Dean Spanos
  • Dean Spanos
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The pro football Rams' reception in Los Angeles is mediocre at best. Television ratings have been low to so-so. About 9.8 percent of area homes have been turned on to Rams games. That's worse than the team's ratings in St. Louis, which it deserted for L.A. last year. However, St. Louis is a much smaller market, and attendance at games was consistently poor there.

On November 13, the Seattle/New England game and the Dallas/Pittsburgh game both drew better on TV in the Los Angeles market than the Rams game that day.

Attendance is in the eye of the beholder. The Rams are one of only two teams in the National Football League with attendance below 90 percent of capacity. The Rams are 89.4 percent and the Chargers around 78 percent, by far the worst in the National Football League.

But per capita numbers can be misleading. The Rams play in the L.A. Coliseum, which seats more than 90,000. The Rams' average attendance of about 84,000 is second-highest in the league. Logistically, getting to and from the coliseum can be a nightmare — one reason sportswriters are saying that almost half of yesterday's attendees seemed to be gone before the end. The Rams lost, 42-14.

The Chargers' propaganda machine would have us believe that the San Diego team can decide to leave next month for L.A. But is L.A. a good pro-football market? The last time two teams were there, the mid-1990s, attendance was poor for both teams, and both (the Raiders and Rams) left. There is too much else to do in both L.A.and San Diego. Why go to games of two losing teams? Or watch the agony on TV?

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ImJustABill Dec. 12, 2016 @ 4:53 p.m.

There is no significant Charger fan base in LA. At best, the LA Chargers will be initially be the 5th most popular football team in LA if they move there (behind the Rams, Bruins, Trojans, and Galaxy). Heck, maybe Mater Dei or LB Poly high schools have more fans than the Chargers will. There will be lots of fans of other NFL teams in LA who will surely outnumber Chargers fans at most LA Charger games - unless the Chargers can somehow manage to put together a championship contender someday.


Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2016 @ 7:09 p.m.

ImJustABill: I keep reading from various sources that LA does not want the Chargers, but I don't remember seeing a poll. It's also said that Angelenos would prefer the Raiders. Some say the Raiders should go back to LA and the Chargers should go to Vegas. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 12, 2016 @ 5:57 p.m.

I think the Rams can live with 9.8% of LA area homes tuned into their games, since the LA market is so much bigger than the St Louis market.

And another tidbit from yesterday--the Chargers game wasn't even shown in the LA market yesterday. Hope the Charger fan up there wasn't too disappointed.


Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2016 @ 7:13 p.m.

aardvark: LA is a huge market -- second largest in the nation. If you only consider LA, Long Beach, and Anaheim, as some metro area measures do, there are 13.34 million people.

If you add on Riverside and San Bernardino, as some measures do, that's another 4.48 million. bringing the total to almost 18 million. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 12, 2016 @ 6:06 p.m.

If access to the LA Coliseum, right in the middle of the city and on a grid of wide streets with freeways nearby is "a nightmare", what is access to the Rose Bowl? That has none of those advantages, being in a canyon, on a golf course, with little or no ready street access. Shucks, I digress.

Kroenke must be in as close to despair as a billionaire can be, which probably isn't very close. He's on course to build this stadium that is every team owner's dream. And so he moves the team to LA and it goes splat. Then his other possible team tenant has a team that went . . . splat. If he's to make a huge splash in LA and bring the fans back in a big way, he needs winners, not losers. Or maybe, in the manner of ol' Gene Klein, he has found a way not to care.

While that capacity of the Coliseum is huge, many/most of the seats are not in prime viewing area. End zone seats just don't make it if you are there to actually watch the on field action. But the info about the dismal attendance at Charger games is telling. Deano has managed to alienate the local fans. Is there a lesson in that for the newly-inaugurated "Mare"? It is time for Kev-boy to stop putting any energy or political capital into dealing with the Spanos gang, and start keeping his campaign promises.


Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2016 @ 7:21 p.m.

Visduh: Gene Klein, who had major organized crime connections, didn't just "not care." I suspect he gambled against the Chargers and kept raking in the dough.

Yes, Kevin Faulconer said he would put infrastructure first -- and then turned around and tried to get public money for the Chargers. The team flipped the bird at a subsidized Mission Valley stadium that Faulconer's task force came up with. Then Spanos and company cooked up a plan for a downtown convadium (part stadium, part convention center) without consulting San Diego government. But Kevin Faulconer still thinks it is smart politics to lick Spanos's boots. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Dec. 12, 2016 @ 8:04 p.m.

The Charger would fit right in Las Vegas for greedy Spanos. Now with the hotels charging players for cocktails, and also charging for parking... maybe the Las Vegans can think up a catchy name. Las Vegas Chargers, What Happens Here, Stays Here, Because We Will Never Be Going Anywhere Else Including A Superbowl.


Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2016 @ 8:51 p.m.

Ponzi: Dean Spanos has a home in Vegas. He loves the place.

But your suggestion for the name of the team may not work. It is far too long to fit on a sweatshirt. It won't fit into a headline in a newspaper. TV reporters don't have enough air time to read the whole thing. How about a simpler name: Las Vegas Overchargers. Best, Don Bauder


SportsFan0000 Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:23 a.m.

Same thing I have been saying for years...California has great scenery and so many other things to do...Why waste your Sundays watching 2 losing football teams with incompetent ownership?!?! Kronke is allegedly a complete AH*. Spanos is in way over his head. With his inexperienced brothers and sons in major team roles, the Chargers have become a management trainee job for the Spanos kids and grandkids.

Experienced football people who know what they are doing want nothing to do with Chargers ownership. Jimmy Johnson and many other big name football people have turned down the Spanos family money to steer clear of a franchise located in one of the best and most beautiful cities in the country?!?! Then Manning family and others have avoided hooking up with the Chargers like the team was the plague or something.

Dean Spanos is not even a good "bluffer. Deano's business skills are just not top drawer. Dean would be best suited and smarter if he just sold the team to a billionaire worth 5-10B who has the gravitas to make the Chargers successful in either San Diego, LA or someplace else.


Visduh Dec. 13, 2016 @ 7:59 a.m.

I"d been expecting to see the team sold once that proposal to move north was stymied. Why the Spanos gang keeps it isn't totally clear, but now it appears as if nobody wants it, and that the franchise is worth less--as set by the market, not the Forbes estimate--than has been long reported. Deano is a dumbo when it comes to getting what he wants. He can keep this soap opera alive for years or decades, but it now appears that he just can't get a new stadium here no matter what he does.

Wouldn't it be refreshing, at least for a time, if the owner of the team was named something other than Spanos?


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 9:42 a.m.

Visduh: Yes. If San Diego would be so stupid as to give the team a 99-year lease, it would probably guarantee itself almost a century of lousy football.

Consider the present: Dean Spanos is rightfully an object of contempt in San Diego. So he appoints his son A.G. as president of business and John as president of football operations. Unless those positions are just sinecures, the Chargers will likely be a joke for a significant portion of those 99 years. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:10 a.m.

I usually look at these things assuming that billionaires (or at least 100 millionaires) aren't stupid.

But at this point I'm really starting to think that the Spanos family might actually be stupid. These recent moves just don't seem to make any sense - whether I assume all they care about is money or even if I assume there is a real desire for Spanos to stay in SD. Why spend $10M and put everything in limbo for months working on a ballot measure which had zero chance of getting the required 2/3 vote?

It seems to me after Kronke won the battle for LA the Spanos family should have either 1) worked out a deal with Kronke to move to LA, 2) worked out a deal with Faulconer for a taxpayer funded stadium that didn't require a 2/3 vote, or 3) sold the team. Wasting a lot of time and money on a ballot measure just to gauge public sentiment or stall doesn't make much sense to me from a business perspective.


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:39 a.m.

ImJustABill: To address each:1. Kroenke didn't want the Spanos family right after the owners voted. But he was told to take them if they couldn't get anything in San Diego. Whatever Kroenke offered the Chargers was a bad deal; 2. Too many people will oppose a taxpayer-funded stadium. I don't know how the Chargers could get one without a two-thirds vote unless the state Supreme Court changes the rules. That's a remote hope; 3. Yes, the Spanos family should sell the team. Best, Don Bauder


SportsFan0000 Dec. 13, 2016 @ 10:25 p.m.

The Brains in the Spanos family was the founder and Patriarch Alex Spanos. Alex made the money and built the family business empire from scratch. Unfortunately, Alex is in his declining years and reportedly suffering from dementia. As in many families with a superstar, successful founder, the kids and grandkids just do not seem to have the same talent, motivation and "street smarts" as the founding generation.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:32 p.m.

SportsFan0000: Alex Spanos is in the late stages of Alzheimer's -- the family has confirmed that. I don't think Alex was any genius but he definitely was sharper than Dean and his two sons. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:31 a.m.

SportsFan0000: The Chargers have generaliy had bad management, but the current bunch is probably the worst of all. Of course the Spanos family should sell the team to a big billionaire -- one worth 5 to 12 billion bucks. That buyer could build a stadium in San Diego with his own money, or move the team to LA. Kroenke might welcome such a moneybags, although I am sure Kroenke is queasy about having two losers to start out in 2019 when the new stadium is completed. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 7:52 a.m.

