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The U-T editorialized today (January 31) that the task force on the Chargers stadium is "packed with the right mix of expertise." Of course it is "packed" — just as all the other task forces and special committees are "packed" with corporate-welfare boosters. The task force's job is to shift as much of the burden as possible on to taxpayers and steer the profits to the private sector — socialization of the risk and privatization of the gain.

This time, though, the task force is looking at problems that appear insuperable. For example, San Diego is not only a small market (17th largest in the nation), it is a financially squeezed one.

In recent years, the National Football League's attendance focus has been on the affluent. Teams want to make their money on luxury suites and seats and personal seat licenses. The last time I checked, the Chargers had ditched the idea of personal seat licenses. There isn't the wealth in this market. Also, the team will not make the kind of money other teams do on luxury suites and seats. How many biotech executives will fete their friends in a Chargers box?

The Chargers claim that 30 percent of their revenue comes from Orange County and Los Angeles. If a team or two enters the Los Angeles market, the Chargers will be hurting severely, and the construction of a new stadium won't salve the pain, except perhaps for the first few years when the novelty effect may fill some seats. A strategy of cutting back seating (say, from 70,000 to 59,000) and then charging more for the seats and concessions may not work in the San Diego market. It hasn't worked for the Padres.

The task force may zero in on a domed stadium near Petco Park that would serve as a football field and an extension of the convention center. If the task force honestly checks experts in the convention center industry, it will find that this combination does not work, particularly when the facility is blocks away from the main center. Similarly, the plume under Qualcomm Stadium will thwart any development of that site for perhaps another decade. And does Mission Valley need more development?

If the task force does its job, it will try to determine how much money the Spanos family has. Forbes magazine says the family is worth $1.2 billion, and the Chargers account for about $1 billion of that. You can bet the Spanos family will not put $200 million into a stadium, as it claims it will, even if naming and advertising rights account for $100 million of the sum

I doubt the Chargers can move to Los Angeles unless the Spanos family sells at least half the team. Los Angeles, remember, won't put taxpayer money into a stadium. San Diego shouldn't either, particularly since its infrastructure is in such bad shape, but if the city deals with the Spanoses, it is doomed to putting at least 70 percent of the money into a structure.

The U-T says the task force is "a group that can get it done." I can name one member of the task force who didn't "get it done." He is Rod Dammeyer. He was chairman of the boards' audit committee of San Diego's biggest fraud, Peregrine Systems.

On June 3, 2002, when Peregrine was working to restate its earnings of the previous three years, and the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company, Dammeyer resigned "for personal reasons." Dammeyer has had much more success in other endeavors, but I doubt that he or anybody else on that task force can solve the big problem: neither San Diego nor the Spanos family can afford a new stadium.

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Comments

oskidoll Jan. 31, 2015 @ 3:47 p.m.

Well said! Remember the 'ticket guarantee' fiasco? Taxpayers paid and paid and paid some more for that giveaway (to the Spanos group, of course.)

The Spanos group must think San Diego taxpayers have 'sucker' tattooed on their collective forehead.

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AlexClarke Jan. 31, 2015 @ 3:52 p.m.

In many respects the San Diego taxpayers are suckers. Just watch them "get behind" Faulconer's Folley!

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Don Bauder Jan. 31, 2015 @ 6:06 p.m.

AlexClarke: If San Diego decides to subsidize the Chargers for $800 million, $1 billion or more, it may be the straw that broke the camel's back for San Diego's finances. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 31, 2015 @ 6:04 p.m.

oskidell: Ah yes, the 60,000 seat guarantee. The public rebelled, so then-Mayor Dick Murphy gave the Chargers a ridiculously juicy deal in return for ending the ticket guarantee. So, actually, the Chargers won that one. Best, Don Bauder

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davidbenz Feb. 1, 2015 @ 10:41 p.m.

Yep, the ticket guarantee was about to expire after 2007 so Murphy cut the Chargers rent by about $7 million per year for the next 16-17 seasons. These "fiscally conservative" Republican mayors have done everything in their power to bankrupt San Diego. Filthy Phil wasn't as bad as these financial rapists.

