Will this be the Chargers stadium that leads the team to a victorious season?
  • Will this be the Chargers stadium that leads the team to a victorious season?
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The Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group today, May 18, offered a plan for a new, municipally owned Chargers Mission Valley stadium that supposedly does not raise taxes and therefore averts any two-thirds public vote.

The plan is based on a dubious assumption: "The city and county are on solid financial footing," says the proposal. Oh? There is a $2 billion infrastructure deficit that is realistically double that. The possibility of a severe, long-lasting drought suggests tax money will have to be spent on providing more water, and water bills will also go up. There is a big pension deficit. The convention center is in financial trouble. And other problems loom.

Cocked eyebrows should greet this report. The plan does not rely on tax revenues from development, boasts the task force, but transient occupancy (hotel) taxes will contribute as a result of the building of a new hotel. Also, 75 acres will be sold to a developer. The task force is counting on $84.7 million coming in from a ticket surcharge and $26 million from a parking surcharge — both over 30 years. At least, a surcharge is paid by someone who is using the facility.

The task force boasts that it has "heard from numerous developers and private investors who want to fund all or part of the Mission Valley project." Oh? Where were those developers and investors earlier when the Chargers proposed developing Mission Valley? Is there enough water for the new development? Chargers spokesperson Mark Fabiani has pointed out that current Mission Valley residents are opposed to another development, and there is still a controversy about whether a plume under the stadium is a problem.

The city and county will each contribute $121 million, and supposedly the money will not come from a general fund.

The stadium will host non-football events, supposedly: monster truck jams, concerts, music festivals, soccer games, film showings, movie and TV shoots, religious events, rodeos — the list goes on. Petco was also going to bring in such events, and that has been a disappointment.

The Chargers will contribute $300 million, according to the plan. Previously, the team has been talking about putting in about $200 million. Forbes magazine estimates that the Spanos family is worth $1.26 billion, and almost $1 billion of that represents the value of the Chargers. Patriarch Alex Spanos is in his 90s and reportedly has severe dementia. Will three generations want to contribute this much of the family's wealth? The task force says that $135 million to $165 million will go to the Chargers from naming rights over 20 years. That would be subtracted from the $300 million, as would $15 million of naming rights remaining at Qualcomm, $25 million a year from "other," and $60 million from personal seat licenses (half of a total of $120 million).

If the team got $25 a year from the mysterious "other," the Spanos family might not be contributing anything, and would enjoy a huge boost in the value of the franchise. But can these be counted on? Doubtful. For example, the $120 million in personal seat licenses can be scratched right now. (Personal seat licenses are paid licenses to the holders to buy rights to a certain seat for a season.) Fabiani told me in 2011, "We do not anticipate selling [personal seat licenses] in any significant numbers in this marketplace." He has said the same thing on other occasions several times since then.

I agree. The cost of living in San Diego is 35 percent higher than the national average, but the median personal income is only 19 percent higher, according to Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Think of all the times citizens worried about a TV blackout because a game wasn't selling out. Erik Bruvold, head of the National University institute, believes the personal seat-license figure is doable, but I don't think he will find many agreeing.

The total cost of the stadium, including land, would be $1.3 billion. Bruvold has said that the six most recent NFL stadiums built or under construction would cost $1.5 billion in Southern California. But four of those stadiums are extravagant, says the task force.

The National Football League is committed to contributing $200 million. I presume that would be a low- or no-interest rate loan, but I would think it has to be paid back someday by somebody.

Another important point: Fabiani on March 16 on KPBS noted that 25 percent of the Chargerss’ economic support now comes from Orange County and Los Angeles County. Previously, numbers above 30 percent have surfaced. Logically, one must conclude that the Chargers would lose that support if a team or teams occupy the Los Angeles market, as seems probable now. The Chargers would be losing a lot of revenue — enough to make one wonder if building a San Diego stadium would be worth it.

