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The hysteria level is growing, and it will only blind San Diegans to reality. Nick Canepa, sports columnist for the Union-Tribune, hallucinated in this morning's (July 8) column that "If the Chargers leave, we lose part of our soul.... The Chargers are an essential..." A Charger departure would be "a disaster for this town's image."

Oh, dear. Dear, dear. It's getting too late for an emotional outburst. It has been obvious for more than a dozen years that the Chargers were going down two tracks — they wanted to get to L.A. where they could double their value, but they wanted to keep San Diego in their pocket if they couldn't take the L.A. train. The team's claim that it wants to stay in San Diego is belied by every move it has made, particularly in recent months.

Mark Fabiani

Mark Fabiani

What could hurt San Diego's image is a national awareness that the city is trying to hasten an environmental study so the people can vote in January. Even the team's mouthpiece, Mark Fabiani, realizes what folly that is. For several months, he has been knocking down every city suggestion and denigrating the mayor and his minions — yet, city leaders desperately want the team to stay. Why, for heaven's sake?

Trying to convince San Diego that it wants to stay, while openly courting L.A., has been an impossible task for the Chargers. They have to alienate San Diegans so they can tell the National Football League that they aren't wanted — but still keep San Diego in their pocket should they fail to get to L.A. It can't be done.

There is a good question as to whether the Spanos family has the financial muscle to get to L.A. That means it is quite possible that the team will be sold — or, at least, half of it sold. There are many multi-billionaires with money burning holes in their pocket. Pro teams can go for ridiculous prices. If the Chargers can't get to L.A. and won't sell all or most of the team, they will not be welcome in San Diego and will face another problem: one or two teams occupying L.A. will drain the Chargers of 15 percent to 25 percent of their revenue.

If the Chargers return to San Diego, tails wagging behind them, there are two steps the city should take: (1) For 2020, draw up a new contract that forces the team to pay its way at Qualcomm; (2) If Qualcomm needs a facelift, get the Chargers to ante up for part of it.

Forget a new stadium. A city with a $2 billion infrastructure deficit that is probably twice that, and a pension deficit, should stop subsidizing billionaires and clean up the joint.

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Visduh July 8, 2015 @ 4:08 p.m.

Don, you know that things that should happen don't necessarily happen. If/when the Chargers depart, many local residents will forever see their lives in shades of gray. And there will be an orgy of blame to spread around. You and anyone else who advocated for the city to expect that Chargers to pay their way in whatever stadium, and who said the city would benefit from the team's departure, will be cursed by hundreds of thousands of fans. For a long time, I've described the Chargers demands for a new stadium and the cost to any local pol who might not do everything to keep them here as the third rail of local politics. Even though it seems that the numbers of rabid fans is shrinking, there are still many, many of them. And most of those don't see the impact of wasteful spending on an unneeded new stadium as such. They don't believe that the potholed streets, broken sidewalks, water main breaks, sewage spills, and seedy park facilities have any connection to the city playing landlord for the ungrateful Spanos gang. For too many of them, the only thing they live for is following "their" sports team. Their own lives seem untouched by the city's fiscal woes. Put the question on the ballot, and they'll vote for a stadium giveaway, never mind that their own safety and well-being in the neighborhood will suffer.


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 6:39 p.m.

Visduh: Good points. I know all too well that for a variety of illogical reasons, people may vote for a Chargers giveaway. Generally, the billionaire-owned teams wanting a stadium will outspend the opposition by 100 to 1 or more in the election. In a quickie election, the rabid Chargers fans will be more likely to turn out than rational people who understand the city's need to spend on infrastructure, not welfare for billionaires.

But I wonder about this time. The Chargers are against the quickie EIR and quickie election....at least they are now. So they might not spend to win the election; they want L.A. and have for more than a dozen years. It's possible that in January, the Chargers won't know if they can get to L.A. They will have a real dilemma. Another factor: I am not so sure the U-T will propagandize and slant news coverage for a pro-stadium vote this time.

One other point: I don't believe I have ever said that San Diego would benefit from the team's departure. It would clearly be better off without taxpayers picking up the tab for a billion dollars of stadium costs. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh July 8, 2015 @ 8:43 p.m.

