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Chargers redeclare wish for downtown stadium

Couple it with convention center, says team lawyer (again)

Artist's rendering of proposed downtown Chargers stadium
Artist's rendering of proposed downtown Chargers stadium

Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani sent out an email this afternoon (February 23), stating that the Chargers are shooting for a combined stadium/convention center downtown. No surprise.

Mark Fabiani

As the team was trying to get to Los Angeles — an effort that failed — Fabiani stated that a Mission Valley stadium, as pushed by a mayoral task force, would not do. After the team returned from its L.A. quest empty-handed, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said he might consider Mission Valley, although he preferred downtown.

Fabiani's statement says that such a facility would "generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year" and would be a permanent home for Comic-Con.

Heywood Sanders

I reached the ranking expert in convention centers, Heywood Sanders, a professor at the University of Texas San Antonio; and the top economist on subsidized stadiums, Roger Noll, a retired Stanford professor. Both said such a combined stadium/center would not work.

"A world-class convention center has almost no relationship to a football stadium," says Noll. "This is like log-rolling in politics. It's a large-scale program with almost everybody getting something."

Fabiani's claim that such a facility will add to the economy is silly, says Noll. Mendicants seeking taxpayer money for stadiums always say that, but it doesn't happen, except in cases when the city gives away a lot of land to the developer, such as what happened with the Padres stadium downtown.

(Former Padres owner John Moores raked in $700 million to $1 billion after he got ballpark land for early-1990s prices; that was in addition to the $300 million ballpark subsidy.)

The proposed Chargers project "will add very little to financial performance," says Noll. "Anything that increases seating capacity above 25,000 is only useful for sports, not anything else."

Sanders points out that the dome in which the St. Louis Rams played doubled as a convention center. But with the Rams going to Los Angeles, the domed stadium will probably be demolished because it wouldn't work as a stand-alone center. St. Louis is considering a new center, despite the national glut of convention-center space that has led to centers slashing prices by 50 percent.

Like Noll, Sanders believes the claim that a center will be combined with a stadium is strictly political.

"It is more a political ploy than a substantive effort to bolster the city's convention business," says Sanders. San Diegans "may not be thrilled about donating public dollars to a team that wanted to spurn them. The convention center piece makes it look more salable to the public. They say it will bring conventions and will be a savior to Comic-Con. It's not clear it will save Comic-Con" because the large, western coastal centers are in the process of expanding and could woo Comic-Con.

Sanders says that convention-center space is "not particularly useful" on the floor of a large stadium — "There is not much convention space."

Also, if the combined stadium/convention center would be several blocks from the current center, it would not work. Conventioneers don't even like to cross the street to an expanded center.

Fabiani says the Chargers see the Mission Valley locale being used for educational purposes — say, by San Diego State or the University of California San Diego; that idea is not new, either.

Fabiani statement

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

February 23, 2016

We have spent the last month evaluating the leading San Diego stadium sites and financing proposals. During that time, led by Chargers Special Advisor Fred Maas, we have engaged in regular discussions with Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts, City Attorney Goldsmith, and City and County negotiators. And we have carefully evaluated the arguments made by the Mayor and others regarding the merits of the Mission Valley site. We agree that, in many respects, the arguments for Mission Valley are compelling.

Fred Maas
Kevin Faulconer
Ron Roberts
Jan Goldsmith

At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility downtown. The multi-use facility, when combined with Petco Park, the existing Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and a revitalized East Village, would create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district that will host Super Bowls and will ideally be a permanent home for Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum. All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host. The downtown multi-use facility would also free up the existing Mission Valley site for potential use by educational institutions such as San Diego State and UCSD, as well as for a large riverfront park.

For these reasons, the Chargers will begin collaborating immediately with the existing diverse citizens’ coalition led by Donna Frye and JMI Realty that has already been formed in favor of a downtown convention center expansion and educational and recreational uses in Mission Valley. Our goal is to win voter approval in November 2016 for a downtown multi-use stadium/convention center facility and to facilitate the best possible community uses for the existing Mission Valley site. We will deliver regular reports to our fans and to the community about the progress we are making.

We believe that a downtown multi-use facility will attract broad support from throughout our entire community. And we hope that, as our downtown proposal is developed and as the campaign for passage begins, those who have supported the Mission Valley site will keep an open mind and consider supporting what we believe is the best way to secure a permanent home for the Chargers in San Diego.

