• News Ticker alerts

Denver multi-billionaire Philip Anschutz on Thursday decided not to sell his Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). The bids were too low. Anschutz also fired AEG chief executive Tim Leiweke, who has been dealing with the National Football League, LA politicians, state legislators and many others in the attempt to get a subsidized football stadium in downtown LA, which would be occupied by one or perhaps two teams -- one of them, possibly, the Chargers.

When Anschutz's moves were announced, Jay Paris of the U-T wrote, "The message from the City of Angels was one many always speculated: Ding, dong, the NFL remains dead...It's obvious Anschutz doesn't have the stomach for the NFL." Ergo, Chargers probably wouldn't leave for LA, and therefore it's time for the City to build the team a stadium. Ugh (my response.)

Wrote Steve Lopez of he Los Angeles Times, "The city got sacked...prospects for an NFL team don't look so hot."

But the Denver Post wrote that Anschutz is still committed to the downtown project and recruiting a team to play in it. The Post printed a story from the Los Angeles Daily News quoting Anschutz saying that he would devote more time than ever to getting the stadium built and wooing a team. "I think there's a good chance the NFL comes back to LA," said Anschutz. The LA Times, after interviewing Anschutz, softened its tone, indicating that maybe there was still a chance, but the NFL now is wrestling with a tough negotiator, Anschutz.

So San Diego is back where it was: flailing in uncertainty. So is LA, it would seem.

  • News Ticker alerts

Comments

aardvark March 17, 2013 @ 11:43 a.m.

The NFL does not want to be in downtown LA--but they are drooling about an area adjacent to Dodger Stadium. Guggenheim Partners, who now own the Dodgers, stand to make billions off of the Dodgers new TV contract, and might decide that they want to build a stadium on that adjacent property. Don't forget that Guggenheim Partners were one of the rumored parties that were interested in purchasing AEG. IMO, there is a decent chance that a new football stadium will be built in LA before one is built in San Diego. Whether the Chargers will be the team (or a team) moving there, only time will tell. Maybe Spanos will just give up waiting for the city to unload the armored car at his feet to build a new stadium in San Diego and sell the club to other interests.

0

Don Bauder March 17, 2013 @ 11:59 a.m.

aardvark: Yes, there are other options in LA; Anschutz's AEG is only one chip on the table. Anschutz indicates he will bargain hard with the NFL. That may be his way of saying that he is willing to let others get pushed around by the league. The only reason Anschutz is interested in a football stadium/team is to enhance his entertainment/hotel/residential area near Staples. He may be talking out of both sides of his mouth -- common in negotiations. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 17, 2013 @ 9:24 p.m.

As long as Frank McCourt owns half of the parking lots in Chavez Ravine, there can be no stadium built. And I think it's a pretty good bet that McCourt will NEVER sell to the Guggenheim group.

0

aardvark March 17, 2013 @ 11:44 p.m.

"The new owners also contributed $150 million toward a joint venture with former owner Frank McCourt for ownership of the Dodger Stadium parking lots and pledged an additional, unspecified amount toward a separate real estate partnership with McCourt." Looks like he already has. McCourt could even be a player in it. After he financially raped the Dodger franchise, he could make out even better than he already has.

0

ImJustABill March 18, 2013 @ 7:40 a.m.

I think the McCourt debacle may have been good for the Padres in the long run. MLB seemed to learn the lesson that you should only allow sales of franchises to groups that actually have the money to buy the team - not some guy with a creative highly leveraged scam which ultimately just sucks the money from the team to the owners. Moorad would have done the same thing to the Padres.

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 8:15 a.m.

ImJustABill--It was great for Moores, as he made many millions more than he would have, thanks to the new Dodger owners raising the values of all MLB teams with that purchase alone.

0

ImJustABill March 18, 2013 @ 9:14 a.m.

I still think Magic Johnson is a good businessman but I think his group overpaid for the LAD by at least 500M - maybe by 1B.

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 11:29 a.m.

ImJustABill--The thing is, they will get their money back, and billions more, thanks to that TV contract they now have; the TV contract that was paid for by the cable company that can't afford to carry Fox Sports San Diego.