Don, you are correct in that you never said that SD would benefit from the departure of the Chargers. You have said that no taxpayer money should ever flow into subsidizing a pro sports team.

As to the U-T, it is hard to say what will happen. If Nick Canepa is canned tomorrow, that would be a good signal. But not even the LAT will fire someone like him because he has a following among the sports fans who love to read him telling them what they want to hear. And those fans who love him will continue to pay full-freight for their subscriptions.

Does the U-T, with its shrunken size and withered circulation, carry any real clout? Until now, the paper was all for whatever the team and the fans wanted, and that was a new unaffordable stadium. Can it really make much difference now? I mean, who the heck reads it anyway?


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 8:59 p.m.

Visduh: Nick Canepa is a very talented writer who, as you point out, has a specific audience that loves him. He won't be fired and he knows it.

An extremely talented sports columnist, Tim Sullivan, was fired, and the major reason was his excellent columns pointing out the pitfalls of subsidized stadiums. Upon coming in as CEO, John Lynch said every sports writer had to be in favor of a subsidized Chargers stadium. Tim had a target on his back. To my knowledge, Tim never opposed the subsidies, but discussed their problems.

I had to dodge flying knives at the U-T for seven years. Beginning in 1996, I opposed the subsidization of stadiums and ballparks. Herb Klein was trying to get me fired, but did not succeed. Helen Copley was unhappy but, as far as I know, stuck by me. Some in top management were smart enough to know that a publication should present both sides of such an issue. My salary and performance reviews suffered, but I stayed on the payroll until I left voluntarily in 2003. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh July 8, 2015 @ 9:31 p.m.

Nick is close to 70, and should be in the twilight of his career. Oh, he's been the guy who never met a jock, coach or owner he didn't like. (Maybe Sterling was an exception.) Yes, if the Chargers go, Nick goes after at least 45 years. What does he want? Maybe he actually believes what he pushes, or at least telling it makes him feel good, wanted, and loved. But as an impartial commentator, he fails big time. Nick is a dinosaur or the 70's and 80's who finds himself farther and farther out of step with the mass of readers and non-readers.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:25 a.m.

Visduh: Nick Canepa is a very talented and facile writer -- a creative wordsmith who knows his audience. I think we will find out whether his views are antediluvian as this Chargers drama plays out. Right now, it appears that the plurality of the public is fed up with the Chargers's arrogance and the task force's fatuous plan for subsidies. But maybe San Diegans will change. Best, Don Bauder


monaghan July 8, 2015 @ 5:13 p.m.

Remind me, someone, how many football games a year are played in an old coliseum or even an expensive new one? Canepa should be worried: he writes about the Chargers for a living. No Chargers, no paycheck for him.

I'm praying that the sky-god will deliver us from this endlessly tedious, boring re-hash of will-they-stay-or-will-they-go and allow us sing in unison the annoying Disney ditty, "Let It Go, Let It Go."

If Mayor Faulconer really wanted to distinguish himself as Future Governor material, he would stop the proposed $2.1 million allocation of precious city resources to a team of EIR consultants to opine about Qualcomm's condition in anticipation of a popular "referendum" on salvaging that stadium at tremendous public expense.


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 6:43 p.m.

monaghan: Absolutely. The council should turn down spending money on AECOM, which bills itself as a consulting firm but is actually an outfit that provides arguments that benefit those who are paying its bills. Best, Don Bauder


monaghan July 9, 2015 @ 11:31 a.m.

I forgot to mention the price-tag for the "referendum"-- a costly special election.The whole thing is such a rip-off.

Meanwhile, unrepaired pot-holed streets destroy our cars, we have less water at higher rates, the price of electricity is going up and our public school classrooms have 35 kids to one teacher.

Maybe this is why idiots need their football at any price.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 12:45 p.m.

monaghan: Good point -- a special election costs money. So does the hiring of a so-called consulting firm that will likely tell the people paying it exactly what they want to hear. Best, Don Bauder


MichaelValentine July 8, 2015 @ 5:55 p.m.