Apparently, the city and county will hire consultants to vet the task force's work. But so-called consultants generally give the answers that the people paying their bills want to hear. Watch that one.

Watch one other thing: there could be a lawsuit against any proposal that goes forward. Such a suit or suits could delay construction and possibly raise construction costs.

This proposal is based on a lot of hopes and dreams. The mayor should come out and admit: taxpayers will have to pay for any new stadium — at least 65 percent.

While she was at Harvard, Judith Grant Long, now an associate professor at the University of Michigan, said in 2010 that, on average, taxpayers pay 78 percent and the team 22 percent of a stadium. The original estimates are always understated because the cities do not take such things as lost tax revenue into account.

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Comments

aardvark May 18, 2015 @ 5:27 p.m.

Lots of pretty pictures. Lots of big numbers. Let the negotiations begin. This should be very entertaining--and possibly very expensive.

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 6:44 p.m.

aardvark: This is spindrift. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 19, 2015 @ 9:19 a.m.

model built with a virtual tinker toy set.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:36 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Your description is better than my "spindrift." You will be awarded free season tickets to Chargers games. Except you may have to drive to L.A. to go. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 19, 2015 @ 2:51 p.m.

thanks, but not worth the trip . ( does that include the bogus seat lic. ?)

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 5:51 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Your free season tickets do not require your putting $5000 into a seat license. They are a gift from me. Just don't believe me. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering May 18, 2015 @ 5:59 p.m.

The key phrase in my mind is "does not RAISE taxes". But a whole lot of the taxes we all pay will be diverted. Then we will be told there isn't enough money to pay for the ever growing list of the city's infrastructure needs will be sucked into the new football stadium.

This exact same scenario was "sold" to the taxpayers for Petco Park. All of the promised development was going to pay the bond financing, yet we all know that the city is spending millions annually on Petco Park.

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 6:47 p.m.

JustWondering: Yes, the city is paying millions a year for Petco. John Moores got $300 million of subsidy and also walked off with $700 million to a $1 billion personally by selling ballpark district land that the council let him buy for early 1990s prices. Then he rode off to Texas, laughing. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine May 18, 2015 @ 6:06 p.m.

The city and county will each chip in $121,000,000.00 and the only say the citizens get in this is at the next city and county elections?

This would have never happened under Mayor Filner.

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 9:19 p.m.

aardvark: As I state below, Filner won on the right platform (more money for infrastructure and neighborhoods, less for downtown corporate welfare), then when the lynch band was threatening, backed down. Still, I think if he had survived lynching, he would have gone back to his original theses, or close to them. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark May 18, 2015 @ 9:23 p.m.

Discussing Filner is not something I will do on this thread.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 7:18 a.m.

aardvark: His name came up, and that merits a reply. I will continue to discuss the situation if the subject is raised. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark May 19, 2015 @ 9:35 a.m.

He would have caved on a stadium as well IMO, but we will never know.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:39 p.m.

aardvark: At some point, Filner will be free to discuss his lynching. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 5:52 p.m.

aardvark: Yes, interesting. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 6:51 p.m.

Michael Valentine: Filner won the mayor's job on a platform of shifting money from corporate welfare downtown to the ailing infrastructure and neighborhoods. But as the corporate welfarists were lynching him, he backed down on such matters as the convention center. It will be interesting to see how Faulconer reacts to the task force's wet dream. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine May 19, 2015 @ 12:52 p.m.

I'm guessing we can tell how the mayor will react from the wind generated by public opinion.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:40 p.m.

Michael Valentine: It will certainly be a disappointment if the San Diego public falls for this one. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr May 21, 2015 @ 12:51 p.m.

Democrats always run on speeches like that... and nearly invariably are found to have lied. I'm certain Filner would be in this up to he ears, and probably explaining how his "hands were tied" and blaming Republicans and "big business" while eagerly handing out huge checks to the Chargers.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 7:04 a.m.

jnojr: I doubt that scenario would have eventuated. But who knows? Best, Don Bauder

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Matt101 May 18, 2015 @ 6:13 p.m.