0

tomjohnston March 18, 2013 @ 3:18 p.m.

The Dodgers tv contract hasn't been approved by MLB yet, because the team hasn't even submitted it. There are concerns over the he revenue-sharing implications. MLB is claiming the standard 34% rate and the Dodgers are saying that the BK agreement stipulated that their fair-market TV value would be $84 million a year, with 4% increases each season. At this point, it looks as if it is going to end up in federal court.

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 4:51 p.m.

tomjohnston--They are fighting over roughly $1 billion. If what I have read is correct, the above figures you mention have already been agreed to. But that only accounts for $3.5 billion--they are arguing about whether or not the other $3.5 billion will also be subject to that 34% rate. I think this gets settled sooner rather than later, as MLB doesn't want this to drag on as long as the Dodgers/McCourt saga, or even the Padres/Moores/Moorad cluster***.

0

Don Bauder March 19, 2013 @ 9:58 a.m.

aardvark: There are very good reasons not to let the battles rage on, particularly since pro sports franchises are in the limelight. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 19, 2013 @ 10:14 a.m.

Actually, the 2 figures I used are what they are arguing about. The Dodgers claim that the BK ruling limits the revenue sharing to $84million of the estimated $280 million contract per year (with a 4%increase per yr) and MLB claims the whole $280 million is subject to revenue sharing. That $1 billion or so they are "fighting" over is the how much revenue the Dodgers would keep, and MLB would not get, over the life of the 25yr contract. The way the league's revenue sharing rules are written, there really isn't much of a choice. A Federal court has made the ruling on the fair market value of the Dodgers. It's either one or the other, based on what I have read. I am not so sure that MLB will roll over and give away a potential $1billion without a fight

0

aardvark March 19, 2013 @ 11:34 a.m.

tomjohnston--I just think that they are probably negotiating as we speak, and that this will be decided sooner rather than later.

0

tomjohnston March 19, 2013 @ 9:37 p.m.

You have your opinion and I have mine. But the fact remains that when the Dodgers emerged from bankruptcy, their agreement stipulated that the club's fair-market TV value would be set at $84 million a year, with 4% increases each season. That was in a Federal bankruptcy court. MLB can't just unilaterally decide their value is different. The Dodger's would either have to agree to give up money or MLB would have to go back to BK court and convince the court to do it. I don't see the Dodgers giving up any of that money voluntarily and I don't see MLB just letting go. As I said, you have your opinion and I have mine. Time will tell.

0

aardvark March 19, 2013 @ 11:34 p.m.

I agree with you--I just think it will be settled fairly quickly. Selig wants this Dodger ownership saga put to bed ASAP, and I think they will sit down and hammer out an agreement. But if not, it will be very interesting.

0

tomjohnston March 20, 2013 @ 10:19 a.m.

AARDVARK, a couple of final thoughts. When you say "settled quickly", what exactly do you mean, in terms of both time frame and who gives? Let me point out these facts. Some two months after signing, the Dodgers have not even submitted the contract to MLB for approval. They are in no hurry as they have almost a year and can, both literally and figuratively, begin building SportsNet LA. MLB agreed to value the potential TV rights of any future deal at $84 million the first year, rising 4 percent every year thereafter. It was part of the BK. So do you think that the Dodgers are going to negotiate down from something that was signed by the Federal court, or do you think that MLB is going to "settle" and give up that extra $1billion. I don't think the Dodgers give away what they already have. I think the only "settlement" is if MLB concedes to the already agreed upon fair value of the Dodgers and OK's the deal as is. Be specific. Exactly HOW do you think it will be settled. Do the Dodgers give up what the court has already given them?
Or does MLB concede defeat and sign off as is?

0

aardvark March 20, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.

tomjohnston--a settlement is just that. Neither one of us is in the room, so I don't know how it will be settled. For all I know, the settlement will probably wind up in court--whichever way it goes. Hell, people here are still trying to figure out the Padres deal, where that $200 mil went, and how much the O'Malley's actually paid for the club.

0

tomjohnston March 20, 2013 @ 5:09 p.m.