SportsFan0000: I have just learned that four council members have suggested giving the Chargers a 99 year lease for $1 on valuable land in Mission Valley. This would, presumably, be used to as a starting point to work a deal in which the Chargers would be subsidized with tax money for a stadium. This is utterly insane. First, you don't start negotiations by giving the store away. Second, the Chargers were soundly defeated in the convadium vote. They insulted San Diego and then expected the city to salaam at their feet.

These four council members are Sherman, Zapf, Cate and new council president Cole. San Diegans should plan to oust all of them ASAP. I will have more on this. Best, Don Bauder


SportsFan0000 Dec. 13, 2016 @ 7:55 a.m.

4 Council Members who have completely lost their minds?! Are the "on the take"?!?!


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:41 a.m.

SportsFan000: This may well be a blueprint for a land grab, with those council members having their sticky fingers in any deal. We'll see. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 13, 2016 @ 10:37 a.m.

Don: $1 per year? The city is making progress, since the Chargers aren't paying ANY rent now. I'm sure the usual suspects are readying the lawsuits, or even recall petitions. And they should be.


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:45 a.m.

aardvark: Yes, definitely, get out the recall petitions if this goes further. Best, Don Bauder


SportsFan0000 Dec. 13, 2016 @ 10:31 p.m.

San Diego has some of the worst government deal negotiators that I have seen anywhere.. From the Golding Fiasco giving away the Jack Murphy naming rights to Qualcomm for peanuts (18M total for 20-30 years when the going rate is 18-20M PER YEAR) the Chargers ticket guarantee, to the Petco Park corporate welfare give away....SD is a billionaire's dream score. The Spanos family got in on the tail end of the corporate welfare schemes in SD after so many ruinous deals.


aardvark Dec. 14, 2016 @ 9:23 a.m.

I believe back when Qualcomm Stadium was named, the city only needed $18 million to cover what was needed to pay for the last expansion (even though Bruce Henderson has always claimed it was much more than that), so that's what Susan Golding asked for. Yes, the naming rights were low-balled, but no one back then was getting 18M-20M per year back when the Q was named. I also think it's doubtful any new stadium here would ever get that much in sponsorship money per year.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:39 p.m.

aardvark: The San Diego establishment came up short in rounding up money. Qualcomm, the corporation, came in and filled the gap with only $18 million in exchange for naming rights -- a steal. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 9:53 a.m.

SportsFan0000: It appears to be a land grab. The council members could well be in on the juice if it is a land grab. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:12 a.m.

It will be interesting to follow the money. Who's going to profit and how do they kick back some of that profit to the elected officials supporting this?


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:36 p.m.

ImJustABill: Lorie Zapf's husband, Eric Zapf, is a cog in a real estate company. In 2014 he was found liable for professional negligence in a real estate deal. See my column of October 9, 2014. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 13, 2016 @ 1:32 p.m.

its the money we can't follow that counts


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 4:47 p.m.

Murphyjunk: There are $20 trillion stashed overseas by one estimate. Some countries want to do something about it. The United States was reluctant to join in under G.W. Bush, but is now supposedly fighting the stashers. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 13, 2016 @ 11:14 a.m.

I still think the NFL wants the Chargers in SD not LA. Frankly, I still think the NFL never wanted ANY team in LA but Kroenke forced their hand. LA is more valuable to the NFL as a leverage play to extort tax dollars than LA is as a place to host football games.


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:39 p.m.

ImJustABill: I think LA is too large and rich a market to be a leverage ploy. I think the NFL really wants one and perhaps two teams in LA.

A smaller market usually works as a leverage ploy. Tampa Bay was such an area before it got a baseball and football team. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:42 p.m.

Freddy Zuru: What does FB represent in this context? I went down a long list of that acronym and the only one that seemed to apply was Fat Bastard. If that's it, are you talking about me? Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:43 p.m.

Mark Wooton: I thought I would have a break from this topic but it now appears it is going to drag on even longer. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:45 p.m.

Jax Donald: That's what a lot of people say: LA doesn't want Chargers, having gotten rid of them once. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:46 p.m.

Jax Donald: The Raiders didn't sell out the Coliseum when it played there back in the early 1990s. But they might sell out a smaller stadium. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 14, 2016 @ 9:25 a.m.

Don: In some of Mark Davis's comments regarding a new stadium in Oakland, he said all he really wanted up there was something that would seat at least 55,000. He wasn't interested in having a Super Bowl in his new stadium--he just wanted a new stadium.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:44 p.m.

aardvark: He wanted a new stadium for the same reason Dean Spanos does: the value of the franchise automatically soars when a team wangles a new stadium. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 14, 2016 @ 1:01 p.m.