"the Spanos family might not be contributing anything, and would enjoy a huge boost in the value of the franchise"

But the boost in franchise value from moving to LA might be much greater, even if the Chargers become the 2nd-banana team in LA (which they would be; either the Rams or Raiders would have more LA-area fans). The LA Clippers basketball team sold for $2 billion, and the Clippers are far behind the Lakers in fan interest, and NFL franchises are more valuable than NBA franchises in the same market.

Even if the LA-area Chargers are "only" worth $2 billion, that is more than the SD Chargers would be worth even if SD gives the Spanos family a completely free stadium in which to play.

So, is the San Diego proposal really going to keep the Chargers from, ummm, "bolting" for LA? Or is it a possible play for another franchise after the Chargers leave, maybe the Raiders if the Rams and Chargers win the race to LA?

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 6:54 p.m.

Matt101: You are absolutely right. This could be a road map for a trip to LA. In LA, for example, there really could be significant revenue from personal seat licenses, and big money from luxury suites. The Spanos family may thank the task force for providing such nifty ideas for the Los Angeles trip. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat May 19, 2015 @ 4 p.m.

The $2 billion for the Clippers was an anomaly. Bonehead Balmer was willing to pay whatever it took to get the team. He wasn't concerned about overpaying. It was all "Monopoly" money anyway (with Microsoft being the monopoly).

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 5:54 p.m.

dwbat: Microsoft should have ousted Ballmer long before it did. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi May 18, 2015 @ 6:21 p.m.

I find it insulting their proposal goes to lengths to get around direct participation by taxpayers on such an expensive and controversial project. They are selling 75 acres of city land, keeping it under the 80 acres that would trigger a public vote.

Interesting too is they released their findings a day before the NFL billionaires meet in San Francisco. Doubt the timing is a coincidence.

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Matt101 May 18, 2015 @ 6:56 p.m.

San Diego had to have its proposal ready for this owners' meeting, because St. Louis showed its own fancy drawings and pie-in-the-sky financial projections at the previous owners' meeting.

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 9:23 p.m.

Matt101: All in all, I think St. Louis is going to be cuckolded again. The Chicago Cardinals went to St. Louis, then went to Arizona. St. Louis so craved an NFL team that it built a stadium without a tenant. The Rams snatched it for almost nothing, but now are eyeing a juicier market. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 7:36 p.m.

Ponzi: I missed the point about the owners' meeting in the Bay Area. Thanks for jolting me back to reality. Best, Don Bauder

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Hereismycommnet May 18, 2015 @ 8:39 p.m.

Stop spending time and money on this goofy football team and owners.

Maybe it's time to recall Faulconer!

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 9:29 p.m.

Hereismycomment: "Goofy," yes, but "greedy" better describes the Chargers. Did you notice that Dean Spanos now has effectively put two sons in charge of operations? Dean will concentrate on stadium matters. (I thought Fabiani was in charge of stadium matters.) Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 18, 2015 @ 9:30 p.m.

Cee Dubbleu: You state the situation exactly as it is. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 18, 2015 @ 10:53 p.m.

So apparently the Raiders and Chargers have hired Carmen Policy to help push the Carson stadium (most likely a ruse of course but still a big negotiating chip)

http://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-chargers-raiders-policy-20150519-story.html

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:44 p.m.

ImJustABill: I still think Carson is a ruse meant to jostle Kroenke and frighten San Diego and Oakland. I have never taken it seriously. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 18, 2015 @ 10:56 p.m.

So if I'm adding right this proposal is effectively for San Diego taxpayers to give about 466M in corporate welfare to Spanos? (121M city + 121M county + 225M land). And this is just the starting point meaning the final tax handout will probably be north of 500M.

It does seem like a deal may eventually get done though. Several months ago I thought it was quite likely they were going to L.A. Now I'm not so sure.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:47 p.m.

