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The big controversy over the Chargers moving to Los Angeles would appear to be over. National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said on TV last night (Thursday, Feb. 2) that the league "doesn't want to move any of our teams."

If L.A. actually builds a stadium (two are under consideration, but only one would likely emerge), the NFL might actually add two teams through expansion, he said. That would bring the total of teams to 34, because 33 would be clumsy for scheduling. He said the league wants to return to L.A., "if we can do it correctly," but he has said the league is not now considering expansion.

For years, the Chargers have been going down two tracks: the team preferred L.A., but continued to seek out opportunities (massive taxpayer subsidies) in San Diego, knowing that a move might be blocked by team owners.

Goodell's statement probably is rooted in the league's fear of antitrust lawsuits, says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre. With new redevelopment money probably dead, the league against team relocation, and San Diego ailing financially, the Chargers should be staying at Qualcomm Stadium, where the ownership is making a bundle of money.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Feb. 3, 2012 @ 1:41 p.m.

The NFL has no legal authority to stop a team from moving. Al Davis proved that in spades in 1982 when he took the Raiders to LA.

BTW-the Oakland/Alameda Coliseum venue had sold out for the previous 20 years, he was making bundles of $$$ in Oakland but wanted more.

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2012 @ 4:43 p.m.

Davis case or no, the NFL is afraid of antitrust suits. Remember that players were going to file one during the recent lockout. I think that scared the owners. Goodell's statement deprives teams wanting massive subsidies of one of their most powerful tools: the threat to leave. Goodell's statement is a result of his reading the tea leaves. In this economic environment, the public is wising up to the "subsidize me or we leave town" scam. Best, Don Bauder

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Inkydan Feb. 3, 2012 @ 4:32 p.m.

Anything that Mike Aguirre says is a most likely not true. This man has been responsible for millions of dollars of lost city funds due to baseless nuisance suits filed in the late 90's. His reward for this folly? They elected him City Attorney for a term. He was voted out of office at the first opportunity.

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2012 @ 4:47 p.m.

The costs of Aguirre's and Henderson's suits are minuscule compared with the costs of taxpayers subsidizing billionaire team owners. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 3, 2012 @ 4:56 p.m.

Inkydan, Mike Aguirre is a true hero and champion of the PEOPLE for many of us-including me. Stop the bashing.

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2012 @ 5:16 p.m.

Yes, Aguirre is truly fighting for the people. But there has been such a coordinated smear campaign -- with the U-T at the center of it -- that he has to fight public perceptions. Also, remember, 20% of the voters in any city are absolutely rabid sports fans. They can't be swayed by analytical arguments -- such as that a broke city has no money for a public subsidy for a stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Feb. 4, 2012 @ 8:18 a.m.

Its probably like when the government makes an "announcement", we can bet just the opposite will take place soon.

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Don Bauder Feb. 4, 2012 @ 3:34 p.m.

Goodness, I hope the opposite doesn't take place -- that is, the NFL turns around and encourages teams to blackmail cities by threatening to move. If you read Goodell's comment, you can only conclude that his bosses, the owners, do NOT want teams moving. And that takes away a powerful tool they wield: the threat to leave if they don't get a massive subsidy. Best, Don Bauder

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TruthStrangerThanFiction Feb. 4, 2012 @ 7:53 p.m.

I just love the way the writer of this story somehow is trying to make the Chargers the bad guy in this story. Guess what San Diego? The Chargers aren't going anywhere, just like they have been saying for the last, what, 10 years. The Reader, along with the other rags in this town, has done nothing but cry wolf about the Boltz being as good as gone. The only thing you guys have accomplished is alienating the fan base for absolutely no good reason. The only question left is wether the Chargers stay in the second worst stadium in the league or if the vision for a waterfront stadium/convention center expansion is realized? Hopefully, the citizens of San Diego aren't as shortsighted as they were when they tried to stop the construction of the Coronado bridge because that was also a terrible idea, right?

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Don Bauder Feb. 4, 2012 @ 8:27 p.m.

The Chargers for ten years have been SAYING they wanted to remain in San Diego. I never believed them -- and knew they didn't spend anywhere near the money they claimed to spend on the search -- but I was always careful to say that the league might not let them move. So they were going down two tracks. Now it appears they will be going down one track -- staying in San Diego. And as I said, with redevelopment money almost certainly unavailable, with the city broke, with the county not having the money, and with the league opposed to relocations, the Chargers are apparently staying where they belong: at Qualcomm, which is a perfectly good stadium. Now, if private sector money wants to build the Chargers a new stadium, I would be all for it. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 5, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

TruthStrangerThanFiction = Dean Snaos or Fabiani!

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2012 @ 7:24 a.m.

I think the Chargers realized in the last six months or so that there was not NFL owner support for relocation. There were other roadblocks such as Anschutz wanting part of the team for a ridiculously low price, a possible hefty relocation fee, etc. but the owners were the big hurdle. And, it appears, the owners are fearful of antitrust litigation and perhaps legislation; the players had a suit ready before the lockout was settled. Chargers ownership's tune became more muted. The focus of downtown plans veered in a silly direction (joint stadium/convention center, tied into existing center, etc.). Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Feb. 5, 2012 @ 8:45 a.m.

I sure am tired of the “UT-San Diego” running stadium stories every single day.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2012 @ 10:32 a.m.

Well, at least we must admit that Manchester and Lynch made it clear from the outset that the publication would be a propaganda rag. Other publishers WANT a propaganda rag but don't ever say it in public, as they did. The paper is even worse than I thought it would be. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 5, 2012 @ 2:14 p.m.