Of course, Davis could just be tired of sewage backing up into the locker rooms. Guess he needs a new stadium to go along with new sewage pumps.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 8:31 p.m.

aardvark: If he is anything like his late father, the sewage will only back up into the visiting team's locker room. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 12:48 p.m.

Mike Murphy: If the Chargers can spend $5 million on a doomed campaign for corporate welfare (subsidized stadium), they should be able to chip in a bundle more to renovate the Q. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 13, 2016 @ 1:34 p.m.

they don't want to set a precedent and upset the other greedbags in the nfl


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 4:51 p.m.

Murphyjunk: This is true, and important. The NFL owner who builds a stadium with his or her own money will be an outcast among his fellow billionaires. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:47 p.m.

aardvark: Good riposte. Kroenke is the exception that makes the rule. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 8:34 p.m.

aardvark: They won't build with their own money in San Diego. But LA has awakened and teams there no longer expect taxpayer money. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 13, 2016 @ 4:43 p.m.

How much is the land worth? It's 166 acres - is that right? Anyone know?


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 8:38 p.m.

ImJustABill: It's 166 acres and worth at least $8 million an acre. So over 100 years the city would be giving out a helluva lot of money in handing the land to Dean Spanos & Sons. Now THAT is corporate welfare on steroids! Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 15, 2016 @ 7:32 a.m.

the way things work here, the land grab may have been the long range plan, and all the other gyrations were ( are) just a smokescreen


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 1:36 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Yes, such a Machiavellian stunt is possible. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 4:55 p.m.

ImJustABill: Any estimate of the value of that acreage would probably now be out of date. Yes, it is 166 acres. Best, Don Bauder


JustWondering Dec. 15, 2016 @ 7:32 a.m.

166 acres, some tainted with petroleum pollution problems, others used partially by the trolley and some already designated as SD river restoration habitat.


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 1:38 p.m.

JustWondering: You are correct. There has been headway on the plume but it still could be a problem. There are other factors, as you mention. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 4:59 p.m.

Kenneth Gardner: Shuttle bus? To stash the bags of money until they are shipped surreptitiously to the Cayman Islands? Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Dec. 13, 2016 @ 7:23 p.m.

Last Most Underestimated Valued City Land, Countrywide. Sickening Grubbers ReLocated.


Don Bauder Dec. 13, 2016 @ 8:19 p.m.

shirleyberan: Yes, it is very valuable land. But does Mission Valley need more development? Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Dec. 14, 2016 @ 7:08 a.m.

Yes it needs a cleanup but not a cleanout. I think his name was M Moores downtown.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:50 p.m.

shirleyberan: You must be talking about John Moores. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Dec. 14, 2016 @ 10:44 a.m.

Last night a story titled "Dean Spanos 'infuriated' by $1 annual rent proposal" as released by NBC Sports. “If the goal was to infuriate the single remaining decision-maker in this process, mission accomplished,” the source said.

"While that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to keep the team in town, a different proposal will be required, quickly. By all appearances, this one has only made things worse."


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:56 p.m.

Ponzi: Typical Dean Spanos. Four misguided council people propose a land giveaway with Spanos the recipient. Then, it appears that an aide to Spanos leak that he was "infuriated" by the suggested giveaway.

San Diego can offer me 166 prime acres basically free; I promise not to be infuriated.

If this is true, chalk up another blunder to Dean Spanos, whose middle name should be Blunder. Dean Blunder Spanos. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 14, 2016 @ 12:57 p.m.

Sure Spanos is pissed, since he will look that the bad guy in all of this. Which he is anyway.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 8:42 p.m.

aardvark: Dean Spanos is the bad guy, yes, but he has an alibi: he is also the intelligence-challenged guy. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 14, 2016 @ 1:22 p.m.

If the city wanted to give me land worth hundreds of millions of dollars (or at least tens of millions) I don't think "infuriated" would be how I would feel.


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 8:46 p.m.

ImJustABill: Of course. You would be delighted. But then, you are not Dean Spanos, and you must thank your lucky stars that you aren't.

If the Chargers remain in San Diego, and Dean Spanos and his sons remain the top honchos, just think of the justified abuse they will take. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 1:01 p.m.

Lee Baldwin: What I meant to convey is that the Rams have not captivated the LA market yet. Once there is a new stadium, attendance should do well. (Kroenke won't build a stadium that seats more than 90,000. So it may fill up, especially in early years when the novelty effect takes hold.)

On the other hand, the poor to so-so TV ratings suggest Kroenke has some more marketing to do. And he needs a winning team. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 15, 2016 @ 8:54 a.m.