We are very grateful for all of the hard work that Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts and City Attorney Goldsmith have done on behalf of the City and County over the past few weeks and look forward to maintaining a dialogue as our plans move forward.

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Artist's rendering of proposed downtown Chargers stadium
Artist's rendering of proposed downtown Chargers stadium

Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani sent out an email this afternoon (February 23), stating that the Chargers are shooting for a combined stadium/convention center downtown. No surprise.

Mark Fabiani

As the team was trying to get to Los Angeles — an effort that failed — Fabiani stated that a Mission Valley stadium, as pushed by a mayoral task force, would not do. After the team returned from its L.A. quest empty-handed, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said he might consider Mission Valley, although he preferred downtown.

Fabiani's statement says that such a facility would "generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year" and would be a permanent home for Comic-Con.

Heywood Sanders

I reached the ranking expert in convention centers, Heywood Sanders, a professor at the University of Texas San Antonio; and the top economist on subsidized stadiums, Roger Noll, a retired Stanford professor. Both said such a combined stadium/center would not work.

"A world-class convention center has almost no relationship to a football stadium," says Noll. "This is like log-rolling in politics. It's a large-scale program with almost everybody getting something."

Fabiani's claim that such a facility will add to the economy is silly, says Noll. Mendicants seeking taxpayer money for stadiums always say that, but it doesn't happen, except in cases when the city gives away a lot of land to the developer, such as what happened with the Padres stadium downtown.

(Former Padres owner John Moores raked in $700 million to $1 billion after he got ballpark land for early-1990s prices; that was in addition to the $300 million ballpark subsidy.)

The proposed Chargers project "will add very little to financial performance," says Noll. "Anything that increases seating capacity above 25,000 is only useful for sports, not anything else."

Sanders points out that the dome in which the St. Louis Rams played doubled as a convention center. But with the Rams going to Los Angeles, the domed stadium will probably be demolished because it wouldn't work as a stand-alone center. St. Louis is considering a new center, despite the national glut of convention-center space that has led to centers slashing prices by 50 percent.

Like Noll, Sanders believes the claim that a center will be combined with a stadium is strictly political.

"It is more a political ploy than a substantive effort to bolster the city's convention business," says Sanders. San Diegans "may not be thrilled about donating public dollars to a team that wanted to spurn them. The convention center piece makes it look more salable to the public. They say it will bring conventions and will be a savior to Comic-Con. It's not clear it will save Comic-Con" because the large, western coastal centers are in the process of expanding and could woo Comic-Con.

Sanders says that convention-center space is "not particularly useful" on the floor of a large stadium — "There is not much convention space."

Also, if the combined stadium/convention center would be several blocks from the current center, it would not work. Conventioneers don't even like to cross the street to an expanded center.

Fabiani says the Chargers see the Mission Valley locale being used for educational purposes — say, by San Diego State or the University of California San Diego; that idea is not new, either.

Fabiani statement

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

February 23, 2016

We have spent the last month evaluating the leading San Diego stadium sites and financing proposals. During that time, led by Chargers Special Advisor Fred Maas, we have engaged in regular discussions with Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts, City Attorney Goldsmith, and City and County negotiators. And we have carefully evaluated the arguments made by the Mayor and others regarding the merits of the Mission Valley site. We agree that, in many respects, the arguments for Mission Valley are compelling.

Fred Maas
Kevin Faulconer
Ron Roberts
Jan Goldsmith

At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility downtown. The multi-use facility, when combined with Petco Park, the existing Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and a revitalized East Village, would create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district that will host Super Bowls and will ideally be a permanent home for Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum. All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host. The downtown multi-use facility would also free up the existing Mission Valley site for potential use by educational institutions such as San Diego State and UCSD, as well as for a large riverfront park.

For these reasons, the Chargers will begin collaborating immediately with the existing diverse citizens’ coalition led by Donna Frye and JMI Realty that has already been formed in favor of a downtown convention center expansion and educational and recreational uses in Mission Valley. Our goal is to win voter approval in November 2016 for a downtown multi-use stadium/convention center facility and to facilitate the best possible community uses for the existing Mission Valley site. We will deliver regular reports to our fans and to the community about the progress we are making.

We believe that a downtown multi-use facility will attract broad support from throughout our entire community. And we hope that, as our downtown proposal is developed and as the campaign for passage begins, those who have supported the Mission Valley site will keep an open mind and consider supporting what we believe is the best way to secure a permanent home for the Chargers in San Diego.