Dude, you can't have it both ways. You keep saying it will be settled quickly, that you think that they are probably negotiating as we speak, that this gets settled sooner rather than later, and that they will sit down and hammer out an agreement. Now you say the settlement will wind up in court which ever way it goes. Well, as I have said, the only way it goes to court is if MLB decides the won't abide by the agreement as written by the court. As for not having an opinion, how can you say that MLB wants a quick settlement and at the same time not have an idea of how it will end. The ONLY "quick" is if MLB let's the Dodgers keep what they already have, without a fight. Last words on the subject.

0

aardvark March 20, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

tomjohnston--They can't settle it quickly? Ok; if you say so. It could be settled quickly. It could also end up in court. I don't know and neither do you. I am guessing what might happen. I might guess wrong. You are absolutely correct about one thing--McCourt is a weasel. Good night now.

0

Don Bauder March 21, 2013 @ 9:14 a.m.

aardvark: I agree that Selig wants this settled ASAP. The entire Dodgers/McCourt adventure has been bad for baseball. The price paid by the Johnson group may be loved by some owners, but may complicate efforts to work out ownership problems elsewhere. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 20, 2013 @ 9:30 a.m.

tomjohnston: One factor is how much MLB will profit over the long run with a team in LA. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 20, 2013 @ 9:58 a.m.

Don Bauder, What exactly is "over the long run". Your comment is pretty vague. The Dodgers have already been here for 53 yrs, so exactly how much longer is the long run? The life of this contract, when it is finally approved, will be 25 yrs. Is 78 yrs the long run? It's not as if the Dodgers are going to leave Los Angeles. As I said above, I don't see MLB leaving $1 billion on the table without a fight. And aren't you the one who calls team owners and leagues greedy? Do you see them walking away from $1 billion without a fight, even if it is spread over 25 yrs? I don't.

0

Don Bauder March 20, 2013 @ 7:24 p.m.

tomjohnston: We probably won't have too long before we find out what MLB does. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 21, 2013 @ 12:20 p.m.

OK , but the question was what do you consider "over the long run", as in " One factor is how much MLB will profit over the long run with a team in LA." How about answering the actual question asked?

0

Don Bauder March 21, 2013 @ 1:36 p.m.

tomjohnston: "Over the long run" is a legitimate use of words when exactitude can't be applied to forecasts. Often -- if not most of the time -- it is fatuous to predict that X will happen in 8.3 years. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 8:15 p.m.

aardvark: Of course, LA is a far larger market than San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 3:50 p.m.

ImJustABill: I think most if not all analysts studying that deal think that group overpaid. Best, don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 20, 2013 @ 11:01 a.m.

Part of the reason they "overpaid" is that rather than assuming about $750 million in debt that McCourt got the Dodgers into, they chose to pay off those outstanding loans. The interest alone was equal to about 90% of ticket revenue. Makes perfect sense over the long run.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 12:08 p.m.

aardvark: I think that is a sound analysis. The excessive amount paid for the Dodgers raised team values, helping Moores. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 12:06 p.m.

ImJustABill: But do the current Padres owners have sufficient money? Some observers have misgivings. Best, Don Bauder

0

ImJustABill March 18, 2013 @ 2:02 p.m.

Well at least the current owners are willing to spend some money on getting decent players - unlike Moores and Moorad.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 3:52 p.m.

ImJustABill: Are the current owners willing to spend on getting decent players? I saw little evidence of that over the winter. What moves did the owners make in the overall payroll, in getting specific players, or building the minor league system? Best, Don Bauder

0

ImJustABill March 18, 2013 @ 6:25 p.m.

Well at least it looks like the payroll is up to about $70M for 2013 from $55M in 2012 http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/18/tp-padres-payroll-in-2013-close-to-70-million/

Not exactly the Yankees but at least they seemed to have put the Marlin-esque fire sale on hold.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 8:14 p.m.

ImJustABill: A higher payroll is often -- but certainly not always -- a good portent for the season. But will the Padres field a team that is better than it was last year? Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 7:42 a.m.

aardvark: Put the Chargers aside for a moment. One question for San Diego is whether the new ownership of the Dodgers, which is spending money willy-nilly, will build a good ball team, or just another group of washed-up, ridiculously-compensated, one-time stars. Best, Don Bauder

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 8:13 a.m.

