh Pirates are rolling in dough because of the small market subsidy. They have a subsidized stadium, spend little on players, lose, and make bundles of money from the small market subsidy. Sports team owners are embarrassed. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:49 a.m.

Response to post #46: Davis's deal with Irwindale was different from Roski's deal with the City of Industry. Davis's deal was one of the biggest scams of all. He took money from that poor little city just to consider whether to locate there. He gave it five minutes of consideration and pocketed the money. That's not what's going on in Industry. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:55 a.m.

Response to post #47: So McCourt is talking with Goodell at the same time his divorce is national headlines, and nobody knows what will happen to the LA Dodgers when that messy thing is finally settled. Fantasy and ephemeral notions ARE Los Angeles. The place is a fairy land. But it does have a metro area six times larger than San Diego's. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 8:01 a.m.

Response to post #48: Oh yes, you have hit the heart of the NFL's scam: the luxury suites. Teams don't have to share revenue from them with other teams. Hence, this is the impetus behind NFL teams constantly scamming governments for new stadiums. Make the taxpayer price himself out of games by paying for luxury suites that only the superrich and corporations can enjoy. And most people can't see through this blatant scam. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 8:04 a.m.

Response to post #49: It seems to me that I watched a football game at the Anaheim stadium some time between 1988 and 1992 when my youngest son was at the University of Colorado and it was playing a bowl game there. It was not a bad venue for a football game. So you may have a point. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 8:11 a.m.

Response to post #50: Yes, nothing will be done until owners and players agree on how the money will be split. NFL owners are by and large the greediest and most corrupt businesspeople in America. That could be quite a fight, but owners will win. But even when those issues are settled, the economic woes will still be around, in all probability. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 1:11 p.m.

Response to post #59: Then I am wrong. It apparently can't be used for football today. What about Dodger Stadium? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 1:14 p.m.

Response to post #60: We're talking about pro sports owners and administrators. OF COURSE somebody is lying. Probably all parties -- including those under oath. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 1:23 p.m.

Response to post #61: You have both laid out your cases quite cogently. I suggest you do what most pro sports fans and owners do: make a bet. Best, Don Bauder

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 2:17 p.m.

re crystalcove:

You claim you have the facts, but lets look more closely and see how they measure up to reality.

1) You say no one has a plan -

Reality - Roski has a detailed plan.

2) You say no one has a site -

Reality - Roski has a site under his control in COI.

3) You say no one has the permits or approvals -

Reality - Roski already has the environmental approvals. Roski also has negotiated deals with adjoining cities to avoid costly lawsuits.

4)You say Roski doesn't have the money lined up.

Reality - You have no idea who the investors might be, as that is confidential information between Roski and the investors.

5) You say Roski doesn't have a team.

Reality - Just after the CBA deal is signed, there could be up to five teams that will be under serious consideration for relocation.

You can continue dreaming about the Chargers staying in San Diego with the false impression that they have no other alternatives, but the actual facts don't align with your dreams.

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David Dodd Sept. 10, 2010 @ 3 p.m.

Again, Crys, Verne is correct about Roski's status, and if he decided to build without backing he still has enough money by himself to begin to build that stadium tomorrow. The only thing that Roski's lacking is leverage - the CBA and expected lock-out is preventing that, and the failure of the economy to improve isn't helping. But the COI site is miles ahead of any other site out there.

Both the NFL owners and the NFLPA would love to see two teams in Los Angeles. By taking two small-market teams and placing them in a large market, they could see three times the revenue from two such teams that currently take more than they give.

Dean Spanos made a statement this morning concerning the Yahoo! article, and he wasn't entirely upset over the allegation. He said something to the effect that he didn't recall saying that to another owner. Right. The Nixon defense. He went on to say the same thing that he's been saying (in order to keep San Diego fans from freaking out), which is something along the lines of always having been committed to keeping the Chargers in San Diego.

Deja Vu. I remember Rams owner Georgia Frontiere saying the same thing when I lived in Los Angeles, right up to the week before they backed up the trucks to the Big A and moved the franchise to St. Louis.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 4:30 p.m.