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Don Bauder Feb. 2, 2015 @ 7:56 a.m.

davidbenz: The corporate welfare boosters who gave away the store to the Chargers cannot call themselves fiscal conservatives or economic conservatives. Corporate welfare is NOT consistent with economic conservatism. That's why entities such as the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and Wall Street Journal oppose it.

When I opposed the pro sports welfare deals as the financial columnist for the U-T, I used to tease the people who wrote editorials. The Heritage Foundation was regularly quoted in op-eds, essays, and editorials in the U-T. But the foundation's view on corporate welfare was never touched. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan Jan. 31, 2015 @ 4:18 p.m.

Mission Valley is still easily approachable and they would be lucky not to relocate. Spruce it up, but they can't raise the cost of a ticket, dog and a beer to the skybox, if the environment is affordable. Ridiculous waste for forced task.

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Don Bauder Jan. 31, 2015 @ 6:08 p.m.

shirleyberan: The last study that was done, in 2011, concluded that Qualcomm could be fixed up for $80 million. The city may be able to afford that. The Chargers should chip in. Best, Don Bauder

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davidbenz Feb. 1, 2015 @ 9:13 p.m.

Don there are major structural problems with Qualcomm stadium that cannot be fixed for $80 mil. The foundation for the inner ring of the stadium is sinking. Read the task force's findings from 2003.

Stadiums are money losers for the taxpayers, we need to just say no and run the welfare queen Spanos leeches out of San Diego. Sell the land to developers for FMV and collect property taxes on the development.

Thank god Stan Kroenke and his Inglewood stadium project will probably rid us of the Spanos goofs after next season. The non contiguous "Convadium" has zero support, the Chargers are married to a guaranteed failure because Spanos has already negotiated a deal with Kroenke to share the Inglewood stadium like the Jets and Giants in Metlife stadium.

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Don Bauder Feb. 2, 2015 @ 8:03 a.m.

aardvark: I would be interested in the source, also. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 2, 2015 @ 8:03 a.m.

davidbenz: The last study I saw, published in 2011, concluded that Qualcomm can be fixed for $80 million. A finding by the task force of 2003 is not a reliable source. It was also packed with corporate welfare boosters.

Agreed: subsidized stadiums are losers for the public. San Diego should tell the Chargers if they want to play in San Diego, it will be in Qualcomm. I am not aware that the Spanos family has already negotiated a deal with Kroenke to share the planned Inglewood stadium.

If the Chargers feel they must have a newer stadium, they could get the St. Louis domed stadium for little or nothing if Kroenke moves the Rams out. Best, Don Bauder

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laplayaheritage Jan. 31, 2015 @ 4:31 p.m.

Funding solution with no Tax Increase.

All CEQA-level Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and Regional Planning of our Public State Tidelands should be moved to SANDAG, our State- and Federally-mandated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). This move of Long-Range Planning to SANDAG our Regional Planners could make available over $150 million a year, with Billions to come, all for Regional Projects including a Contigueous Convention Center and NFL Stadium on our public Waterfront.

Neither the Unified Port of San Diego and/or the San Diego Airport Authority including the San Diego International Airport should be allowed to Hoard $100+ of Million Cash that could be used for Regional Infrastructure including a subsurface Trolley to the Airport. And a full reclamation of our Public Tidelands to create space.

Then the City of San Diego should use their 40% Weighted Vote to put the issue to a vote through SANDAG. Or the Chargers can fund their own Ballot Language. Problem solved.

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aardvark Jan. 31, 2015 @ 4:59 p.m.

A combo stadium/convention center is not a solution. There is no need to expand the convention center. For that matter, the convention center board wants nothing to do with any expansion which involves a stadium. The city doesn't have the money for either a stadium or CC expansion. The only real alternatives are 1) Fix the current convention center and the tens of millions worth of deferred maintenance and 2) Remodel the current stadium. How that is to be paid for, I have no idea, but with the city currently suffering through a multi-billion dollar infrastructure backlog, the convention center and stadium issues really don't need to be very high up on any list.

Personally, I would love to see a new stadium, and I would love to see it in Mission Valley, but the city can not afford to build one.