We are very grateful for all of the hard work that Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts and City Attorney Goldsmith have done on behalf of the City and County over the past few weeks and look forward to maintaining a dialogue as our plans move forward.

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Comments
124

Hold on to your wallets boys and girls!!

Feb. 23, 2016

ImJustABill: It's not clear this can be pulled off. We have to get a look at financing possibilities. This is typical of San Diego. A big project is announced but the financing is a mystery. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 23, 2016

Love this rogues' gallery also -- two in the same day! I always get out my sharpie and draw mustaches and snaggle-teeth on the especially reprehensible Moores, Maas, Sanders and Goldsmith. With an ampersand, they could be a law firm! They certainly know how to screw an entire city.

Feb. 23, 2016

This crowd brings to mind Obi-Wan Kenobi's line in Star Wars upon entering the Mos Eisley Cantina "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

Feb. 23, 2016

ImJustABill: When you think of entering a habitat of thieves and murderers, there are two choices that are better than being cautious: 1. Running away; 2. Tossing a hand grenade into the conclave, and then running away. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 23, 2016

If one is a Jedi Knight as Obi-Wan Kenobi was then taking off an arm of a murderer with a light saber is a good option.

Feb. 24, 2016

ImJustABill: He cut off the murderer's arm with a light saber? I don't want that light shining at me. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

monaghan: Yes, Goldsmith has helped Moores and Maas screw the city. If they all form a law firm, it will be called Corporate Welfare, Inc. This will be interesting. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 23, 2016

Don: I don't see how the Briggs initiative would only need a simple majority to pass. They claim that no money is specifically set aside for any particular thing, but Cory Briggs back in October, and Donna Frye on KUSI tonight, specifically did just that. 2% of the tax increase to be used for tourism marketing, another 2% to be used for tourism related infrastructure (including but not limited to a new convention center annex), and the final 1% would go directly into the general fund. Ironic that the guy who likes to sue the city could himself be the target of numerous lawsuits regarding this initiative.

Feb. 23, 2016

aardvark: I confess I have not read the proposal by Briggs and Frye. But those who have say it is a mare's nest -- complex, unworkable. Moores is joining Briggs and Frye; there must be some moolah for him. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Ron Holbert: Spanos is not broke, but a lot of San Diegans think your advice to Spanos is sound. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 23, 2016

A search of this page turns up only one hit for Holbert--this one. ???

Feb. 24, 2016

He posted using his facebook account...

Feb. 24, 2016

STAMP OUT FACEBOOK! And all of its ilk!

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: It's a little late to stamp out Facebook. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Flapper: I don't know. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Night of the Living Dead Stadium and Convention Center?

Feb. 23, 2016

eastlaker: San Diegans who fall for a combined stadium/convention center several blocks from the existing center will almost have to be zombies. It is an unworkable idea. Do NOT listen to the tale that it would boost the economy by attracting Super Bowls, other uses, ad nauseam. That's a lie that gets repeated all over the country when corporate welfarists are planning to rob citizens' pockets. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Never underestimate the stupidity of the San Diego voter especially if that voter is a Chargers fan.

Feb. 24, 2016

AlexClarke: At least, this group of mendicants contemplates putting the proposal on the November ballot. If it were on a special ballot, the corporate welfarists would have a better chance, because there would be little competition from other measures.

In November, all kinds of things will be on the ballot, some infrastructure-related. The Chargers would be just one of several measures, including the U.S. presidency. Sanity will have a better chance in November. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Actually Comic Con officials do not like the stadium idea and prefer a contiguous convention center.

Muddying the water on a downtown convention center expansion is a public welfare scheme that only benefits Spanos, if voters are foolish enough to buy into all the false statistics and voodoo math of the spinmasters.

Feb. 23, 2016

Ponzi: It's my understanding that Comic-Con has already stated that it wants a contiguous expansion to the existing center. Yet Comic-Con's name was used in the announcement. All this is not surprising. The corporate welfare crowd will probably be saying the facility will be Comic-Con's headquarters long after Comic-Con has denounced it. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

You are correct. It's been reported on XTRA 1360 that Comic Con officials made a statement yesterday in opposition to yesterday's proposal.