ImJustABill: The final handout will be more than $500 million. On average, you can figure that taxpayers will pick up 70 percent to 80 percent of the cost. If San Diego takes this seriously and negotiates with the Chargers, the end product will have taxpayers paying close to 80 percent.

Only I question whether the Chargers will take this seriously. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 19, 2015 @ 6:55 a.m.

There are so many things wrong with this proposal that it is hard to know where to start. But since nobody has yet delved into the city and county contributions of $121 million each, which will not come from the general fund, let's look at that. If those dollars don't come from the general fund, where do they come from, pray tell? And they don't come from new taxes, that makes the source even more mysterious. I'd guess they fall into the category of "vapor dollars" that don't really exist, yet are real money. In other words, since money is fungible, they'll come from somewhere, and the only source is tax money. And as JustWondering points out, those dollars will be dollars not spent on infrastructure repair.

The city cannot afford to put any money at all into a stadium. Its finances aren't strong, as Don outlines, and the county, while in better shape, doesn't have over a hundred million bucks to blow either. If supervisors from east and north county vote for something like that, they're done for. I'll campaign in the streets against Bill Horn if he makes any moves in favor of this boondoggle.

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aardvark May 19, 2015 @ 9:33 a.m.

As far as the supervisors are concerned--what do they care? It could be their legacy (WE saved the Chargers from leaving San Diego!). There will be a complete turnover on the BoS anyway in the next few years due to term limits, so I don't think the supes will be too concerned using the millions they claim to have in a surplus to put towards a new stadium. It is ashamed they couldn't use that money for something constructive--like, maybe a fully staffed and full-time county fire department.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:55 p.m.

aardvark: It is amazing how the city will let things rot, such as infrastructure, and possibly find itself short of water, to subsidize the Chargers. I guess it isn't amazing. It's to be expected. Sadly, other cities do the same thing. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 19, 2015 @ 10:24 a.m.

You are a naysayer. 121M can come from a lot of places. Unicorns. Fairies. Leprechauns. Don't look at reality! Have some faith!!

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:56 p.m.

ImJustABill: Yes, but leprechauns only show up once a year. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:52 p.m.

Visduh: Yes, the report is full of mystifying numbers for which there seems to be no source. The Spanos family will rake in $25 million a year from "other." What's that? The sum of $25 million a year would add up quickly. That's why I say that if all these mysterious windfalls come to pass, the Spanos family will have its $300 million contribution back back in its pockets in a short time. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 19, 2015 @ 8:54 a.m.

the whole scheme depends on too many "ifs" if one or more do not pan out, the tax payers will get the bill.

over all, I get the feeling it was all decided behind closed doors at the onset,and all this b.s. is just to pacify what they deem dumb citizens.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 2:59 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Of course. That's how the game is played. Economists and scholars such as Judith Grant Long have pointed that out regularly. The original plan is a fairy tale. The public buys into it, thanks in part to the local media. The project goes forward and taxpayers wind up paying the tab. Best, Don Bauder

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MichaelValentine May 19, 2015 @ 3:08 p.m.

Some times it seems to me that the San Diego local media attend a daily agenda meeting, They are always so on the same page.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 5:59 p.m.

MichaelValentine: And I am proud to say the Reader is not on that page. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 6 p.m.

Murphyjunk: You mean the Chargers will take a high speed train to L.A.? No need to do that. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 20, 2015 @ 6:39 a.m.

The economic forecast for the high speed train at this point is significantly worse than what was clearly promised to voters in the wording of the original ballot proposition. And even the latest numbers are likely optimistic. For example, a recent L.A. Times article points out that recent claims of $86 projected ticket prices does not seem realistic compared to existing fares in Europe and China. http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-adv-bullet-fares-20150510-story.html#page=1

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 12:11 p.m.

ImJustABill: In some -- but not all -- of its endeavors, governments tend to specialize in optimistic numbers. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 19, 2015 @ 5:24 p.m.