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Don Bauder Jan. 31, 2015 @ 6:17 p.m.

aardvark: Amen. The city can't afford to subsidize a stadium, particularly since it would pay 70 to 80 percent of the cost. There is no need for a convention center expansion, as you point out. The market is badly glutted.

The convention center needs repairs. Some say Qualcomm does, too. Those two projects are about all the city can afford. Incidentally, don't think a combined city/county stadium is the answer. The county can't afford it either. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 31, 2015 @ 6:12 p.m.

laplayaheritage: Funding a contiguous convention center expansion is sheer folly. Convention centers are vastly overbuilt nationwide, and even worldwide. That's why prices are being slashed by 50 percent or more, including by San Diego's center. (Los Angeles recently paid a group to put its convention there.) Subsidizing a stadium is even more ridiculous. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 1, 2015 @ 9:33 a.m.

There it is, the use of bayside real-estate that is used 8-20 times a year is a piss poor way to utilize that space.

Throw in the fact that the hotel owners financed the minimum wage increase recall (a rose by any other name) and you take away the argument that this benefits everyone.

You have to wonder how this would have played out if Filner were still in office. I'd bet the citizens would have greater input into the final outcome.

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 7:57 p.m.

MichaelValentine: Agreed: very bad use of space. Also agreed: the blocking of the attempt to raise the minimum wage makes dubious the argument that this corporate welfare would benefit anybody but the hoteliers. Best, Don Bauder

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iamatt122 Feb. 1, 2015 @ 2:39 p.m.

This is untrue.Funding a contiguous convention center employs people year round. I work at the convention center regularly. We have had more conventions here in the past 2 years than I can remember ever having. Conventions 10-20 times a year in a slow year bring more money into downtown and the city as a whole. A stadium does not. Except once every 6 years or more for a super bowl.

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8 p.m.

iamatti122: Funding a convention center expansion won't provide much employment if the number and size of conventions don't rise. And with a huge glut in this industry, I doubt that attendance would go up a significant amount. Best, Don Bauder

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davidbenz Feb. 1, 2015 @ 10:30 p.m.

Did some research:

SDCCC's operating income for fiscal year ending June 30, 2014 = $772,524 but that includes $3,405,000 in contributions from the city, so we actually lost over $2,6 million operating the convention center.

http://sdccc.org/sites/default/files/112114_AuditFSReportFinal.pdf

We are already losing money operating the CC, expansion will probably increase our loses. The city of San Diego should get out of the business of operating stadiums and convention centers.

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Don Bauder Feb. 2, 2015 @ 2:01 p.m.

davidbenz: The convention center is basically a subsidy to local hotels and restaurants. That's why centers don't mind slashing prices in this national glut of space. City leaders feel that although the government loses, private industry will gain. That's quintessential corporate welfare. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 1, 2015 @ 1:34 a.m.

The sooner SD is rid of the Chargers, the better off we'll be.

We don' need no stinkin' "deals."

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 7:52 a.m.

Twister: I think the best solution is for the Chargers to continue playing at Qualcomm. If repairs are essential, then $80 million should do it. Right now, the contract favors the team, thanks to ex-Mayor Murphy, who gave away the store to the team. When a new contract is drawn up for 2020, the city should get a better deal. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 1, 2015 @ 9:18 a.m.

Now we know why you aren't on the committee Don.

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 9:31 a.m.

MichaelValentine: If nominated for the task force I shall not run, and if elected I shall not serve. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8:02 p.m.

Twister: Public opinion appears to be opposed to a subsidized stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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davidbenz Feb. 1, 2015 @ 10:32 p.m.

Thank goodness, I can't wait to run the Spanos family out of San Diego.

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Don Bauder Feb. 2, 2015 @ 2:09 p.m.

davidbenz: I don't know how many of the Spanoses still live in Stockton. The patriarch, Alex, is severely demented, in his 90s, and in Stockton, presumably. I believe his wife is in Stockton, too. Several of the children are executives with the Chargers, and others are executives of A.G. Spanos Companies, which is based in Stockton. There are Alex's grandchildren, as well. Best, Don Bauder

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Wabbitsd Feb. 4, 2015 @ 4:41 p.m.