Feb. 24, 2016

ImJustABill: Yes, the Union-Tribune also had the Comic-Con statement saying it wants a contiguous expansion. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

After hearing that the San Diego Chargers want to build a stadium in downtown San Diego, the organizers of Comic-Con International weren't exactly thrilled >>> http://on.nbc7.com/WgSmcvW

Feb. 24, 2016

kaytee: Soon after the Chargers claimed that their proposed stadium/convention center could be a home for Comic-Con, Comic-Con nixed the idea by coming out strongly for a contiguous expansion of the existing center. One wonders why the Chargers put Comic-Con in the statement without inquiring how it felt about a stadium/center several blocks away from the existing center. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Will this stadium nonsense never stop? After the threat to leave San Diego was rendered impotent by the NFL--yeah, yeah, I know that the Chargers COULD still arrange to move in with the Rams in Inglewood--it should have been the end to all the posturing. This all suggests that the city and county are right back to where they were a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, . . . in pointless nattering with the Chargers about a new stadium. As long as Deano wants to keep this alive, the media will respond, Kev-boy will respond, and now Ronnie R will also respond.

There will be no real progress in solving the many and nearly-intractable problems of the city of San Diego until the council and mayor make them their highest priorities. Anybody see signs that that's really happening? I sure don't.

Feb. 24, 2016

The idiots mentioned above notwithstanding and if all financing was in place it would be years, if not decades, before the property issues involved in the downtown area could be resolved. Not the least is the bus yard and all the toxic waste that may be there. LMAO

Feb. 24, 2016

AlexClarke: You are absolutely right. Just think how long it would take to move the bus yard. Other barriers are well nigh insuperable. No financing planhas been revealed. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Visduh: There is no way the Chargers can get to Inglewood unless the team is sold to a multi-billionaire. Kroenke dislikes Spanos and holds him in contempt. Spanos is a pauper compared with Kroenke.

Kroenke is building a big multi-use project. He would not want a partner who doesn't have the funds. It's faintly possible the Chargers could be a renter in Inglewood, but, again, the team would have to be owned by a multi-billionaire who could afford what Kroenke will ask. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Mark Fabiani, John Moores, Dean Spanos, Fred Maas, Kevin Faulconer, Ron Roberts and Jan Goldsmith. What could go wrong?

There was a movie in 1960 called the Seven Thieves. Starring Edward G. Robinson, Rod Steiger and Joan Collins. Maybe they can make a sequel.

Feb. 24, 2016

Maybe add Cory Briggs and call it the Eight Thieves?

Feb. 24, 2016

ImJustABill: Obviously, I am extremely suspicious knowing that John Moores, Cory Briggs, and Donna Frye are all in bed together. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Ponzi: Good idea. Does anybody have the funds for such a movie? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Ever notice how the media (e.g., KUSI-TV) incorporate corporate bias into their "news?" KUSI has spent an inordinate amount of time blatantly twisting fables about the Auga Hedionda project? Title this "Something smells rotten in Carls bad, and it ain't the lagoon."

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: KUSI-TV, in particular, slants any stadium news in favor of a subsidy to the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Yes, it's true of the Chargers/stadium issues as well.

Isn't this practice considered unethical conduct by journalists? Why aren't they called onto the carpet about it?

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: Called on to WHOSE carpet? The only thing that could hurt the station is if people stopped watching in disgust and the ratings dropped. That would hit the owners' pocketbooks. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

By their colleagues--journalists who don't stoop so low.

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: Yes, fellow journalists could -- repeat COULD -- call KUSI out for its biased coverage, but those journalists would be laughed at. During the runup to the vote on the ballpark, virtually all mainstream media, including the U-T and TV stations, slanted the news in favor of the deal. It would be hypocritical for any of these local journalists to criticize KUSI today.

Actually, most corporate welfare programs get positive coverage from the mainstream media. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

So, the profession at large prostitutes itself to power?

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: Yes, the mainstream media have been whores for the establishment for decades. Remember the U-T's mollycoddling of Pete Wilson? Remember the U-T's and local TV's slanted coverage of the ballpark? Remember the lynching of Bob Filner so the establishment could get its own prostitute in the mayoral post? The list goes on and on. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

KUSI also has its news "journalists" doing infomercials that are clearly intended to deceive the gullible into believing that they are news.

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: Plenty of gullible, poorly informed voters in San Diego County. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

I mean "news" journalists are hawking various products via "noozmercials."