The local media here don't have the clout they once had. Heck, look at the once mighty U-T. This pathetic product, which I will once again call the Manchester Mill, has a pitiful circulation. It now controls many of the small community papers, but folks don't read those for "earthshaking news" of things like a stadium boondoggle. So, what's left? The TV stations, I suppose, but they have glammed up and "feelgooded" their coverage to a point where I don't think they can do a lot to mold opinion. Can the local media sway the mass of sheep to see it their way, and decide this is a wonderful thing? I suppose we will see about that, but for now, I'm going to hope that it won't work. The word will go out, and few will hear, and fewer will believe, and it will flop.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 6:04 p.m.

Visduh: Local media will talk up this proposal, in my judgment. It's happened before on other matters, such as the ballpark. Remember, media make a lot of money on sports. Owners will not oppose the corporate welfare for billionaire team owners. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 3:05 p.m.

Robert Campbell: Yes, they are lying. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 3:07 p.m.

Kevin Gegere: Yes, water and infrastructure (along with neighborhoods) should come first. That is obvious -- but not to politicians. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 3:08 p.m.

Mark Donn: The Chargers want to leave, but I doubt it will be to Carson. Remember, there is still a sane possibility: the Chargers will continue to play at the Q, which will get a bit of a facelift. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 3:09 p.m.

Robert Evans: Yes, it smacks of another scam, such as Petco, which is still draining city coffers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 3:11 p.m.

Mike Murphy: Any developer buying the 75 acres takes a risk that the pie in the sky turns rancid, and falls to the ground. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel May 19, 2015 @ 3:16 p.m.

Don BAuder How about this scenario. The Rams go to Inglewood to play in their new stadium and it's the Raiders that Kroenke chooses as a tenant team, not the Chargers. The city of San Diego then tells the Spanos clan that if they want a new stadium in San Diego, they can build it themselves, since they have no where else to go.

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MURPHYJUNK May 19, 2015 @ 3:27 p.m.

like some have said, call their bluff.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 4:41 p.m.

Murphyjunk: It would be wonderful if San Diego would call the Chargers' bluff, and it's possible. The team will return from its futile attempt to land in L.A., tail wagging between its legs. The team would not be able to demand a new stadium. It would keep playing at Qualcomm, which would be given a modest facelift.

The debate that we are now going through would continue for years, possibly. Meanwhile, the NFL and football generally would be losing some of their glamour as the health concerns turn many fans away from football. Fan support would diminish. There is no reason Qualcomm and any other stadium could not last a hundred years, if maintenance is kept up. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel May 19, 2015 @ 3:36 p.m.

Not necessarily calling their bluff, but I get what you mean. Too bad no one has the balls to just tell them no more bleeding the city dry and if they want to move, then don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out and if you stay, either build your own stadium or pay for your own reno at the Murph. In other words, either live with what you have or pay for what you want and in either case STFU because you're not getting anymore from us.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 4:43 p.m.

danfogel: Yours is a great scenario. I hope it will come true.

In a Reader article many years ago, Bruce Henderson predicted that the Chargers were going to alienate San Diego. Bruce is looking more and more like a prophet. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 4:33 p.m.

danfogel: I think one of the most likely scenarios is that the Chargers will stub their toe trying to get into L.A., and will return to San Diego, where they will continue to play at Qualcomm, which will get a bit of a facelift. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark May 20, 2015 @ 12:59 a.m.

Don: I still think there is a wildcard in all this--San Antonio. They would have to win over Jerry Jones, but San Antonio could host the Chargers in the Alamodome temporarily, while they build a new stadium on a site already chosen.