If "repairs were essential" they would have been made. I suspect they have been letting things go for quite a while hoping that they can hornswaggle a new stadium by publishing "sad state of affairs and neglect" photos.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:35 a.m.

Wabbitsd: The Yankees did something similar in New York with the old Yankee Stadiium. A piece of concrete fell down. The media jumped all over the story, helping the team to get a ridiculous deal that fleeced taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8:03 p.m.

Murphyjunk: I think there are a couple of yes women on the task force, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Bvavsvavev Feb. 1, 2015 @ 11:06 a.m.

Don as usual great story. However, i take exception to you and others always referring to San Diego as a small market. We are not a small market. The definition of market includes, in part, a geographic area. The area of San Diego County is the 5th largest in the USA. If you include the areas of South Orange County, South Riverside County, and northern portions of Baja CA, which are areas the Chargers draw from, you actually have a substantially large market. We are a small minded market, this is true. But a small market we are not.

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aardvark Feb. 1, 2015 @ 3:11 p.m.

As far as media markets are concerned, we are a smaller market.

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8:09 p.m.

Aardvark: San Diego is the 17th largest market by population, and, I believe, the 27th largest TV market. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8:14 p.m.

Don: Unfortunately, our media market is always going to be smaller in relation to where we are--surrounded by desert, water, Mexico and LA/Orange County/Riverside County.

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Don Bauder Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8:07 p.m.

Bvavsvavev: When one discusses a "market," the emphasis is on population, not square miles. It's the people who buy things. If you counted geographical area, Wyoming and Montana would be large markets.

San Diego County is one of the few markets, as defined by the Department of Commerce, that is the same as a political boundary. Best, Don Bauder

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Bvavsvavev Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:39 a.m.

Don my apologies for not being clear. San Diego is the 5th largest County by population in the US. Even if we are the 17th largest media market as another reader pointed out above, out of hundreds of media markets it puts SD in the top 5%. Again, we are not a small market. Small minded yes , but certainly not small by population.

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:50 a.m.

Bvavssvavev: San Diego being the 5th largest county by population means nothing in the measurement of a market's size. Political boundaries don't count. San Diego is 27th largest media market, not 17th. Best, Don Bauder

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qpodad Feb. 9, 2015 @ 9:17 a.m.

Don, thanks for the article. I see the discussion about market rankings, but believe we may be missing the boat focusing on the ordinal ranking of the market. To me what matters is the %difference in size. For example, being 17th sounds low, but perhaps San Diego is only 10% smaller than the 10th ranked market, making the difference, though large, not catastrophic. Do you have access the the actual market sizes from the Dept. of Commerce? I'd love to see those numbers instead of the ordinal rankings. Thanks again Don.

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Don Bauder Feb. 9, 2015 @ 1:08 p.m.

qpodad: A metropolitan statistical area consists of a city or cities with surrounding suburbs and usually exurbs. They have social and economic integration. The easy way to think of it is a market -- where people shop.

As of 2013, the largest market is New York at 19.9 million, followed by L.A. at 13.1 million, Chicago at 9.5 million and Dallas at 6.8 million. San Francisco/Oakland is 11th at 4.5 million, Phoenix 12th at 4.4 million, Riverside-San Bernardino 13th at 4.4 million, San Diego/Carlsbad 17th at 3.2 million. Best, Don Bauder

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qpodad Feb. 9, 2015 @ 1:55 p.m.

Thanks for the prompt response and the information. I appreciate it. Makes it easier to see what the challenge is compared to other markets. We are well behind the 10th place market in %.

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Don Bauder Feb. 10, 2015 @ 8 a.m.

apodad: Other metrics are critical: median household income, number of households, number of persons per household, median home prices, etc. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 2, 2015 @ 6:53 p.m.

I have been "on" "Task Forces," "Boards," and "Committees, and I have yet to see one that pursued the facts to any sort of logical conclusion. They were all window-dressing, all merely fronts to rubber-stamp what the powers-that-be want.

I would not waste my time being "on" any such committee, and, to the extent that my health permitted, I would demonstrating OUTSIDE of such fraudulent circuses. The only way I might do so was to be a mole, putting on the airs that would make me appear to be a "go along, get along" kinda person, so I could feed intelligence and gather evidence.