Kroenke has to put a better team on the field. LA has had a much, much higher number of championship caliber pro or D1 college teams over the years. Any given year there are at least a couple of teams in LA who are serious title contenders - this year it's the Clippers and UCLA basketball. The Lakers, Dodgers, UCLA and USC all have loyal fan bases and have had all historically had many championship seasons in LA. LA's championship history is completely different from that of San Diego. LA teams have won dozens of major championships over the last 50 years - SD teams have won zilch. The Rams will have some fans ready to embrace them if they don't win - but not many. The Chargers will have ZERO loyal fans in LA unless they have a really good team.


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 1:46 p.m.

ImJustABill: I wouldn't say the Chargers will have zero loyal fans in LA, but they would have few. But it's getting that way in San Diego, too. Look at the dismal attendance figures for the Chargers this year. A few years of winning teams could make that problem disappear, but how sure is that? Best,Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 15, 2016 @ 4:48 p.m.

If the Chargers made some commitment to stay in SD they would have a LOT of fans here in SD. Falcouner and Roberts offered a generous public funding package (350M) for a new Mission Valley stadium which wouldn't have involved new taxes and would probably have been approved by voters. The Chargers insisted on a HUGE 1.15B public subsidy and insisted on downtown instead of Mission Valley.


aardvark Dec. 15, 2016 @ 8:05 p.m.

And the Chargers also insisted on a convadium-thingy--an unneeded structure, which was the perfect thing to hide stadium costs in.


Don Bauder Dec. 16, 2016 @ 10:32 a.m.

aardvark: The proposed convadium wasn't just unneeded. It would have been idiotic. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 9:13 p.m.

ImJustABill: The Padres have proved that a downtown location can be a disadvantage. Traffic is bad, among many other things. Parking would have been hell in the location the Chargers chose. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 16, 2016 @ 11:10 a.m.

Don: I have always thought (and still think) that a sports facility had to be downtown, the best kind would be an arena. Preferably, right where Petco Park is now.

I also think the Padres should have stayed in Mission Valley, and built their stadium on the land that is now occupied by Lowe's, Costco and IKEA. That land was available at the time the Padres and city were deciding where to build what became Petco Park.

But then again, that's just me, and it's a little late now anyway.


Don Bauder Dec. 16, 2016 @ 9:12 p.m.

aardvark: There were tax advantages downtown that the Padres grabbed. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 16, 2016 @ 9:52 p.m.

But IIRC, Susan Golding really had to sweet talk them into going to the East Village.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 11:49 a.m.

aardvark: There was some controversy over the East Village location, but it had tax advantages. Throughout the process, it was more a case of Moores and Lucchino sweet-talking Golding (and Karin Winner of the U-T) than the other way around. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:11 p.m.

Don: I have a source who said otherwise. Maybe that was just part of the controversy. But--weren't you still at the U-T when the selection of the East Village location was going on? You would know better than I, and I defer to your connections.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 8:15 p.m.

aardvark: Oh yes, I was opposing the rehab of the (then) Jack Murphy Stadium in the mid-1990s while I was a columnist for the U-T. Major reason: I knew it would lead to a new, subsidized ballpark for Moores and his Padres. And I knew the Chargers would soon ask for a new stadium -- and also try to get to LA, despite Alex Spanos's promises. They wanted to be able to choose between LA and San Diego. Now, supposedly, two decades later, they can make such a choice, they tell us.

The Chargers' attempts to get to LA really began with the contract with the City in the mid-1990s. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 16, 2016 @ 9:09 p.m.

ImJustABill: But the Chargers won't make a commitment without a bundle of taxpayer money (or potential taxpayer money). Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 15, 2016 @ 8:10 p.m.

The capacity is listed at around 80,000. But...I saw an article today that stated the FAA will not issue permits--at least not at this time--to allow cranes to be used at the site in Inglewood. For those that don't know, the Rams new stadium is directly under the flight path into LAX.


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 9:15 p.m.

aardvark: I know Inglewood is close to LAX, but I am not aware of the FAA action. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark Dec. 15, 2016 @ 9:46 p.m.

An article from NBC Sports PFT, dated December 12th, goes into a bit of detail on the subject. (Sorry--don't know how to post the actual link to the story. Still very computer illiterate.)


Don Bauder Dec. 16, 2016 @ 10:34 a.m.

aardvark: Interested people should be able to find that article. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 1:03 p.m.

Rich Gibson: There is no doubt that many San Diegans are repulsed by the antics of both the Chargers and of local politicians. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 14, 2016 @ 1:07 p.m.

Nikoll Volkoff: Yes, the Chargers are rolling in dough at the Q, where they pay no rent. (Hopefully that will end if there is a new contract in 2020.)