Remember--this is Texas. A state where they build high school stadiums that cost as much as $60 million (that must undergo substantial repairs after 2 years due to shoddy workmanship). San Antonio, and the Austin area about 75 miles away, have a population combined of well over 4 million, and with only 1 major sport in San Antonio, they might just fall all over themselves to get an NFL team. Would Spanos go for that? Perhaps eventually, as I don't think he will get what he wants here, and if he really has any business sense, he won't go through with the Carson charade. I also think he wouldn't have to put much money at all into a new stadium there, as they are that crazy about football. Or, perhaps he could just sell the team to San Antonio interests and be done with it.

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 6:13 a.m.

aardvark: San Antonio is a possibility for the Chargers. Texas is football-crazy, and crazy in other respects, too. (Look at the governors it has had in recent years.) The eight-county metro area has a population of 2.3 million, which is a million less than San Diego County, but it still might work. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 20, 2015 @ 8:10 a.m.

in texas they could get a personal spittoon license fee too.

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 12:16 p.m.

Murphyjunk: For more money, Texans can get a personal saloon/spittoon license. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel May 20, 2015 @ 6:21 p.m.

don bauder Don't forget about Austin. It's not much more than an hour or so from San Antonio and Austin–Round Rock MSA has a population of almost 1.9 million. To have 4 million plus to draw from ain't too shabby.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 7:26 a.m.

danfogel: Austin is growing rapidly. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel May 22, 2015 @ 8:23 a.m.

According to the Census Bureau, between July 1, 2013 and July 1,2014, Austin was the fastest growing big city in the country, with its population increasing 2.9 percent. This is for the city proper, not the wider metro area.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 1 p.m.

danfogel: As you know, in assessing a sports market, you have to look at the metro area, not the city itself. The population of the city itself means nothing in that context.

I chuckled when Tribune Publishing boasted that it bought a newspaper in California's second largest city. This is nonsense. San Diego is the third largest metro area in the state, and 17th largest in the U.S. That is what is important for media, and for football teams, too. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel May 22, 2015 @ 1:48 p.m.

You know, I always assumed the same thing. It was LA, San Fran and then the SD metro. But I noticed the other day that while it is part of the larger Greater Los Angeles area, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA, the Inland Empire metro area, is actually larger, with it's 4,304,997 population. Riverside County and San Bernardino county each have a population of over 2 million. It's coming up on 39 yrs in a couple of weeks since we moved from Tucson to San Diego and even with as many times as I've drive thru both counties, I never realized how many people lived there. Did you know that as of the 2010 census, Riverside is 4th-most populous county in California and is the 11th-most populous in the United States and San Bernardino the fifth-most populous and the 12th-most respectively? I had no idea.

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ImJustABill May 20, 2015 @ 12:48 p.m.

For me that would be the best scenario. We keep the Chargers and hopefully keep the corporate welfare check to under 200M. I think any corporate welfare is wrong but 200M is better than 500M+.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 1:03 p.m.

ImJustABill: We can do better than you suggest. The Chargers could stay in San Diego at the Q. The city and the team would put $100 million into refurbishing the Q. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 4:56 p.m.

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE SAYS THE TASK FORCE PLAN IS "REASONABLE, BUT WITH SOME RISKS." The National University System Institute for Policy Research, which does some good work, has studied the task force proposal and found it doable. San Diego could be a market in which "two-thirds of the stadium costs would be borne by the public."

The task force plan is "reasonable and realistic," says Erik Bruvold, president of the institute. He is concerned, however, whether a lower-cost facility could compete for special events with lavish stadiums in Dallas, Santa Clara, and, soon,, Minneapolis and Atlanta. He is also concerned about the $10.9 million annual operating loss.

The institute says the task force makes a "compelling case" for the planned Mission Valley location. (However, up to now anyway, the Chargers have not favored Mission Valley.) The institute says the task force's cost estimates are reasonable.

Bruvold says, correctly, that "Economic research does not support the argument that hosting a NFL team benefits a region's economy. Instead, it should be looked upon as an amenity, if the public decides that it finds emotional value hosting a team."

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ImJustABill May 19, 2015 @ 7:27 p.m.

The real negotiating is being done today in SF at the NFL owners meeting.