This "Task Force" will meet in secret, with no media present. What's that tell you?

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:41 a.m.

Twister: The history of other San Diego corporate welfare task forces is that the chosen ones enter into discussion with a bias (let the taxpayers pick up the tab) and other opinions don't make it to the table. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:30 a.m.

As the saying goes, "a camel is a horse designed by a committee."

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:52 p.m.

Twister: Yes, the fact that the task force is meeting in secret tells you what you need to know. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:52 a.m.

Tony Castelblanco: Nationwide, convention centers are vastly overbuilt. That's why centers are slashing prices by 50 percent or more. San Diego does not need an expansion. The existing center needs to be spruced up. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:54 a.m.

Tony Castelblando: Right you are. The idea of a combined stadium/convention center is silliness squared. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:45 a.m.

Silliness cubed when the taxpayers are paying for it. I would say if the Chargers/NFL and some consortium of hotels and private investors think it's a good investment they should be free to finance and build a combined stadium/convention center. If it's so profitable you'd think private investors would be lining up get a piece.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:39 a.m.

ImJustABill: The reason leagues and billionaire team owners get the taxpayers to pay for a stadium is exactly what you say: stadiums, used 10 times a year for football, and a few other times for other events, are NOT profitable. So the owners talk the taxpayers into paying for them, usually with the local media's help. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 3, 2015 @ 4:33 p.m.

Hey Don do you know who's carrying the cost of the committee?

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:54 p.m.

MichaelValentine: I don't know who is carrying the cost, but it has to be the city. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 3, 2015 @ 11:31 p.m.

Can't be the city otherwise the meetings would have to be open to the public. The fact that is isn't city funds allows them to flaunt the open government laws.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:41 a.m.

MichaelValentine: Then we have to find out who is paying for this. I'm not sure that if the city pays, the meetings have to be open. After all, the city council meets in closed sessions all the time. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2015 @ 1:11 p.m.

Michael Valentine: The mayor's office (hence the city) is paying, but because the task force is supposedly advisory, its meetings can be secret, the city attorney's office says. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 6, 2015 @ 6:12 p.m.

Well if the City Attorney's office okays it. I mean they never obstruct freedom of information ....

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2015 @ 6:59 p.m.

MichaelValentine: The city attorney's office under Goldsmith is an extension of the downtown corporate welfare club -- the mendicants who call themselves economic conservatives. They oppose all welfare that goes to people who need welfare, and they champion welfare for the rich. Adam Smith is spinning in his crypt. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 7, 2015 @ 10:43 a.m.

The city attorney's office under Goldsmith is the definition of oligarchy and his obstruction of open government cost the city both money and credibility.

Would they lie about who's picking up the tab?

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Don Bauder Feb. 10, 2015 @ 8:03 a.m.

MichaelValentine: Would they lie? You know the answer: yes. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine Feb. 6, 2015 @ 6:38 p.m.

The Mayor's press release said no city funds will be used. So who's donating the meeting space and expenses of the committee? I don't mean to be a pain in the ass but unless they're meeting at somebodies house and someone brings the doughnuts there must be expenses.

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Don Bauder Feb. 10, 2015 @ 9:38 a.m.

MichaelValentine: I did not see that press release. Had I seen it, I probably would have lost my breakfast. It's my understanding that the so-called task force will be supported on the mayor's budget. That's city money, isn't it? If not, why did Goldsmith issue the dubious opinion on secrecy? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 4, 2015 @ 1:30 a.m.

I ain't no lawyer, but I suspect that a good one could make the case that if any taxpayer money was used in any way, directly or indirectly, in support of the "Task Force," the Brown Act would apply.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:42 a.m.

Twister: Again, I am not sure of that. As I said, the city council meets in closed sessions regularly. Best, Don Bauder

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oskidoll Feb. 6, 2015 @ 11:09 a.m.

FYI, the Brown Act 'permits' but does not 'require' closed sessions. Closed session is permitted for a limited spectrum of topics (personnel matters to protect employee privacy; pending and ongoing litigation to protect the agency's ability to direct and develop legal strategy; union negotiation strategy; and pending real estate negotiation).