Professional sports or social parasite? If they cant pay their way why should we pick up the tab, it's not like the Chargers are losing money they want a bigger, newer stadium to make MORE money.

So they move, so what? San Diego will still be a top ten city and we will still have the best weather on earth. No football? Let's go to the beach.


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 6:48 p.m.

MichaelValentine: Through the years, the Chargers have not done so well in attendance, compared with other cities. One of the reasons is that there are so many other pleasant things to do -- often, at no or little cost, like going to the beach. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 6:53 p.m.

John Ogre: You may be right: the leadership is just covering its backside. Yes, the report by the task force was laughable, especially the amount of money that would be raised by personal seat licenses. In 2011, Fabiani told me that the Chargers did not expect to use personal seat licenses. They will work in a rich area such as Silicon Valley, where personal seat licenses are a major funding apparatus for the Santa Clara stadium of the 49ers. But San Diego's costs are too high and median incomes don't make up the difference. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 6:56 p.m.

Bill Becker: I have been called a sour puss many times but this is the first time I have been called sour pus. Ugh! Sounds gross. That's what corporate welfare lovers and many sports fans say of me. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi July 8, 2015 @ 10:43 p.m.

I'm a sour puss too. You are not alone on these interweb forums.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:30 a.m.

Ponzi: I have gathered that. Maybe readers get crotchety reading the prose of a crotchety old man. Best, Don Bauder


swell July 8, 2015 @ 7:20 p.m.

" You ... will be cursed by hundreds of thousands of fans."

Curse me while you are at it. I enjoy San Diego's cultural attractions. I don't see anyone there who seems to be a sports fan. Sports fans not only waste their time, energy and money on an incredibly stupid activity, but they raise their children to be equally stupid. That is criminal in my mind.

It's bad enough that we can't support the arts, history, geography etc in our schools; but we should give more money to the brain drain that is professional sports? Ask these children (or their fanatic parents) who is their council representative; who is governor of California; who is vice-president; where is California on a map; who was Cesar Chavez; when was the war of 1812 fought? Don't hold your breath for a correct answer. ... But you can bet they can name every player on their favorite team and they can find the money, somehow, to buy expensive Nike shoes.


Don Bauder July 8, 2015 @ 8:40 p.m.

swell: I am a sports fan. I watched the NCAA basketball semifinals and finals, watched the NBA games leading up to the finals, as well as the finals, and I watch pro football on TV. But I consider culture much more important. My wife and I drive (and fly) fairly long distances to attend operas, and hear symphonic and chamber music. I love to wander in art museums.

You can see the difference: I only watch sports on TV. But I pay big bucks and travel long distances for serious music and art.

It is a tragedy that music is not taught in the schools anymore. The San Diego Opera considered the lack of music education one of the major reasons that there was an increasing battle to get attendance as the older patrons died off. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 8, 2015 @ 9:57 p.m.

Not quite. Stop squandering your and my tax money and sacrificing essentials like police, fire, and infrastructure to pay for what the private entity, any private entity, should be paying for itself. STOP (CHARGER) AND ALL CORPORATE WELFARE. PERIOD.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:37 a.m.

Twister: The corporate welfare boosters (who are recipients of the lucre) claim they are conservative. But the great conservative thinkers such as Adam Smith would be opposed to corporate welfare. The Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute (libertarian) have regularly opposed corporate welfare. Rand Paul opposes it. It is not consistent with true conservative thought. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 8, 2015 @ 10:04 p.m.

Threatening to leave is also a convenient way to stir up the idiots (who can out-vote the rest of us) into a frenzy to support more and More bleeding of the treasury and leaving all San Diegans to vote for higher taxes that are already too high.

Wake UP, dumb-dums! You must enjoy getting #ucked in the a$$ with a broom-handle.


Ponzi July 8, 2015 @ 10:41 p.m.

I prefer to call them "meatheads."


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:43 a.m.

Ponzi: You are free to call them anything. They call themselves civic boosters. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:42 a.m.

Twister: San Diego is short of funds. Money MUST be spent on infrastructure. There is simply no rational reason that the city or city and county should subsidize the Chargers. There are only emotional reasons for such an expenditure.