13.I sure am tired of the “UT-San Diego” running stadium stories every single day. == OK, what about that front page "Editorial 2 Sundays ago touting the stadium/convention center rah-rah piece????? Never in my life have I seen an "Editorial" on the front page of the Sunday paper-anywhere.

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Ponzi Feb. 5, 2012 @ 8:57 a.m.

This is a statement Mayor Sander made a few years ago:

"I do not think it would be prudent or honest for me to say to taxpayers 'We can't resurface our roadways, but we can finance a stadium,'" the mayor said. San Diego is facing what the mayor called a "financial and managerial crisis," which includes a $1.4 billion city employee pension fund deficit and federal investigations into city finances.”

Not much has improved since he said that. The only thing consistent about Sanders is how he flip-flops on so many issues. It’s certainly a blessing for San Diego that his reign of indecisiveness and ineffectiveness is almost over.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2012 @ 10:34 a.m.

My guess is that his flip-flops correlate with the amount of money that lands secretly in his pocket. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Feb. 5, 2012 @ 9:24 a.m.

If the exit is blocked, that doesn't mean that what "should" happen will happen. That is, just because they won't be able to move to LA doesn't mean this drumbeat of howling about the current stadium being "bad" and inadequate will stop. Rather I expect to see/hear/read more of it, perhaps reaching a crescendo within a year or two. And you know what? It just might succeed if the Chargers and Dean Spanos are willing to make enough noise and spend enough money on publicity. If he'd just spend the money on fixing what is "wrong" with the stadium, perhaps in concert with Qualcomm Inc, all could live happily ever after. However, after all these years of complaints about the inadequacy of the facility, it would look foolish (and billionaire families don't ever want to look foolish) to admit that the place is really just fine for a pro football team. If they want to look REALLY foolish, the NFL could decide that it is a good spot for another Super Bowl!

This ain't over by a long shot.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2012 @ 10:47 a.m.

Excellent points, Visduh. Goodell would seem to have removed NFL teams' weapon of choice when begging for a public handout: the threat to leave. So now there will be a shift in the whining. The rabid fans (including mainstream media) will probably drop the wailing about the team possibly leaving town, and concentrate on the supposed inadequacies of Qualcomm. Also, the voodoo arithmetic that a new stadium could be financed with the money now spent to maintain Qualcomm will be a major focus, enthusiastically trumpeted by mainstream media. The subjects of the $1 billion infrastructure deficit, the slicing back of library hours, the closing of rec centers, the nearly-bankrupt school system, etc. will all evanesce as the overlords, with the mainstream press in their pockets, push to steal from taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Feb. 5, 2012 @ 11:53 a.m.

Perhaps the controversy over whether or not the Chargers will move is over, but to say that no NFL teams can move is a stretch. As surfpuppy619 said, Al Davis proved the NFL doesn't have the leagal authority to stop a team. And just one day after Goodell made the statement you quoted, he said this, in regards to the situation in St. Louis: “We want to keep our franchises where they are so we’d love to have the St. Louis Rams stay in St. Louis. If issues come to a head, it’s possible that the Rams could move out of St. Louis entirely, but Goodell said he hopes it doesn’t come to that." Doesn't sound quite so omnipotent, does it. BTW, the owner of the Rams, Stan Kroenke, is a bidder for the Dodgers. He spends most of his time in Denver and is said to be good friends with Philip Anschutz. And according to what I've read, the Rams can break their lease in St. Louis in 2 years without any penalty and move for the 2015 season. Part of their lease terms require the dome to meet "first-tier" requirements — in other words, be considered among the top-quarter of the stadiums in the league. If not, the Rams could be free to relocate after the 2014 season. Even Goodell himself said that was "articulated very clearly in the lease". Seems to me that Goodell is acknowledging he can't control as much as he says he can. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission made a proposal and the Rams have until March 1 to accept or reject the offer. So I guess we'll find out by then if Goodell has all the power he says he has. Since Frank McCourt has until April 1 to decide who he sells the Dodgers to,the next 2 1/2 months could prove to be very interesting, and not just for those of use in L.A. Should Stan Kroenke get the Dodgers AND come to some arrangement with Philip Anschutz for the Rams to play in his stadium, I suspect that would affect the Chargers. They would see the door hasn't closed for moving, and since the NFL wants 2 teams in LA, they once again could hold San Diego hostage by using the old LA move as leverage. Not saying it will happen, but it's not out of the real of possibility. You know what they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2012 @ 7:08 p.m.

As in any situation in the world, things could change. Goodell may not have the puissance he thinks he has. But remember, heads of the NFL are puppets for the team owners. I can't imagine that his statement did not reflect the overwhelming thinking of the owners AT THAT TIME. But as you point out, times can change. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Feb. 7, 2012 @ 11:28 a.m.

After all these years of having no NFL team in LA, it seems to me a stretch for the league to think/expect that the market can support two of them. Just getting one up and running there, with a new stadium of course, isn't an easy task, as we are seeing as the years pass. If you want to look at a stadium that is REALLY inadequate, old and "bad", the Coliseum is it. All nostalgia aside for its history with two Olympics, years as home for USC (and UCLA for a long time), the Rams, and even when the Dodgers played there, it is ripe for replacement. If Yankee Stadium could be torn down and replaced, ANY sports venue can be replaced. But that isn't in the cards, and so the saga continues.

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Don Bauder Feb. 7, 2012 @ 4:08 p.m.

I think the rap on the Coliseum is the neighborhood it is in. Best, Don Bauder

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