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: "Noozmercials" is a good term. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

To what comparative degree are the other stations guilty of such offenses, and how should they be ranked?

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: The major TV stations, including KPBS, slanted coverage of the ballpark scam in favor of the taxpayer subsidy. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

Yes, yes, YES! KPBS. What an embarrassment to San Diego. What a bunch of incompetent clucks! "Public" TV, my precious pink patootie!

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: KPBS was especially slanted in its coverage of the Filner matter. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

could all be a snow job to make it look like they will "settle" for the mv location if the tax payers foot most of the costs.

Feb. 24, 2016

Murphyjunk: The statements indicate the team only wants downtown. The question is why. The Qualcomm site actually has a good location. Downtown is NOT a good location, as Padres attendance has shown.

This doesn't mean I favor the Mission Valley location. It fleeces the taxpayer, too, as the downtown site is certain to do. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Don: I think the Padres have done pretty well attendance-wise, considering just how crappy they have been most of the last decade.

Feb. 24, 2016

aardvark: Trouble is, the method of counting attendance has been changed, so it's not as easy to judge attendance. I do not think the Padres have done "pretty well," but it's not worth getting into a fistfight over the topic. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

Don: True--they count paid attendance, but you're right. We have gone back and forth I believe about this once before. No fighting.

Feb. 25, 2016

aardvark: Truce. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Murphyjunk: Yes, this could be a ruse by the Chargers. I thought of that when reading that the Chargers are aiming for a November election. That is the worst election for their chances to win. You may be right: they want to lose downtown, then suddenly say they will accept Mission Valley. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

They'll take what they can get. What have they got to lose?

We lose either way.

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: San Diego does not lose if the Chargers return to Qualcomm. Actually, that is the only logical and workable solution. Best, Don Baude

Feb. 26, 2016

Fred Jacobsen: You mean housewives, while hanging up their laundry, could unload cargo at the same time? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

David Crossley: There is no new drawing yet. Maas made that point at a press conference. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Don: Fair enough. Some of the other old drawings have also appeared lately

Feb. 24, 2016

aardvark: Sharp readers have noticed the old drawings. Maas at press conference said the team hasn't had time to prepare renderings. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

No new drawing they want to show. They'll avoid a new one as long as this one sells better. The reality is irrelevant.

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: Did the Chargers pass out a rendering of the old stadium, or did the media trot out the old picture? That makes a difference. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

To clarify, I was referring to SOP'S, not necessarily this particular case. Developers in general have used this technique for decades . . .

It's called "greenwash."

Feb. 26, 2016

Flapper: For years I have been denouncing a practice but didn't know it was called greenwash. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Michael Mulrenan: Yes, the Chargers were urinated upon by the NFL owners. Then the Chargers and the league cooked up a ludicrous tale that the Chargers have an option to go to Inglewood, but the Spanos family decided they love San Diego so much they will pass on a chance to have their franchise worth $1 billion to $2 billion more by going to Inglewood.

I hope no one in San Diego believes that poppycock. The question is whether there is an option for Inglewood that the Spanos clan can AFFORD. The answer is no. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Mike Murphy: Yes, this so-called deal is based on absurd falsehoods. It's worse than its predecessor deals. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Don't all of you realize that this is just part of a well-choreographed plan, and that absurd falsehoods don't matter? All that matters is the money. Watch for the flimsy-flammy propaganda blitz, including the under-valuing of cost estimates.

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: Oh yes, we know the dance is coming. San Diego has been through it before. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Flapper: All of these subsidized stadium deals -- in all sports -- are plotted from the same playbook. One of the lies that is told in every attempt to get a subsidy is that the stadium, arena, ballpark, whatever will cost much less than it winds up costing. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

If I enticed you to buy my product by intentionally bidding low in anticipation of making a killing on change orders, how much time in jail would I get and how much and what kind of damages would I have to pay?

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: Bait and switch is a crime. So is unrealistically low bidding for, say, a defense contract. However, law enforcement wouldn't dare charge anything against a pro football team owner. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

This has been going on for decades. Why do you think, for example (among an infinity of examples), streets are mismanaged and allowed to disintegrate?

Feb. 28, 2016

Flapper: Infrastructure has been ignored for decades. The infrastructure deficit could be $5 billion, depending on how you calculate it. The long-term water consequences appear frightening.