Don--I think the Dodgers will be successful again. The players will be "ridiculously compensated", as you put it, but many players are overpaid. The Dodgers will be overpaid, but will be good as well.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 12:10 p.m.

aardvark: I'm sure you know more about that than I do. Whenever I predict a team will do well, it does poorly, and vice versa. Best, Don Bauder

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 12:42 p.m.

Don--I won't be putting money on my prediction. I've done that before--let's just say it hasn't been profitable.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 3:54 p.m.

aardvark: If you are gambling on sports through a casino, just remember that everything is rigged for the house. I'm sure you know that. Best, Don Bauder

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

Don--Oh yes; I know that all too well. Thanks for reminding me.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 8:18 p.m.

aardvark: Actually, I only know that casinos are rigged from my reading. I have never gambled in one. In fact, I have barely been in one. I remember stopping at a dingy casino on the edge of Nevada because I had to go to the bathroom. Best, Don Bauder

0

aardvark March 18, 2013 @ 8:42 p.m.

Don--that may be the best bet of all. Sounds like you actually won (at least I'm sure you felt better).

0

Don Bauder March 19, 2013 @ 6:18 a.m.

aardvark: I walked out relieved -- that I had no put any money in a one-armed bandit. (I know they don't have those anymore; everything is electronic.) Best, Don Bauder

0

ImJustABill March 19, 2013 @ 3:50 p.m.

I think the casinos in lower Manhattan may be rigged worse than the ones in Nevada.

0

Don Bauder March 20, 2013 @ 9:33 a.m.

ImJustABill: The casinos in lower Manhattan ARE rigged more than the Nevada casinos. The stakes are far bigger, too. Lower Manhattan has a chokehold on Congress; Nevada does not. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 12:03 p.m.

aardvark: Doing business with McCourt must be a real adventure. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 7:37 a.m.

tomjohnston: Ah, Frank McCourt. In my mind, he epitomizes sports team owners. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 18, 2013 @ 9:11 a.m.

Frank McCourt epitomizes sports owners? Really? I mean you seriously think he is representative of all sports owners? If you really mean that, if you're not just spouting hyperbole, the the only thing I can say is WOW!!! I mean WOW as in you've gone from a biased viewpoint, skipped right over cynical and landed squarely in the middle of jaded.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 11:20 a.m.

tomjohnston: See my columns on organized crime/gambling backgrounds of pro sports owners. Also, throughout the country, they are getting financially ailing cities, counties and in some cases states to build them stadiums, despite such eye-opening facts as 18 of the 32 NFL owners are billionaires. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 18, 2013 @ 3:08 p.m.

Don Bauder, McCourt made 3 failed attempts to buy a MLB team before he "bought" the Dodgers. He over-levered himself in order to get them,then raised concession and ticket prices EVERY year during his ownership. While he was doing that, he was also raping the Dodger coffers, using them as his own personal bank account. When that money was gone, he borrowed over $400 million against future ticket sale. He bankrupted the Dodgers. Name another owner who has done something like that. Perhaps you could also explain McCourt's crime/gambling background.

0

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 3:59 p.m.

tomjohnston: I specifically don't know of any crime/gambling background on McCourt -- partly because I have never looked it up. The NFL is the league with most of the mob affiliations, although there have been some in baseball. I don't doubt McCord is a very bad businessman, and someone who fleeced customers. What else is new? I think what's going on with the Miami Marlins baseball team may be as eyebrow-arching as what McCourt did. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 20, 2013 @ 10:55 a.m.