Los Angeles has stopped out handing taxpayer funds to sport teams. San Diego should follow suit. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill July 8, 2015 @ 10:24 p.m.

So I'm trying to decide which NFL team I'm going to root for after the Chargers leave Buffalo is pretty far but given my name I'm thinking maybe the Bills would be the natural choice. What do you guys think? Are there other people here who root for the Chargers, and would love for them to stay, but are philosophically opposed to blatant corporate welfare such as publicly financed stadiums? Will you root for the LA Chargers? Or pick another team? I'm thinking maybe I'll go with the Bills.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:45 a.m.

ImJustABill: Root for the Bills, but don't travel to Buffalo for games after November 1. It gets cold up there. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi July 8, 2015 @ 10:33 p.m.

I think the residents of San Diego are getting tired of this drama. There is a camp of avid posters, on many of the media sites that publish stories about this drama, that the city would not fund the other vital services even if they don't build a stadium. In other words, they feel the city can float bonds and get money for the Chargers, but not do the same - or use the general fund - to pay for these services.

They may have a point. Because as long as the citizens/taxpayers permit this circus over the Chargers to continue, to waste good money after bad, this issue will not reach a finally. So it needs to come down to some serious activism. The city "leaders" and their cohorts are the center of attention. It is really time for people to organize and go to the city council, write them, fax them, email them, call them, text them, and tell them we are tired of this BS.

I disagree that a vote would wind up in their favor. I really feel they have worn out their welcome and we need to show them the door. Why is our city government pandering to the NFL? Don't we have more important things to do. Don't we have bigger and better things to do here in San Diego than fret about a bunch of millionaires chasing a pigskin.

The problem is we need to quit worrying about what our neighbor or friends think. We used to put bumper stickers on our cars. I guess because our society has become so uncivil and classless that we can't express ourselves that way anymore for fear of our car being keyed or tires flattened. Activists need to use social media tools to fight back the misguided "leadership" of Kevin Faulconer and his fellow marauders.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:52 a.m.

Ponzi: One likely outcome of this drama would be bad for the team and for San Diegans. Suppose the Chargers don't have the funds to get to L.A., return to San Diego, cannot wangle a stadium subsidy, and return to Qualcomm while another team (or teams) move to L.A.

Residents would be indignant. The team would lose support from both San Diego and Los Angeles. Actually, this is a very possible scenario. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill July 9, 2015 @ 4:23 a.m.

Personally, if I have to point the finger at one place for all of this I point it at 2 politicians, Hale Boggs and Russell Long, from Louisiana who pushed through the NFL's ridiculous anti-trust exemption in 1966 in exchange for the NFL putting the Saints in New Orleans, As legend has it the quid-pro-quo went something like this,

" Mills agreed. But before proceeding, Boggs wanted to make sure Louisiana and the NFL understood each other. He met Rozelle just off the House floor. As Boggs later related it to Hymel, he told Rozelle that things were looking good.

"Great, Hale, that's great."

"Just for the record, Pete, I assume we can say the franchise for New Orleans is firm."

"Well, it looks good, Hale, but you know it still has to be approved by the owners. I can't make any promises on my own."

Boggs glared at Rozelle. Then he smiled and said, very deliberately, "Well, Pete, why don't you just go back and check with the owners? I'll hold things up here till you get back."

Rozelle quickly decided he could indeed speak for the owners. "That's all right," he assured Boggs. "You can count on their approval."


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:55 a.m.

ImJustABill: Fascinating bit of history. I had never heard it before. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke July 9, 2015 @ 5:50 a.m.

If the Chargers leave I will miss the traffic and the sports BS at the office and how some of my coworkers are depressed/elated at the loss/win and all the discussions of the stats. Maybe we can get some work done when they leave.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:57 a.m.

AlexClarke: A requiem for the water cooler. Fill it with gin. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh July 9, 2015 @ 8:53 a.m.