Everybody worries about players getting concussed. But perhaps the explanation for the Chargers' stumbling is that management has been concussed -- maybe in a fall from a bar stool.. Best, Don Bauder


SportsFan0000 Dec. 14, 2016 @ 9:31 p.m.

Just today, I read a National Sports story regarding the NFL Commish, the NFL, Raiders and Chargers. Commish stated that owners had a 6 hour plus meeting about Chargers, Raiders and related issues. Commish stated that owners voted to approve Chargers lease in new Rams stadium in Inglewood. Chargers have option of playing in Inglewood when the Stadium in completed However, NFL does not want any more team movement if it can help it. NFL says they are committed to trying to make it work in Oakland and SD. However, NFL is saying that the current deals on the table are not viable. Alameda County and City of Oakland have a 1.2B Stadium offer sheet on the table. Raiders owner and NFL are not satisfied and think it is too close to previously rejected deals. NFL discussed the failed ballot initiative in SD and what to do. Suggestion: How about a completely NFL financed stadium in SD that leaves the taxpayers off the hook?! SD City Council offer of 166 acre Qualcomm site to the Spanos family is illegal and not doable. City does not own much of that land. Even if it did, it is a crazy idea to give the Chargers 400-800M in "free land".?!?! As a result, the remedies aimed at addressing the legal flaws and dealing with the city’s quest for a new stadium could be complex and costly. It all starts with the little-known fact that nearly half oft he 166-acre site -- and most of the land under the stadium itself -- is owned by the city of San Diego's Water Utilities Department. The City Water Utilities Department owns it. It cannot just be given away without triggering major lawsuits and problems. Source:


ImJustABill Dec. 14, 2016 @ 9:58 p.m.

Goodell was saying that the NFL wants to avoid teams moving "at all costs" but then on the other hand implies that if a city doesn't pay several hundred million towards a stadium then the team will obviously move.


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 2:49 p.m.

ImJustABill: It just sickens me that NFL officials and owners believe that the owner of a team has a God-given right to a massive subsidy in the building of a stadium. One after another, owners will say that San Diego has to come forward with its financing plan -- how much it will commit to the Chargers.

Such conceit. Very possibly, the stadium subsidy game is over in California. The owners aren't smart enough to see that happening. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 15, 2016 @ 5:08 p.m.

The tone of the rhetoric from Goodell makes it sound EXACTLY like they believe they have a God-given right to a big subsidy.

It sounds like their thought process is "Well, the Raiders and Chargers have worked really, really hard to get stadiums in their cities but the cities haven't come through. So even though the NFL really, really wants the Raiders and Chargers to stay put the owners just might not have a choice. You don't really expect the owners to pay for the stadia by themselves, do you?"

The NFL owners - and many fans - seem to view a huge public subsidy for a stadium as completely normal and expected. The tide needs to be reversed.


Don Bauder Dec. 16, 2016 @ 6:58 a.m.

ImJustABill: Stadium subsidies are O-U-T in LA. San Francisco balked for years to the 49ers and Giants. (The 49ers stadium in Santa Clara was built greatly with personal seat licenses, and the Giants got help with infrastructure.) Oakland, which is broke, is resisting the Raiders' blandishments. Hooray for California -- possibly thwarting a scam. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 9:19 p.m.

ImJustABill: The NFL is better at double-talk than some politicians. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 2:46 p.m.

SportsFan0000: There is no doubt that the proposed giveaway will have legal problems, but just as importantly, will have political problems. As others have said on this blog, lawsuits would be filed as soon as the council agrees to such an insane move.

The Chargers have a dilemma: they are not a draw -- and are thoroughly disliked -- in San Diego. This is clear from the statistic that they are only filling 78 percent of seats. But they very possibly would not be a draw in LA either.

Dean Spanos has a tough decision. He doesn't have the wherewithal to make that decision. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 9:18 p.m.

SportsFan0000: The Chargers should get no subsidy money. That's not just taxes. It includes fees on rent-a-cars, etc. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Dec. 15, 2016 @ 6:42 a.m.

And four idiot city council people want to give the dischargers a 99 year leas on the Q for $1 a year. Talk about political sleaze. They should be recalled for trying to bilk the taxpayers.


Don Bauder Dec. 15, 2016 @ 2:52 p.m.

AlexClarke: If this nitwit proposal goes forward, you can bet there will be a campaign to recall all four of them….and to find out if they plan to have a financial stake in development related to the stadium. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 18, 2016 @ 9:05 a.m.