Both the NFL owners and the NFLPA would love to see two teams in Los Angeles. By taking two small-market teams and placing them in a large market, they could see three times the revenue from two such teams that currently take more than they give.

..please refried, get serious.

If this were true the Raiders and Rams would STILL BE THERE!!

Oakland is a small market as is St Louis.

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David Dodd Sept. 10, 2010 @ 4:44 p.m.

While Roski technically HAS the money to break ground, I agree, he won't. That's never been his thing, he likes playing with other people's money. I completely agree about no football in Anaheim, and for similar reasons (regardless of McCourt's desires) I can't see it being played at Chavez. The configuration is all wrong. The Coliseum is out, they simply don't have the technical capabilities at this point to house American Football. The Rose Bowl could certainly manage that temporarily, and my guess is that they would if it was only for a year. It would be a mess though. Anyone who has ever attended a popular Rose Bowl knows why. Logistically, Pasadena is a nightmare.

The COI spot that Roski has set aside (which includes approved infrastructure from taxpayer bonds) is where I grew up. There were no freeways there back then. Grand Avenue tee'd into Valley Boulevard. There was a cattle farm there, and the old Libbey Glass Company. And fields, lots of fields. Then the Pomona Freeway and the Orange Freeways were built, and then some housing. I played golf (if you want to call it actually "playing" golf) at the course directly south of the freeway. There are railroad tracks north of the stadium site, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific. When we were kids, we taped pennies to the tracks and waited for the long trails of freight cars to smash them for us.

Good times.

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David Dodd Sept. 10, 2010 @ 4:49 p.m.

Re #70:

SP, this is 2010. It's entirely different. There has been so much more development in Los Angeles since those teams left. You put one state-of-the-art stadium in the Los Angeles area for two NFL teams, and that place will sell out every week and the broadcasting revenue and merchandising and so on will be similar to that of the New York teams.

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5 p.m.

Response to post #65: I don't think anybody would argue that any financial group has all its ducks in a row. As you say, it's the timing that people are arguing about. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:02 p.m.

Response to post #66: We don't know if Roski has the money lined up or has at least one team that will give up more than half of the ownership. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:05 p.m.

Response to post #67: Yes, Dean Spanos's statement this morning, as I noted earlier, hardly smacked of verisimilitude. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:09 p.m.

Response to post #68: We understand. It's all about timing. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:13 p.m.

Response to post #69: McCourt might permit football. He is going to take a huge financial hit when this divorce goes through. As I understand it, she may wind up owning the Dodgers. Either one will need money. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:19 p.m.

Response to post #70: Of course, look at the owners of those two teams. Georgia Frontiere owned the Rams and Al Davis the Raiders when the departure decisions were made. The sole motivation of both has always been greed. Both got better deals elsewhere. The grass looked greener -- short term -- in much smaller markets. Now those deals don't look so hot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:24 p.m.

Response to post #71: Had Roski been around there when you were growing up, he would have picked those pennies off the rails and tried to cash them at the bank. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:26 p.m.

Response to post #72: That's if Angelenos haven't lost interest in pro football. Best, Don Bauder

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:33 p.m.

Don, you and I might not know if Roski has the investors lined up - but Roski knows, and I'd presume the NFL knows as well. It wouldn't make any sense for Roski to have already spent so much time, effort, and money on this project unless he was confident in his ability to get investors to go along with him on the deal. As Roski has repeatedly stated, the only thing preventing him from breaking ground on the new stadium is the lack of a commitment from a team. And the only thing preventing a team from making a commitment now are the upcoming CBA negotiations.

In an earlier post I predicted at least one team, and probably two, would make a commitment to LA in 2012. Two teams, the Chargers and Vikings, look to have a public resolution to their own stadium issues resolved one way or the other in 2012. If either Minneapolis or San Diego rejects public financing for a new stadium, then Roski will have two teams he can work deals with. The Jaguars, Rams, and Bills are teams that might be available as well.

As for the Chargers not wanting to give up majority ownership - thats the public stance, who knows for sure what the private stance is. And if there are two teams relocating to LA, Roski could purchase majority interest in one team, and allow the Chargers to keep majority interest in the other. When billions of dollars are at stake, everything is open to negotiation.