That said, it is better for the public agency to hold as few closed sessions as possible in order to protect the public's right to participate in the decision-making process. The preamble to the Brown Act says something like: "the public does not give up its right to participate in its own business; the public's business shall be done in public."

Often, however, public agencies invoke the Brown Act as REQUIRING closed sessions in order to hide their deliberations under that cover.

The Act is easy to read and available online for further review.

If the City of San Diego is funding the work of the group just formed, I believe it ought to meet in public. Worth checking out further.

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2015 @ 7:01 p.m.

oskidoll: As I said, since this is supposedly an advisory group reporting to the mayor, the pliant city attorney has said that it can meet in secret. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:44 p.m.

Robert Castaneda: The Packers are called "community-owned" and that's close. Actually, the team is owned by more than 360,000 shareholders who are restricted in how much stock they can own. I would have no objection to the Chargers selling stock to people and building a stadium with the proceeds, letting the taxpayers off the hook completely. I doubt the NFL would permit it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:46 p.m.

John Oliver: Of course. Pro sports stadiums are not profitable. That's why the billionaire owners get the taxpayers to pick up the tab. It's called OPM -- other people's money. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:48 p.m.

Robert Castaneda: It's my understanding that the 360,000+ shareholders of the Packers do not expect to make money on their investment. It's a civic pride thing. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Feb. 3, 2015 @ 9:58 p.m.

Don Bauder The 360,584 stockholders own 5,011,557 shares. No one is allowed to hold more than 200,000 shares so as to prevent a single individual from gaining control of the team. I own 2 shares. The Packers have been a publicly owned, nonprofit corporation since 1923, when original articles of incorporation were filed with Wisconsin’s secretary of state. The Packers common stock does not include an equity interest, does not pay dividends, can not be traded, has no securities-law protection,is not a tradable stock and therefore does not have a market value, and the stock may only be transferred to an immediate family member or any lineal descendant of a Shareholder. Original NFL bylaws established in the mid-1980s required a controlling owner to own at least 30 percent of the club. Since 2009, NFL bylaws have required of any ownership group that a total family ownership would be at least 30 percent with the controlling owner at 10 percent and his or her family at 20 percent. The Packers are the single exception because their community ownership predates ownership NFL rules that were established in the 80's

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:19 a.m.

danfogel: That's the same information I have come across. The Packers were grandfathered in when the NFL required 30 percent ownership by the controlling family. The shareholders don't make money on this investment. The point is that the Packers' financial structure couldn't be emulated now. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Feb. 3, 2015 @ 10:02 p.m.

john oliver The Packers are not owned by a consortium of Green bay residents. The 5,011,557 shares of Packers stock are held by 360,584 stockholders from across the US and in Canada.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:21 a.m.

danfogel: Yes, the shareholders aren't all Green Bay or Wisconsin residents. If the shareholders get a stock certificate (and I don't know if they do), it's the kind of thing you hang on the wall in your rec room. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Feb. 5, 2015 @ 8:50 a.m.

don bauder Yes, if you purchased shares, you received a stock certificate.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 11:35 a.m.

danfogel: Do you have one certificate or two? Where do you hang them (or it)? A Packers stock certificate would be a great conversation piece. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:30 a.m.

John Oliver: Good points. In my opinion, neither San Diego nor the Spanos family can afford to put money in a new stadium. I am not sure that the city can afford to put $80 million into repairing Qualcomm, if it really needs repair.

This task force should look into the possibility of having well-heeled San Diegans, as well as rabid fans, put money into the repair of Qualcomm. That may be doable.

One thing: the Packer shareholders are not necessarily residents of Green Bay. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2015 @ 7:32 a.m.

David Crossley: The NFL under its current rules would not permit a financing structure such as Green Bay has. Best, Don Bauder

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PhilipGagnon Feb. 6, 2015 @ 3:31 p.m.