Don Baider, First of all, let me make it clear that I can't stand McCourt. IMHO he is a weasel. I've met the man and even in a 2 or 3 minute convo having nothing to do with baseball, to me he still came across as a weasel. But that said, I question the accuracy of your comment that he he epitomizes sports team owners. According to you, owners have organized crime/gambling backgrounds, they fleece their communities, at city, county and in some cases state level to build them stadiums, pay for infrastructure improvements, give them tax breaks, low to zero interest loans, etc, etc, etc. I get that and I agree in most cases. But exactly how is it that McCourt epitomizes these sports team owners? I have never read of any hint of McCourt having ties to gambling/organized crime. He didn't demand a new stadium, threatening to move the Dodgers if he didn't get it. He didn't need concessions from LA on stadium rent, because he owned it. In fact, he used Dodger Stadium as collateral for a $250 million loan. He didn't fleece the taxpayers, unless you want to count fleecing his customers by raising ticket and concession prices every single year he owned the team. As I said, all he did was literally take almost every penney the Dodgers made and when that ran low, he borrowed against the future gate and finally took them into BK because their literally wasn't enough money to pay the bills. So I ask again. How exactly is it he epitomizes sports team owners when he displayed very few of the actions and attitudes typical to those other sports team owners you write about?

0

Don Bauder March 20, 2013 @ 4:46 p.m.

tomjohnston: Among other things, McCourt had a so-called charitable foundation. It turned out that the head of the foundation, a close friend of McCourt, made $400,000 a year, almost 25% of the foundation's budget. That is just one reason why I say he epitomizes pro sports owners. As you point out, he fleeced his customers -- another reason. Best, Don Bauder

0

tomjohnston March 20, 2013 @ 5:28 p.m.

Don Bauder, I guess then we'll just have to disagree. On one side you have the owners, you know, the ones with the organized crime/gambling connections, who outspend their opponents 1000 to 1 to influence voters in the media. They lavish gifts, in one form or another on corrupt public officials. They call in political favors in order to influence legislation/change laws/regulations in their favor. And they get the tax payers to fund hundreds of millions, now into the billions, to build them their new Taj Majal stadiums replete with luxury boxes to pad their bottom line AND they sell the naming rights of their stadiums for millions even though they didn't pay for the stadium. . In other words, just your typical major sports team owners. As much as he is hated here in Los Angeles for what he did to the Dodgers, I just don't think he fall into the same category. Using the team as his personal ATM, lavishing high paying and basically phony jobs on his friends and family, raising ticket and concession prices every year, even borrowing the team into bankruptcy are all bad things, to be sure. But those are minor league, pun intended, when compared what these other guys do. That's why I don't put him in their league. As I said, a weasel, but just minor league when compared with the majority of the owners in MLB, NFL,NBA.

Just my opinion.

Opinions vary.

0

Don Bauder March 20, 2013 @ 7:28 p.m.

tomjohnston: We have two different kinds of crooks with distinct differences but also similarities. A curse on both their houses. Best, Don Bauder

0

ImJustABill March 17, 2013 @ 6:51 p.m.

"I think the NFL likes to keep Los Angeles vacant because then they can play blackmail with the other teams and tell them, 'Oh, if you don't give us a stadium we're going to move the team to L.A.'"

Jimmy Kimmel said it half in jest but I honestly think it's true.

It is NOT in the NFL's best interest to have a stadium in L.A. The leverage over other cities is more valuable to the NFL.

0

Don Bauder March 17, 2013 @ 8:25 p.m.

ImJustABill: That was certainly true of Tampa. The city built a ballpark wthout a team and then several teams, including the Chicago White Sox, said they would move to Tampa unless they got the massive subsidies they sought. But I wonder if it is true of L.A. It is the nation's second largest market. I believe the NFL really wants a stadium and team there, despite all you read about how the league really doesn't. Best, Don Bauder

0

MURPHYJUNK March 18, 2013 @ 8:53 a.m.

football has its season, but b.s. is all year around.

1

Don Bauder March 18, 2013 @ 9:06 a.m.

Murphyjunk: B.S. is ubiquitous. Best, Don Bauder

0

MURPHYJUNK March 19, 2013 @ 1:50 p.m.

"Which newspaper d'ya read"

much like the weather report on tv?

all depends on which station you watch as to the prediction.

0

Don Bauder March 19, 2013 @ 2:04 p.m.

Murphyjunk; So you go with the station that consistently gives sunny forecasts. Best, Don Bauder

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close