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Two teams demand millions for stadium upgrades

Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Cavaliers seek to fleece

One thing San Diegans must keep in mind when negotiating with the Chargers is that pro-sports team billionaires are both unscrupulous and smooth as glass. They hire expensive law and Wall Street firms with the same qualities.

According to the website Fieldofschemes.com, the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team is demanding public money for a $187 million upgrade or it may move out of town. The team's stadium, Chase Field, is only 18 years old. What's more, the team promised in writing that it would stay until 2028.

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Diamondbacks management is trying to pull the "state of the art" stunt. That was used by Stan Kroenke to move the St. Louis Rams football team to Los Angeles. Written into the contract was a promise to keep the St.Louis stadium (only 20 years old now, but vacant) "state of the art." With almost every team fleecing its hometown, St. Louis was not "state of the art" and couldn't fight Kroenke on the point.

But there is no "state of the art" clause in the Diamondbacks' contract, so the team is pointing to the city's use of the words "state of the art" when it refers to the ballpark in its financial reports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers pro-basketball team is also seeking half of a $140 million upgrade of its arena from Cuyahoga County, which is in very bad financial shape. This arena was opened in 1994, and the team complains it is one of the oldest in the National Basketball Association.

This is why university football stadiums are 80 to 100 years old, while National Football League stadiums are 23 years old, on average. Universities can't warn that they will move if they don't get public money. They also realize that there are more important things than football. But the cough-up-or-we-move scam almost always works in big American cities. San Diego could become a national model of wisdom if the Chargers scam doesn't work.

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One thing San Diegans must keep in mind when negotiating with the Chargers is that pro-sports team billionaires are both unscrupulous and smooth as glass. They hire expensive law and Wall Street firms with the same qualities.

According to the website Fieldofschemes.com, the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team is demanding public money for a $187 million upgrade or it may move out of town. The team's stadium, Chase Field, is only 18 years old. What's more, the team promised in writing that it would stay until 2028.

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Diamondbacks management is trying to pull the "state of the art" stunt. That was used by Stan Kroenke to move the St. Louis Rams football team to Los Angeles. Written into the contract was a promise to keep the St.Louis stadium (only 20 years old now, but vacant) "state of the art." With almost every team fleecing its hometown, St. Louis was not "state of the art" and couldn't fight Kroenke on the point.

But there is no "state of the art" clause in the Diamondbacks' contract, so the team is pointing to the city's use of the words "state of the art" when it refers to the ballpark in its financial reports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers pro-basketball team is also seeking half of a $140 million upgrade of its arena from Cuyahoga County, which is in very bad financial shape. This arena was opened in 1994, and the team complains it is one of the oldest in the National Basketball Association.

This is why university football stadiums are 80 to 100 years old, while National Football League stadiums are 23 years old, on average. Universities can't warn that they will move if they don't get public money. They also realize that there are more important things than football. But the cough-up-or-we-move scam almost always works in big American cities. San Diego could become a national model of wisdom if the Chargers scam doesn't work.

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