What surprises me at this late date in the process are the fans who think the Chargers might be bluffing. Fabiani has basically told the public exactly what the Chargers intentions are. They want a new stadium. And I stand by my earlier comment where I predicted that at least one team, and maybe two, will make a commitment to relocate to LA in 2012.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:17 p.m.

You put one state-of-the-art stadium in the Los Angeles area for two NFL teams, and that place will sell out every week and the broadcasting revenue and merchandising and so on will be similar to that of the New York teams.

Refried-we are 180 degrees apart on this one......I do agree that if you could put TWO teams in one Cowboys type palace it would cut the costs tremendously.......but it will never have the kind of market New York has-So Cal residents just haave too many other options, not to mention the best weather in the continential USA.

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David Dodd Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:34 p.m.

But SP, there are SO many more people there now, and that location is ideal to be able to draw from 30 - 60 miles around it. Los Angeles has no personality, no sense of independence like San Diego has. They'll go because they're sheep. People can say what they wish about San Diegans, but they are very independent-minded folk in San Diego.

Another thing to consider, stadium-wise: That area really doesn't have a large venue in which to have concerts and soccer games and other stuff, but the surrounding land has been completely developed in the last couple of decades. Basically, the closest place is Anaheim Stadium, or perhaps even The Pond (or whatever they call that place where the Ducks play these days). In San Diego, we have the amphitheatre and the forum and a couple of other large venues in close proximity, but up there it takes forever to get from one place to another, so I think they could host a lot of events that any San Diego stadium would likely not.

And there is a ton of money up there. San Diego is paradise where Los Angeles is the armpit of paradise, so to speak. While I run into people with MBA's loading trucks down here because it's all they can find because EVERYONE wants to live in San Diego, I've never seen that sort of competition in Los Angeles. So, it's more of a employee's market up there (I made a lot more money up there than I've ever made in San Diego and it's cheaper to live there). People up there can afford to spend, afford to be sheep. Baa ;)

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:39 p.m.

During the 2009 season, USC football averaged 84,000 per game, while crosstown rival UCLA averaged 65,000. Both teams play in old stadiums. Even the Clippers average over 16,000, and they are a crappy team that has to compete with the Lakers.

Because of the large population base in LA, if a new state of the art football stadium is built, no doubt the stadium will be sold out on a regular basis.

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David Dodd Sept. 10, 2010 @ 7:57 p.m.

Regarding the Spanos desire to move out of San Diego: If I related this before, all apologies. Now that I'm over two years out of that job, I feel much more comfortable relating this.

The field wall banners that surround the entire field at Qualcomm? We made those. I made those. We didn't do the artwork, someone else did, hired by the Chargers. We printed them and constructed them and installed them, according to my design. I made many trips to that screwed-up mess of a stadium and measured. It's a dump. Too bad San Diego can't afford a new one, but that's how it goes.

Anyway, with 2 1/2 weeks before deadline, we finally got the artwork. My part of the job was to design the banners, how they fit according to our printing and construction capabilities. A capable co-worker, he took my design and dropped the artwork into it. It's more complicated than that, but that's how we attacked the project. We were about 1/3 of the way into it and then we got a call from the Chargers: New artwork on the way.

The new artwork? Basically, it removed the words "San Diego" from every portion of the graphics. Spanos does not want them here any longer. That was three years ago. I believe they are still using those same field-wall banners. They will be gone sooner rather than later, both the Chargers and the banners.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 9:46 p.m.

And there is a ton of money up there. San Diego is paradise where Los Angeles is the armpit of paradise, so to speak. While I run into people with MBA's loading trucks down here because it's all they can find because EVERYONE wants to live in San Diego, I've never seen that sort of competition in Los Angeles. So, it's more of a employee's market up there (I made a lot more money up there than I've ever made in San Diego and it's cheaper to live there).

I certainly agree with you on this!

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 9:50 p.m.

The new artwork? Basically, it removed the words "San Diego" from every portion of the graphics. Spanos does not want them here any longer

That was 2-3 years ago?? When Soanos was supposedly working on building/getting a new SD stadium???? Shows that their word means nothing, much like how they broke their word/contract on the Jack Murphy deal.