Don, I have to disagree with you on your assertion that the Chargers are thoroughly disliked in San Diego. There's still a big fan base in the population, folks who expect the city and county to "do whatever it takes" to satisfy the Spanos gang and keep the team in town. I am inclined to agree that many voters who once were neutral or indifferent to the team now have had enough of the posturing by Deano, and do dislike the team. But it seems obvious that the Mare and a goodly number of city council men/women still regard anything that might urge the team to leave as the third rail of local politics. Very few voters will get really happy if the team leaves, and the fan base will be outraged. So, for them, and if they are reading the electorate correctly, they have little to gain and much to lose if the Chargers decamp.

A recall campaign would have little chance of succeeding. Too many of the voters in the city are brain dead, and would not see that outrageous giveaway as anything to get upset about. After all, the stadium has been sitting there for all or most of their lives, and a new facility would be nice. After being lied to about the cost to them, which would be alleged to be nothing, there would be little outrage.


ImJustABill Dec. 19, 2016 @ 7:46 a.m.

Thank you Visduh - I was meaning to post something like this but long hours at work and XMAS shopping keeps getting in the way.

For the record, I strongly agree with Visduh on this and strongly disagree with Don. Visduh's observations are clearly accurate.

The Chargers are without question widely loved in San Diego. That doesn't mean every single person in San Diego is a Charger fan - many people don't follow football. It doesn't mean that Charger fans are willing to outbid Raider fans for $300 tickets during a losing season. And it doesn't mean 2/3 of the voters are willing to support taxpayer funding of a stadium.

But you do see a ton of people in Charger attire on Sunday. You see traffic on freeway and in local stores drop off on Sunday during a big game. You hear a lot of people at work during the week wondering about the Chargers. Random people you meet in San Diego who start up small talk will talk to you about the Chargers.

In contrast NOBODY in LA cares about the Chargers. In time this will change but there is a HUGE difference between the Charger fan base in SD vs the Charger fan base in LA.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:04 p.m.

ImJustABill: Again, as I did with Visduh, I cite Sunday's game-- Raider fans outnumbered Chargers fans by perhaps 3 to1. The Chargers have had a so-so record in their 55 years in San Diego. Dean Spanos and earlier his father Alex Spanos insulted San Diegans many times. Sure, there is a fan base in San Diego, and there is a population large enough (3.3 million in the county) to support a team.

But for a metro area this large, the fan base is now small. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 19, 2016 @ 2:51 p.m.

The fan base is not small. The fan base is angry at the ownership and disappointed by the on-field performance.

Even with a bad team I'm sure there would be a lot more fan support if the team wasn't headed out of town.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 8:24 p.m.

ImJustABill: If you look at Chargers attendance through the years you will have questions about how big the fan base really is in a metro area of 3.3 million people and endless other things to do than go to football games. I remember going through this at the time of the 60,000 seat guarantee, although that was a long time ago.

I guess the definitional question is whether when members of the so-called fan base get angry, are they still reliably in the fan base? Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 20, 2016 @ 6:13 p.m.

Earlier this year, Cleveland Browns tickets were selling for as low as $1.

By your definition the Browns have a lousy fan base.


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2016 @ 10:34 a.m.

ImJustABill: Wow! Fifty years ago, we moved to Cleveland and stayed there seven years. At that time, there were two religions in Cleveland: the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Orchestra (then considered the best orchestra in the U.S.)

The Cleveland Orchestra (still one of the best) several years ago began playing part of its seasons in southern Florida. Attendance in Cleveland is disappointing. But from what I was reading, the Browns fans remained hyper-loyal fanatics. Apparently, years of horrible performance finally turned off the worshippers. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel Dec. 21, 2016 @ 9:57 p.m.

don bauder, If my grandfather was alive, he would tell you that 50 years ago, the two religions in Cleveland were the Indians and steel.


danfogel Dec. 21, 2016 @ 10:13 p.m.

don bauder, To your point, I believe that the metro area of your local team, the Broncos, is slightly smaller than than the San Diego metro area. And yet, the last time the Broncos didn't sell out a game was in 1969! And again to your point, last year the Chargers drew to about a 95 percent capacity, if I remember correctly, while going only 4-12, a record they have already bettered this year, Maybe the fan base isn't angry, but rather apathetic. That's what most of my friends who still live in San Diego say about them.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 11:57 a.m.

Visduh: If the Chargers have a big fan base in San Diego, it sure wasn't evident yesterday (December 18). Everyone agrees the Raiders had far more of their fans in attendance than San Diego fans. Estimates range from about 65 percent Raider fans to 80 percent. Chargers complained they were playing, in effect, an away game at Qualcomm. The Chargers quarterback had to use hand signals because of the loud yelling by Raider fans. Best, Don Bauder


SportsFan0000 Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:42 a.m.