Friday afternoons and Monday mornings would be far more productive if it were not for football pools and all the discussion that goes on. They argue on Friday about their picks to win, and then perform a post-mortem on Monday with the winners gloating and the losers being miserable. If it were simply entertainment, that would be one thing, but for so many fans, it is more like life and death. And with that involvement goes a huge amount of energy, attention, and emotion that would be better expended on career, financial well being, and family life.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 10:48 a.m.

Visduh: You are so right. Why do fans get so emotionally attached to their pro teams? In college sports, at least the players go to the same school you do, or once did. Ditto high school.

But pro teams in the major sports are made up of millionaires who have no connection or loyalty to the city for which they are playing. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 7:52 a.m.

Rich Gibson: The Chargers have deliberately alienated so many San Diegans that it might be wise for them to get out of town if they can't get L.A., and another team or teams do get to L.A.

One possibility is St. Louis: if Kroenke takes the Rams to Inglewood, the Chargers could occupy the stadium in St. Looooie for next to nothing. The market is almost as large as San Diego's, and there would be no nearby competing market, so it would actually be juicier than San Diego.

But I think St.Louis would cramp the Spanos's style. Dean Spanos likes Vegas. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 7:53 a.m.

Abraham Santiago: Screw L.A.? It's more likely that L.A. will screw S.D. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK July 9, 2015 @ 8:23 a.m.

so far the real winners in all this are the various study groups hired at tax payers expense. I wonder how much of the money goes back to line politicians pockets that award the contracts ?


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 8:42 a.m.

Murphyjunk: These consulting firms make big bundles telling cities they should expand convention centers and build subsidized stadiums for teams. The consulting firms are saying exactly what the people who pay their bills want them to say. It's a neat little circle jerk.

Then the opinions of the consultants are fed to the local media, who don't check in with the real experts, such as economists who point out that convention centers are vastly overbuilt and stadiums do NOT boost the local economy. The public only hears the views of people who are bought and paid for. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 10:58 a.m.

Hardy Ramos: Save our Bolts -- and screws and nuts, too! Best, Don Bauder


kearnykomet71 July 9, 2015 @ 10:56 a.m.

I hope my hometown San Diego doesn't do what Seattle did. Tear down the unpaid for King Dome and build two new stadiums for the Seahawks and Mariners. I've been in the Seattle area for fifteen years now and it's Seahawks this and Mariners that, like they'r heros or something. Otherwise GO KOMETS!.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 11:01 a.m.

kearnykomet71: The Seattle basketball team went to Oklahoma City, where they doing better than they did in Seattle, I understand. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 11:02 a.m.

John Oliver: It was not intended to be a rebuke. It was to be a joke. I guess it didn't come off. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 12:52 p.m.

Tim Boulger: Your statement "Shut your hole punk" is one I haven't heard before. It sounds like invective. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK July 9, 2015 @ 2:44 p.m.

probably not something that would be said face to face. hiding infront of a computer screen is a different issue.


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 8:39 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Yeah, but I am a frail old man. I can't even scare my three-year -old grandson. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 9, 2015 @ 3:10 p.m.

Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 6:42 a.m. San Diego is short of funds. Money MUST be spent on infrastructure. There is simply no rational reason that the city or city and county should subsidize the Chargers. There are only emotional reasons for such an expenditure.

And money reasons. And political.

Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 8:42 a.m. The public only hears the views of people who are bought and paid for. Best, Don Bauder

Does this refute part of Ponzi's comment, ( Ponzi July 8, 2015 @ 10:33 p.m.), most of which is "on the money?"

Ponzi, can you detail just how you would use social media to defeat de corps?


Don Bauder July 9, 2015 @ 8:44 p.m.

Twister: Yes, let's hear Ponzi's plan for using social media to win this fight. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 7:11 a.m.

Anthony M. Torres: The question is not how dumb San Diego thinks the Chargers are. The question is how dumb the Chargers think San Diego is.

The Chargers keep saying they spent millions of dollars trying to build a stadium in San Diego. Hogwash. They came up with one dumb proposal after another. They weren't seriously trying to build a stadium. Do you remember the so-called development in Mission Valley that the Chargers proposed? They forgot one thing: parking. As I said, the Chargers were never seriously proposing stadiums, and that's because they were going down two tracks: they wanted the train to L.A. but wanted to keep San Diego in their pockets should they fail to get to L.A. But that couldn't be done. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 7:13 a.m.