These ball club owners, be it baseball, football- they care about no one except themselves, not the people, not the community-just themselves, greedy good for nothing carpet baggers who are just out to line their pockets with the money from the poor, but loyal, fan base.

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:03 p.m.

Response to poset #81: Those are the five teams mentioned most prominently. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:05 p.m.

Response to post #82: The existence of competing activities, particularly outside ones, is always a factor in Southern California. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:09 p.m.

Response to post #83: I don't know about MBAs, but there are a slew of wannabe actresses, actors, producers, writers who are waiting tables and tending bar in LA. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:12 p.m.

Response to post #84: But when LA didn't support the Rams and Raiders (either one), its metro population was huge. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:14 p.m.

Response to post #85: That is a very interesting and enlightening story. Sounds very meaningful. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:19 p.m.

Response to post #86: According to the most recent cost-of-living numbers I have, San Diego's is 32.3% above the national average and LA's is 36.2% higher. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2010 @ 10:23 p.m.

Response to post #87: The Chargers claimed they were spending millions of dollars trying to find a location in San Diego County. But their plans were from Cheapsville. For example, the plans they drew up for development at the Qualcomm site could have drawn up by a college architectural student. They were an insult. Best, Don Bauder

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 11 p.m.

It's not entirely fair to say LA didn't support the Rams. During much of their time in LA, the Rams averaged between 50-60,000 per game. It wasn't until the last five years in Anaheim when the team was horrible with losing seasons did attendance fall. Even then, the Rams still averaged between 42-50,000 per game, even though there was widespread belief that the Rams were leaving LA.

The Raiders were an entirely different situation because they played in a dump located in a ghetto. Yet, the Raiders were able to draw big crowds above 80,000 for playoff games.

As an example of how things can change - The St.Louis Cardinals football team averaged under 40,000 per game the final few seasons in St.Louis playing in old Busch stadium. Then only a few years later the Rams moved to St.Louis and drew sellouts in a brand new dome. Same thing will happen to whatever team moves to LA.

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Burwell Sept. 10, 2010 @ 11:08 p.m.

Keep the economic factor in mind: food is cheaper in supermarkets and restaurants because of illegal aliens working for extremely low wages. Americans don't want to face that. Best, Don Bauder

In 2009 the EDD reports that the average farmworker in California worked 38 hours per week and earned almost $11 an hour. Farm labor represents only 6% of the retail cost of food. If the illegal aliens who harvest crops were deported and replaced by native born Americans at $20 an hour, the cost of food would only increase 6%. There are plenty of native born Americans who are willing to pick crops, but not for $11 an hour. They would expect to receive a fair wage for their labor.

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Verne Sept. 10, 2010 @ 11:14 p.m.

Don, what is your gut feeling about all of this ?

Do you think San Diegans will approve public money for a new stadium ? And do you think the downtown stadium is even a real option at this point ?

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 11:35 p.m.

Do you think San Diegans will approve public money for a new stadium

Approve money from where???

This city is currently bankrupt on a cash flow basis-to think hundreds of millions could be gifted out thru bonds or anything else is just not possible.

No one would buy stadium bonds with our financial problems.....

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 11:37 p.m.

There are plenty of native born Americans who are willing to pick crops, but not for $11 an hour. They would expect to receive a fair wage for their labor.

There are PLENTY of Americans who would do anything legal for $11 an hour....that is a very good wage in this economy where many have been UE for months and years......I have seen law firms advertising for lawyers with minimum wage recently.....

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2010 @ 11:41 p.m.

Then only a few years later the Rams moved to St.Louis and drew sellouts in a brand new dome. Same thing will happen to whatever team moves to LA.

============================= The difference between the Rams and the Cards back then would be like comparing a go-kart to an indy 500 race car.

If you look at the Rams recently, with their awful teams, they are not selling out the dome.

Selling out has much more to do with the quality of the team than the venue-in fact the venue has little to no effect-witness the Padres.....

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Verne Sept. 11, 2010 @ 1:02 a.m.

Re: puppydog...