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Don Bauder May 19, 2015 @ 8:17 p.m.

ImJustABill: Yes. The owners have to agree to a franchise move. In the past, there has also been a payment for moving a franchise. I suppose there will be this time, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi May 19, 2015 @ 9:06 p.m.

Here's my crazy scenario. Only the Rams will relocate to L.A. The Carson ruse is being used to get new stadiums built in Oakland and San Diego. The NFL are meeting in San Francisco because all of these issues relate to northern and southern California. Before the L.A. Times can take editorial control of the "U-T," Manchester will shamelessly use his paper to promote a new stadium.

If "no taxpayer money" is involved, why is the city and county even involved? Oh wait, I am asking crazy questions and I should know better. I should have realized the coronation of King Faulconer came with it a promise to please the overlords who paved his way.

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 6:22 a.m.

Ponzi: It is certainly possible that only the Rams will relocate to L.A. Many people wonder if L.A. is a good market for pro football. After all, two teams (Rams and Raiders) departed in the mid-90s, and weren't doing well in attendance. So the most conservative strategy might be to go one team at a time.

I still believe, however, that two teams will wind up there, and it will probably be in the new stadium planned by Kroenke, the Rams owner. The Raiders and Chargers are most likely candidates to be that second team. Conceivably, the Raiders could be that team.

If one or two teams relocate to Los Angeles, the Chargers in San Diego will lose a percentage of its fan base. Fabiani's last said that 25 percent of the Chargers's support comes from L.A. (Los Angeles and Orange counties). Even if it is realistically only half that, it is a big chunk of current business -- perhaps enough to thwart any ideas to build the team a stadium in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 20, 2015 @ 6:48 a.m.

I think what you're saying makes sense. There may actually be a fair amount of Charger business from L.A. - not necessarily fan base but game attendees - coming from L.A.

Southern CA of course has a lot of transplants so there are thousands of Packer fans, Patriot fans, Cowboy fans, etc. in the southern CA area. An LA resident who is a big fan of, say, the Browns might make a trip from LA to SD to see the Browns play the Chargers. So anyway, I think many of the Packer/Cowboy/Brown/etc fans from LA would may stop making the trip to SD to see their team play if a team were put in LA.

Or maybe not - an NFL team only plays a team outside it's division at home once every several years - especially teams of the opposing conference. So maybe a Cowboy fan in LA will still come see the Cowboys in SD even if they saw them play in LA.

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 12:26 p.m.

ImJustABill: Last year, New England Patriots fans flooded to San Diego and swarmed into Qualcomm. Los Angeles metro area citizens may come to San Diego to see the visiting team, as you suggest.

Petco gets a lot of attendance from L.A. fans when the Dodgers are playing in San Diego, particularly on weekends.

But would the pace of L.A. area NFL fans coming to San Diego continue if one or two NFL teams relocate to L.A.? I think it is unlikely. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 20, 2015 @ 1:42 p.m.

If there are 2 teams in LA - one AFC and one NFC - then if I understand the scheduling I think every team in the NFL would have to visit L.A. at least once every 4 years for a regular season game. So transplants living in L.A. who are just dying to see the team they grew up with wouldn't have to wait for the team to play the Chargers.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 7:16 a.m.

ImJustABill: Of course, you can watch multiple teams on TV. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard May 19, 2015 @ 9:36 p.m.

I doubt this plan will please the Chargers, I suspect they want all the Stadium property for themselves, as well as the right to condemn downtown land with skyscraper permits in their pocket. We'll see. Whatever agreement they sign, they will threaten to leave the City with a useless Stadium. The Chargers refused to honor every contract they signed with the City. Saddling the City with a billion dollar boondoggle will only improve their bargaining position. It would be better to just pay the Chargers to play at Qualcomm, at least we would get an honest mugging, rather than a robbery to be named later.

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dwbat May 19, 2015 @ 9:57 p.m.