Mandy Barre: Subsidies to pro teams do NOT help a city economically. Every study by an unbiased economist has shown that. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 10, 2015 @ 1:27 p.m.

Ok, Ponzi, I guess I'll have to outline my scheme.

In the late '90's, I came up with an idea for an Internet portal site that would kill advertizing by being a broker that didn't charge a nickel (maybe this is the only thing with which I disagree with Jacob Nielsen, who was advocating micropayments) for small sales and only charged the big sales a very small fee (consistent with the cost of operation plus a modest profit--my Jewish "uncle," a GREAT PHILOSOPHER, was fond of saying, "You don't take percentages to the bank, you take MONEY to the bank!").

In other words, put mad, mad, mad, Mad Ave out of business and be the way everybody WANTS to enter the Internet.

I made some stupid hires of the wrong geeks and went (almost) broke.

The Internet remains a "place" of tremendous potential, but it is too good for blood-sucking capitalism (the only thing worse would be blood-sucking Marxism, which is fundamentally related--they are both about coercive power).


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 3:32 p.m.

Twister: I agree that capitalism tops Marxism, but capitalism is overdue for some major reforms. Greed has gone berserk and our mix of capitalism and politicians' thirst for lucre has created a monster that may prove Marx right: capitalism could provide the rope for its own hanging. Our system must get wealth and income disparities under control. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 10, 2015 @ 9:50 p.m.

Don et al:

I wrote a major paper on this for a comparative government and economics class when I studied business after mustering out of the military in 1965. It's long gone, but the government professor said it was one of those rare papers that a professor dreams of reading. I think it gave the econ prof nightmares, but both gave it an “A.” Something bad happened, however, and it ended up in the trash. The memory still haunts me, and is no doubt distorted by the passage of time. It probably wasn’t that good, and it probably wasn’t that bad. Either way, I just hope it wasn’t mediocre.

As best I recall, it began with “primitive” humans, who had to cooperate to survive. Then it sketched out how the success of the species put enough strain on local resources to require a continuous budding off of groups that had to move into new territory, into increasingly marginal environments, that required larger and larger territories, developing nomadism and cyclical/seasonal migrations, caching, and then, when that wasn’t working so well, the enslavement of plants and animals and sedentary lifestyles—culture on steroids.

Out of the sedentary lifestyle came villages and property. With property came a focus away from hunting and gathering, and needs transmogrified into desires. Cooperative exchange was replaced with competition, not for basic needs, but for excess, and hoarding reared its ugly head. Greed compounded, and continues to compound, and coercion replaced generosity and hospitality.

All this was a very ragged process, of course, with no recognizable dividing lines (until tighter and tighter boundaries were established).

The easy way to think about this is to contemplate one’s own needs, and distinguish them from desires. Needs always have been a matter of life and death; desires always have been the stuff of fantasy. Confusing fantasy with needs produces a false sense of desperation, and fantasy Trumps reality anytime. I think I’m outa space . . .


Don Bauder July 13, 2015 @ 2:50 p.m.

Twister: The primitive civilizations that preceded us by thousands of years are sources of endless fascination. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi July 10, 2015 @ 6:25 p.m.

Twister, I saw your question and wasn't prepared to answer it. Sorry I didn't acknowledge you sooner.

My social media idea is for more people in engage in comments, blogs and stories. We all know the problem with an "anti-stadium" movement is the Chargers fans have us beat. They have years invested in the sport and many good memories of the games and rivalries. It's hard to compete against that.

I'm not against the sport, although I would like to see some changes that will help avoid the brain injuries. (I doubt we'll see much come of that). If San Diego has its fiscal house in order, I could even see some financing. But all cities are facing a crisis in infrastructure, safety, public recreation, education, libraries, arts and other services that are supposed to be furnished. We all know that. So I guess there is a problem getting the message out more that we cannot have our cake and eat it too. The rabid fans and the community "leaders" that stand behind this scheme are suffering from cognitive dissonance.