Do you even read the posts on this board before replying ?

You essentially just made the same point that I made regarding the success of a team being an important factor driving attendance figures - particularly the LA Rams situation in Anaheim.

But you cannot use that theory in every case. Some very mediocre football teams sell out year after year, while some playoff teams like the Chargers have trouble filling the stadium during the regular season.

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David Dodd Sept. 11, 2010 @ 4:21 a.m.

Re #87 & #92: That story is absolutely true. I would love to write a detailed piece on that entire project, but last that I checked my ex-employer was still doing business with them, and to endanger that would be entirely unfair of me. What I took away from the change in art was this: The Chargers were not trying to send the City of San Diego a message. Many of my colleagues presented that theory but I shot it down immediately. There are channels to do that much more effectively, and in private.

And, the Chargers obviously have not wanted to insult their fan base in their remaining years here. That would be horrible business practice.

The removal of the reference to the City on those banners - which gets loads of air time on National television - served as advertisement. Sometimes when advertising to the Nation, it isn't what you include in your message that's important, it's what you leave out. In other words, the Chargers walked into the NFL/City hook-up bar, but they removed their wedding ring before they entered...

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 6:54 a.m.

Response to post #95: The first few years of occupancy, every new stadium fills up. Then the novelty wears off. When that happens, the owners start lobbying for a new stadium. It's a racket. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 6:59 a.m.

Response to post #96: To me, $11 an hour sounds high, although the EDD keeps good data. I would like to see how much, on average, the immigrants make compared with native Americans. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:06 a.m.

Response to post #97: As ridiculous as it is (an insolvent city spending $600 million to $700 million for a billionaire family's toy), I think it is quite possible. First, CCDC will get a friendly "report" from the consulting firm and lift its lending capacity. Second, the establishment will throw massive amounts of money into the election. However, the best reason for why it won't happen is the Chargers themselves: they really prefer LA. I do believe the team proposed an absurdly expensive proposal in the hopes that the voters would turn it down, giving the Spanos family a pretext to beat it out of town. But the San Diego establishment bought into it. It's pathetic. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:09 a.m.

Response to post #98: The question was not whether San Diego can afford it (it obviously can't) or whether the City could sell bonds for it (it couldn't.) The question was whether San Diegans would approve it. And I think that's possible, despite the absurdity of the proposition. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:12 a.m.

Response to post #11: Yes, $11 an hour is well above minimum wage. That's why I am skeptical of that number. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:21 a.m.

NOTE: The previous number was 99, not 11. Response to post #100: The new venue has a great INITIAL effect. After that, the quality of the team is what matters. Long term, winning puts fannies in seats. As to the Padres's inability to attract fans, despite competing for the playoffs: I think the logistics (parking, transportation) and high prices (tickets, concessions) are the major factors. It it so easy to go to Qualcomm. That's another reason why the whole project was a mistake -- except for John Moores, who ran off with $700 million to $1 billion by getting land cheap in East Village and peddling at high prices to condo builders. (Unfortunately, few people are occupying the condos.) Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:26 a.m.

Response to post #101: Have you ever heard of a theory that applies in every case? Yes, some teams fill the seats despite having lousy teams year after year. Chicago Cubs are an example. Fortunately, they play in a ballpark built about 90 years ago. Taxpayers aren't subsidizing a new facility -- yet. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:29 a.m.

Response to post #102: Forget your worry about being unfair to your former employer. You should not be unfair to citizens of San Diego. That story deserves a thorough airing. It is educational. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 11, 2010 @ 8:19 a.m.

Some very mediocre football teams sell out year after year, while some playoff teams like the Chargers have trouble filling the stadium during the regular season.

Name some teams with sub 500 records that sell out "year after year".

I guess you have not been to Detroit recently-you do know they have not only a brand new football stadium, but a new baseball stadium too-and neither team sells out.........

The Chargers have ALWAYS sold out when they had winning teams, the only time they did not was when they had sub-500 records, and went thru coaches like udnerwear (Henning, Saunders, Gilbride, Jones, etc....).

Again, the venue is not the key-it is winning, and that coems down to the ownership and management.