Dave Rice has a new Reader story with this headline: "How not to conduct your armed robbery" At first I thought it was an article about the stadium proposal!

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 7:45 a.m.

dwbat: Great line. But if the Chargers fail to get to L.A., the location the team prefers, it could be less armed (in terms of clout) than it was before.

The team has managed to alienate many San Diegans. That's a major reason the task force wants to achieve a stadium without a public vote. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 6:30 a.m.

Psycholizard: In a sense, San Diego is already paying the Chargers to play at Qualcomm. Their rent is less than $1 million a year, and if you study other emoluments, you could argue that San Diego is paying the team.

However, if the Chargers can't get to L.A. -- quite possible -- San Diego should have more leverage with them in the reconsideration of the rent contract five years from now. The Chargers may be in a weaker position. I think if its L.A. hunt sputtered, the team will suddenly talk up another possible relocation possibility, such as San Antonio. Threatening to move is part of the NFL's playbook for its teams. Best, Don Bauder

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Matt101 May 20, 2015 @ 10:12 a.m.

If the Rams alone move to L.A. (or Rams and Raiders), then St. Louis becomes San Diego's competitor for the Chargers.

I don't think San Antonio is a likely candidate in the near term, because the Cowboys and Texans owners are among the NFL's most influential, and a San Antonio franchise would siphon off Cowboys and Texans fans in central Texas.

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 12:34 p.m.

Matt101: True. St. Louis has almost 4 million people in its all-encompassing metro area. That is larger than San Diego. It is also home to some large companies that might fill up luxury suites. I do think it is quite possible that the team that doesn't get to L.A. to be with the Rams will go to St. Louis, which the Rams will vacate. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat May 22, 2015 @ 1:18 p.m.

San Antonio has horribly hot, very humid summers.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 3:32 p.m.

dwbat: I spent some time there one summer and can attest to that.

I think thast Matt101's point that the Cowboys and Texans might prevent San Antonio from getting a team is one to consider. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi May 19, 2015 @ 10:12 p.m.

Please keep an eye on all politicians and candidates that travel to San Francisco this weekend (or this week). There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a few politicians and/or lobbyists (are they not the same?) hanging around the Bay Area bars this weekend.

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Don Bauder May 20, 2015 @ 7:54 a.m.

Ponzi: That is a good bet. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister May 20, 2015 @ 10:53 p.m.

Excellent analyses! How much tax money has been spent already is #ucking around with this? What percentage of the mayor's time and that of various staff members?

It's time we had an input-output analysis, in layers of increasing detail, as a requirement on the City's website. Zero tolerance for secrets, except clear threats to national security and personnel matters. The Chargers, not to mention the Padres, have already cost us taxpayers a bundle in hidden costs, not to mention the diversion of city staff and resources from real city work.

Got legislation? (To get into the personal pockets of the oath-violators.)

Forget the tired old lie about "indirect" economic benefits. Let the truly free market take care of that.

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Don Bauder May 21, 2015 @ 3:28 p.m.

Twister: A detailed input-output analysis would be good for a city that sincerely pledges to keep its citizens informed. But for a city that generally wants to keep its citizens uninformed -- sorry. It's not going to happen. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister May 24, 2015 @ 11:19 p.m.

When Aguirre came to our house for our fund/vote-raising w&c, he said he would add it to the City Attorney's website if he was elected. Guess he forgot.

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Don Bauder May 21, 2015 @ 3:30 p.m.

Thomas K. Arnold: Your writing is perceptive -- except in this case. I ain't smart. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 7:20 a.m.

jamestom: I fail to understand what this has to do with the subject at hand. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel May 22, 2015 @ 8:28 a.m.

don bauder It's an advert. This douchebag posted the same basic thing on 2 other stories, but forgot to include the link in this one. Maybe you can get someone at the reader to get them deleted and the poster booted.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2015 @ 1:06 p.m.

danfogel; Somebody has already removed it. Best, Don Bauder

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