I have come to the conclusion that San Diego needs to quit playing ball with a poor man. Spanos, among the billionaires out there, is poor. The only way this whole Spanos/Chargers stadium drama is ever going to end is if the Spanos family is forced to sell the team. That is what is what my idea is for a fight-back campaign. San Diegans need to take a page from a different playbook and just shame the Spanos family out of ownership. That family has dragged San Diego, Charger fans, politicians and everyone else who lives in this city through years of frustration and on and off deals. The Spanos clan simply is too poor to own the team and ever put anything together. We should call their bluff and openly ask them to put the entire ownership of the team up for sale.


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 8:39 p.m.

Ponzi: I suspect, too, that the Spanos clan doesn't have the bucks to get to L.A. without selling part of the team. The value of the team could double from $1 billion to $2 billion with an L.A. move, so selling the team could be remunerative.

Incidentally, the Davis family in Oakland is even poorer than the Spanos clan. The Davis clan isn't even in the billionaire class. It owns 47 percent of the Raiders, but as a result of a contract provision, controls the team. I don't know who owns the rest of the Raiders. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 10, 2015 @ 10:01 p.m.

Ponzi, I'm all in favor of engagement, as long as it isn't prematurely broken off. As long as focus isn't lost and there is a joint pursuit of reality.

It looks like the latest estimate of that a Chargers "deal" will cost the taxpayers is $900,000,000. If experience is any guide, that will be low. So, what else could "we" do with $900,000,000 other than a football stadium?

That's my twisted view of the situation.


Don Bauder July 13, 2015 @ 2:54 p.m.

Twister: I think the cost would be more like $1 billion rather than $900 million. Whatever you think it will be, the final cost will be much higher. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh July 11, 2015 @ 9:31 a.m.

If the underlying issue here is the ownership of the team, how about all the fans who would "just die" if the team left get together and buy it? If there are as many as claimed (or feared), a relatively small amount from each one could add up to a billion bucks. Some sort of crowdfunding scheme could make it happen. Those who subscribed would be first in line for season tickets, discounted admission, and all sorts of ego-building tie ins.

Oh, if there was no widespread interest, wouldn't that send a message that the support isn't really there, and that those who howl about the dire results of the team leaving town really aren't ready to put their money where their mouths are?


Don Bauder July 13, 2015 @ 2:58 p.m.

Visduh: I don't know that the NFL would permit a team owned by thousands of people. That would be too democratic, and the NFL is an autocracy. Green Bay is owned by citizens, but I think it is grandfathered in. I doubt there could be another Green Bay Packers now. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel July 14, 2015 @ 9:56 a.m.

don bauder, I don't know the NFL would or even could stop a team from having thousands of people as owners. As long as they met the same requirements as anyone else who wants to own a team, one could, in theory have as many shareholders as they want. That is, of course, as long as they are led by a single individual who owns at least 30 percent of the team. So if someone in San Diego wanted to pony up about $600 million or so, based on what people there seem to think the Chargers would be worth in Los Angeles, then in theory, the remaining ownership could me made up any number of individual shareholders. BTW, I highly doubt that anyone in San Diego would want to own part of the Chargers in a Green Bay scenario anyway. The Packers are a nonprofit organization. Shareholders get nothing in return for buying stock. That means no dividends, no share price appreciation, no return if the team is sold, no securities law protection, no charitable tax deduction, no merchandise discounts, no option to transfer ownership to anyone but a family member as a gift AND... no tickets.


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 3:39 p.m.

Marcus Greene: Stopping support of a team is one way to help a community gain its senses. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 3:42 p.m.

Corinna Jordan: Lambeau Field in Green Bay and Soldier Field in Chicago are examples of successful stadium rehabilitations. University stadiums built 90 years ago have been successfully given facelifts. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel July 10, 2015 @ 4:36 p.m.

don bauder I don't know that I would exactly call what was done to Soldier Field a "rehabilitation." It cost $632 million in 2003 renovation, which is about $810 million in 2015 dollars, not to mention that so much of the stadium was torn down and rebuilt that it was stripped of its National Historic Landmark status.