While listening to the cheerleaders on sports radio, the secrecy of the Committee was claimed necessary because of the “anti” forces that would pounce on every tiny issue in order to sabotage any effort. OK, that sounds reasonable. Then, a comment was made that part of the planning was to address in advance, issues that would inevitably come up in litigation that “always” ensues in San Diego. Again, fair. However, I found it odd that none of the committee members were a contrarian.
Having a skeptic in the committee, in order to flesh out issues before they were presented to the public, would seem prudent, if one truly wanted to develop a sound plan that might actually avoid costly litigation. Inviting Bruce Henderson to participate, would provide comfort for skeptics, that this wasn’t another organized fleecing of the citizens of San Diego, by the cabal than pulls the strings in this city. Although spoken of derisively by the cheerleaders, Mr. Henderson was right about how the city was going to be screwed when Qualcomm (The Murph) was remodeled. Mr. Henderson was right about the financial dealings that were to screw city finances in the construction of Petco Park. Having Mr. Henderson participate in the plan to finance a new stadium would create a much greater likelihood that it wasn’t going to be another designed fleecing. Absence of a devil’s advocate on the inside is telling.

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2015 @ 7:12 p.m.

PhilipGagnon: You are absolutely correct. There are no independent thinkers on this advisory committee. Henderson was on the task force in the early 2000s and was the one who pointed out that the Chargers were not putting forth serious proposals. Indeed, they were laughable. For example, there was going to be a housing project on the Mission Valley site. The Chargers had forgotten to account for parking.

Henderson had the Qualcomm rebuilding, the 60,000 seat guarantee, and the gifting of valuable land downtown to John Moores all figured out. Moores raked in $700 million to $1 billion on that land that he bought for early 1990s prices (very little), thanks to the city council. Best, Don Bauder

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PhilipGagnon Feb. 6, 2015 @ 3:34 p.m.

The Committee will not be successful in finding a sound financial path to pay for a new stadium in San Diego. What we truly need is a solution for San Diego somewhere between the abusive relationship the Chargers/NFL demands (and we have been acquiescing to) and breaking out in a citywide rendition of "I will survive" and sending them packing to Los Angeles.

Therefore, I propose the City move to acquire 30% ownership of the Chargers through eminent domain. The City of Oakland, though ultimately unsuccessful, cleared the path. See this article on the extended litigation and the California Supreme Court decision. http://digitalcommons.law.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=jpl
The U.S. Supreme court made it even easier, removing the necessity of requiring a “public purpose” for exercise of this power. See Kelo v. City of New London. On principle, I think Kelo a horrible decision, but, it would serve a useful purpose in this scenario and it is the law of the land.

We use all of the arguments the Chargers and NFL use to rationalize the taxpayers shelling out for a new stadium: The “free” marketing to the rest of the country for our tourism, the businesses that profit in the region by having a team here, the cache that comes from having an NFL franchise, etc., to establish the necessity of acquiring ownership to prevent their departure.

Then, we get about the business of business valuation, in order to pay the “fair” value. Again, we use the NFL’s arguments about our shoddy, run-down stadium, our “small market” status, and the paltry national recognition of “brand Chargers.” Then, we demand a look-see at the NFL’s books… Oh, the fecal storm that would ensue! The good ‘ol boy club would have apoplectic fits.

Use the big brains in the Mayor’s hand-picked Citizen’s Stadium Advisory Committee, who are so knowledgeable in big-buck finance, to solve the issue of raising capital to purchase the controlling interest in the team (which would be less than the cost they will be trying to foist on the public to build a low use, high cost, depreciating edifice).

I don’t think the NFL bylaws would be much of an impediment, no matter how much the owners squawk. Regardless, it would give San Diego much needed leverage and put the NFL in check. This might lead to a more favorable climate for negotiations, both for keeping the Chargers here and for bringing the Superbowl back to the best city in the country for hosting the event. Maybe, we get the NFL to finance a remodel on Qualcomm as part of a settlement. They can afford it.

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2015 @ 7:25 p.m.

PhilipGagnon: This is a brave suggestion that will be considered heresy by the National Football League. I fear the courts would feel the same way. Even if your plan could somehow be accepted, the city would be getting 30 percent of the team after picking up 70 to 80 percent of the stadium costs. Joan Kroc wanted to give the Padres to the city. Major League Baseball went apoplectic.

Still, I think you should present this to the advisory group. Make sure they all have diapers on. Best, Don Bauder

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