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Burwell Sept. 11, 2010 @ 12:22 p.m.

The link to the EDD Bulletin below shows that agricultural workers in the San Diego area earn between $11 and $12 per hour. Considering the fact that many of these workers live outdoors in canyons, you can imagine how much money these workers are banking. No living expenses to speak of, no taxes to pay, no health insurance costs to worry about (health care tab picked up by the taxpayer). http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/agric/2009-1cab.pdf

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Verne Sept. 11, 2010 @ 4:42 p.m.

Don, you are correct - some teams, including the Cubs, do sell out in spite of having mediocre teams, that was my point. The Bears sell out in their new stadium as well, and they are a mediocre team. As I've stated earlier, winning percentage doesn't necessarily determine attendance figures. Football teams in Denver, Tennessee, Houston, Carolina, fill their stadiums even though the teams are mediocre. Some of them have new stadiums, some have older stadiums. Whereas the Chargers won the division the past four years, yet won't sell out their home opener this year.

Overall, I do agree with you on most of your analysis. It seems to me that the Chargers have been serious about the LA market for years. The only difference you and I have is on the timing of when they might leave.

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Verne Sept. 11, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

Interesting NC Times interview with Dean Spanos earlier this week.....

Spanos -> "We all know what's going on in Los Angeles (in terms of a stadium), but our focus will stay in San Diego until we have no opportunity left."

http://www.nctimes.com/sports/football/professional/nfl/chargers/article_1f2dbea3-b60d-53a1-8cdf-dfba8a782dc2.html

The Chargers are about as clear as they can be. If they don't get the stadium ballot initiative passed, all signs point to LA.

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David Dodd Sept. 11, 2010 @ 5:22 p.m.

I don't believe that a venue necessarily matters when it comes to sell-outs, Lambeau Field has sold out every Packers game since 1960. It was built in 1957 and renovated in 2003. The key isn't its age, the key is it was built exclusively for American Football. Lambeau isn't a beatiful state-of-the-art stadium, it is adequate and technically capable of hosting NFL football games with no issues.

Winning did not necessarily pack Lambeau Field. From 1968 through 1991 the Packers had a record of 147 wins and 203 losses, yet all home games were sold out.

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 6:55 p.m.

Response to post #111: Winning doesn't just come from management. In the NFL, it comes from the deliberate balance -- the draft, the scheduling, the salary cap, etc. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 6:58 p.m.

Response to post #112: That is a major reason these workers come to the U.S. They send the money back to their families in Mexico. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:01 p.m.

Response to post #113: This is how old I am: when I was in college in the 1950s in Wisconsin, the Packers played part of their schedule in Milwaukee because they couldn't fill the stadium in Green Bay. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:05 p.m.

Response to post #114: Spanos has been saying that for a long time. I believe that the downtown stadium idea, in which an insolvent city would have to pick up most of the tab, is a deliberate attempt to lose a vote, so the team can have a pretext to leave, and NFL owners would let them do so. I'm not sure they would vamoose right away, however. They would have to get their ducks in line somewhere else first. Of course, they will have time to do that between now and the vote. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2010 @ 7:08 p.m.

Response to post #115: It wasn't winning that packed that stadium. It was Wisconsin. Cheese and beer do strange things to people. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd Sept. 12, 2010 @ 2:36 a.m.

Crys:

Monday, the Chargers play in Kansas City.

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Don Bauder Sept. 12, 2010 @ 7:34 a.m.

Response to post #121: The Packers are generally called "community-owned." More than 100,000 shareholders own the team; the deal is structured so that the team won't leave Green Bay. There is talk that the Chargers are having a bit of a problem selling tickets and there may be blackouts, but you hear such talk every year in a number of NFL cities. My guess is that none of the Chargers games will be blacked out, as tickets will be purchased at the last minute, perhaps by a company. The team is almost guaranteed to make the playoffs. Six of its sixteen games are against AFC West opponents. Those teams are pretty bad. That's a nice guarantee to have in your pocket entering the season. Oh yes, in re Boulder. We are 2.5 hours from Boulder. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 12, 2010 @ 7:38 a.m.

Response to post #122: Correct. Best, Don Bauder

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