Don many of these voter are low information voters who seem to consistently vote against their own we can see from the recent election results...I was pleasantly surprised that SD Voters rejected the convadium boondoggle. Spanos and Chargers have stated they don't want to go back to the Mission Valley Stadium...unless there are new developments that I am not aware of. Presently, I don't see a clear pathway for the Chargers to get a new stadium in San Diego. The 49ers lost numerous ballot initiatives before they gave up on that avenue and went to Santa Clara.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:12 p.m.

SportsFan0000: California often leads the nation in trends (politically, in the fashion and entertainment businesses, etc.) Los Angeles is not giving away public money for billionaires' stadiums. You are right: San Francisco turned down both the Giants and 49ers several times before the Giants built their own stadium (although the government helped on infrastructure) and the 49ers went to Santa Clara. Oakland seems to be holding firm, although current hysteria over a winning team could break down resistance. However, Oakland is insolvent. San Diego thus far has held firm; it desperately needs the funds for important matters such as infrastructure.

I think California is leading the way, and that is great. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 19, 2016 @ 7:52 a.m.

A recall petition for the 4 councilmembers would have zero chance of succeeding. Keep in mind most of us posting on this blog have a hard-line "not a dime of public funding for stadia" position on these issues. In my opinion "not a dime of public funding" is the only economically and morally correct position to take - but for some reason that view is considered extreme and other people have a much different opinion. The councilmembers, Mayor Falcouner, Ron Roberts, have had a moderate stance on the issue. They are willing to lend some support to some public funding for a stadium but are not willing to blinding write blank checks for anything the NFL asks for.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:17 p.m.

ImJustABill: No politician wants to be in office when a pro team leaves. That maxim explains Faulconer's alleged flirting with the Chargers. Ditto Roberts. The low-information, rabid pro sports voting bloc tends to be a swing vote. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 19, 2016 @ 10:03 a.m.

There are rumors that the Chargers will rebrand after a move to LA

In my opinion, rebranding and leaving the "Charger" name with San Diego would be a good idea for the LA team to do. It would help them start building a new fanbase more quickly than if they continue to use a name that is widely perceived to not belong in LA. Also, it would be respectful for the Spanos family and NFL towards San Diego residents and San Diego Charger fans to leave the name "Chargers" with San Diego.

A rebrand would not be unprecedented; the NFL's Oilers and Browns rebranded upon their moves to Tennessee and Baltimore.


aardvark Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:17 p.m.

Except that would be selling the LA fans short--they aren't stupid. Plus, they have way too many other teams (many of them good) in the LA/OC area to worry about watching, than the team that may be formerly known as the San Diego Chargers.


ImJustABill Dec. 19, 2016 @ 2:54 p.m.

A re-branding would be a favor to the LA fans as well as SD Charger fans. I think a new LA team would develop an LA fanbase much more quickly than the Chargers would. If the new LA team performs reasonably well on the field I think they could have a decent sized fan base in LA in 5-10 years. The LA Chargers will be to the Rams what the Clippers were for many years to the Lakers - a far distant second choice for LA fans.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:25 p.m.

ImJustABill: Rebranding would be a good idea, especially if the Chargersare are not held in high esteem in LA, as I have been reading over and over.

The Browns had such an iconic name in Cleveland that Modell would have been unwise to take it with him, especially since the move was so unpopular. The Rams kept their name upon moving to St. Louis, and upon moving back to LA. That was smart; the Rams had played in LA many years.

If the Chargers move, Dean Spanos should give them a new name: the Los Angeles Mendicants (Unsuccessful in San Diego.) That will pack 'em in. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 19, 2016 @ 8:34 p.m.

Since these team mascot names are so critical, how about Deano just coming out and calling his team "The Studs?" "The 'LA Studs' today won a huge victory over the hapless 'Weenie Raiders'". Wouldn't that put the Spanos team in a new role and position?


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2016 @ 10:41 a.m.

Visduh: I fear "The Studs" wouldn't work. How many people in LA can remember snow tires that had studs in them? Does it ever snow in LA? Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:29 p.m.

aardvark: Yes, there are LA teams. both college and pro, that are consistent winners -- UCLA, USC, Dodgers, Lakers, Angels. That is going to be a tough hurdle for the Chargers in marketing. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Dec. 19, 2016 @ 6:22 p.m.

The L.A Smoggers. The L.A. Cougars The L.A. Lancers The L.A. Beggars The L.A. Unicorns The L.A. Lambs The L.A. Riots


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2016 @ 8:30 p.m.

Ponzi: I have already suggested the LA Overchargers, but I will do it again. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill Dec. 20, 2016 @ 9:45 a.m.

They should call them the MFers. In honor of Mark Fabiani of course.


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2016 @ 10:44 a.m.

ImJustABill: Now there is a brilliant suggestion. MFers should attract fans who haven't even heard of Mark Fabiani. Best, Don Bauder


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