Don Bauder July 10, 2015 @ 8:44 p.m.

danfogel: Yes, but inflation-adjusted $810 million is a helluva lot less than a new stadium would have cost -- about half in today's dollars. I think "rehabilitation" is an accurate description, but I won't argue the point if you can think of a better word. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 10, 2015 @ 10:07 p.m.

The best "rehabilitation" plan would be to turn it back into riparian woodland--after all, it's a river, not a "valley." If the dam ever bursts, most of "Mission Valley" will be out to sea.


Don Bauder July 12, 2015 @ 7:36 a.m.

Twister: Unfortunately, it is too late to restore Mission Valley to its original state. The best hope is to keep it from getting even worse. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 11, 2015 @ 9:39 a.m.

Mark Wooton: This has not been as popular truth, although it was more unpopular twenty years ago. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill July 11, 2015 @ 12:31 p.m.

Let me look at this from the mindset of "well the NFL is really screwing cities but I really want my NFL team". I don't really agree with that mindset but at least I think it's honest and not totally unreasonable. So from that mindset one would say "try to keep the Chargers but try not to get screwed TOO badly"

I think at this point the city should back off from the offer that was made by the task force. That offer was frankly pretty generous from the city / county - probably about as generous as they could get without insisting on a tax increase and 2/3 vote (which would be impossible to pass).

At this point the Chargers have made their intentions clear - they want to move to L.A.

IF they get shut out of L.A. by the owners' decisions and/or progress on Carson / Inglewood / who knows what other stadiums up there, THEN the Chargers' negotiating position with SD suddenly gets a lot weaker and the city / county should show no mercy to the Chargers at that point.

There isn't much point for the city to be generous to the Chargers at this point. Either they get to move to LA or they're stuck in San Diego (at least for a while)


Don Bauder July 13, 2015 @ 3:07 p.m.

ImJustABill: I still think Carson is a phony. Inglewood isn't. The Chargers' hope is that Kroenke will permit them to play in his stadium for a cut-rate price. That is not likely. A selling of all or part of the team is more likely. Best, Don Bauder


laplayaheritage July 11, 2015 @ 5:22 p.m.

City Council Tuesday July 14, 2015 at 2 pm Item S500. Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to Agreement with AECOM.


$2,100,000 Total for CIP S-16025 Qualcomm Stadium Reconstruction.
 = $1.2 Million AECOM Environmental Consulting + $200,000 for Conceptional Design [Who is the Designer? Need name.] + $230,000 DSD Staff + $150,000 Public Works Staff + $320,000 Contingency.


Don Bauder July 13, 2015 @ 3:13 p.m.

laplayaheritage:Any council member voting to pay consultants should be placed on the list of politicians who should be sent into retirement. Such consultants do not give information. They give propaganda one-liners to be used by those paying the bills. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 12, 2015 @ 12:14 p.m.

Re: Don Bauder July 12, 2015 @ 7:36 a.m.

Twister: Unfortunately, it is too late to restore Mission Valley to its original state. The best hope is to keep it from getting even worse. Best, Don Bauder

It's a FLOOD plain, at best. It's the ultimate perversity of the perverse concept that maximum development is " highest and best use." Only a culture lacking in brains would intentionally build in a hazardous area. The main reason was that the old dairies were bought up by a few pillars of the community, got a zoning change from agriculture, built, and they cried "flood hazard" to their cronies in DC, then got the US taxpayer to confine the San Diego River to a tight channel so the value of the remaining "real estate" would skyrocket. When the flow of the San Diego River increases, it's called a "flood." Ridiculous! It's just a river being a river.

You are probably right that "it's too late," but ANY new development just adds to the problem. The parking lot "floods" after light rains. That means it's a RIVER. The FACTS are one thing; the politics are anti-facts.


Don Bauder July 13, 2015 @ 3:10 p.m.

Twister: San Diego suffers from cirrhosis of the river. Best, Don Bauder


Twister July 22, 2015 @ 10:54 p.m.

Bring in the kangaroos and put Bauder on trial.


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