Some pipes are around 100 years old. But San Diego's leadership thinks subsidizing a billionaire's stadium is more important. This tells you what you need to know about San Diego and its leaders. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 29, 2016

CONVENTION CENTER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST CHARGERS STADIUM/CONVENTION CENTER PROPOSAL. The chairman of the San Diego Convention Center Board, Rabbi Laurie Coskey, today spoke out against the Chargers' plan for a combined stadium/convention center. A study by a consulting firm in August of last year "determined that a contiguous expansion of the San Diego Convention Center is preferred by our clients and stakeholders while also providing the greatest return on investment for the City of San Diego. We will continue to support a contiguous expansion," said the center's chairman.

Comic-Con, the center's biggest customer, has already said it preferred a contiguous expansion, and the mayor seems a bit cold to the idea of a joint stadium/center several blocks distant from the existing center. Best,Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

Don: Apparently, Carl DeMaio has spoken out about this rehashed convadium plan, and he is against it (whether it's because of Fred Maas or not, who knows?), so we should expect to hear nothing but bad things regarding this plan on his radio show. At least he and I agree on something.

Feb. 24, 2016

aardvark: Good for DeMaio. I hope he is not taking that position because of his animus toward Maas. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

I lived in Las Vegas for 10 years and I watched as the casinos paid for walkways over LV Blvd. and major streets. What a great idea. Keep the visitors away from the streets...less accidents. And then came the people mover that was put up behind the casinos on the east side of LV Blvd. Are we just looking around San Diego for an answer to our "track" problem? Stand up and don't settle for anything less than a 40ft. wide walkway over the tracks. And of course escalators (as LV did.) With this width you could make it look like a park above the tracks.

Now will a stadium be put downtown? I hope not. Can you see all the sports enthusiasts coming from N. county or LA try to find parking or for that matter find something to eat downtown? It will just not work. Even if we have everyone come to downtown only by public transport the streets will be jammed shut somewhere. Qualcomm Stadium is in the perfect place. It's where three freeways come together and we have public transportation. With the big ideas put forth by Spanos and others for a stadium elsewhere, it is ludacris. IF they want to stay in San Diego it's our way or they can put up bonds or pay for it with their own money. It seems like we are in the driver's seat at this point.

Feb. 24, 2016

beninsand: Who pays for the upkeep on those escalators on The Strip in LV? Every time I have been there the last few years, a number of them are always out of order. And yes--I have done my part to pay for their repair.

Feb. 24, 2016

aardvark: I don't know who pays for the repairs in Vegas. Maybe beninsand can inform us. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

beninsand: Absolutely right. Think of all the cars coming down 5 and then snaking through the city to get near the stadium. Traffic jams would be horrendous. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 24, 2016

No No No. San Diego taxpayer are not going to pay for a new stadium that nobody but the owners and a few rabid fans want. There are scores of many books, documentaries and articles that all show what a scam these stadiums are. It's time to get serious and vote anybody supporting a tax-payer funded stadium out of office.

Feb. 24, 2016

amorpheous: I agree with you 100 percent. It is time to throw all politicians who support these taxpayer-subsidized stadiums out of office. However, in city after city, the corporate welfare crowd -- which has all the money to sway voters -- wins out and the government antes up. There have been some exceptions: San Francisco with the Giants and 49ers (I am not including Santa Clara) and Boston with the Patriots, although in each of those cases, government did pay for infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

Enough of us will, seduced by the Spanos Fan Dance, vote to force the rest of us, kicking and yawning, to the bloodletting.

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: That is what almost always happens in cities across the U.S. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

I'm not completely clear on the voting requirements for tax increases. Does it require a 2/3 vote to increase the transient occupancy tax (TOT) or not?

If I understand the statements correctly, Mayor Falconer says yes it requires a 2/3 vote, Donna Frye says no it doesn't require a 2/3 vote.

Feb. 25, 2016

This alone should slow this initiative down, or perhaps derail it completely.

Feb. 25, 2016

aardvark: I am for anything that derails the initiative completely. San Diego has an infrastructure deficit that might be as high as $5 billion, particularly when long-term water issues are included. The city -- or the city and county -- have no business putting a nickel in a stadium for a billionaire. If private investors can figure out a way to build a stadium, the public should be for it, unless there was a loophole that permitted the sucking of funds from the taxpayer. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

ImJustABill: If it is a general tax increase and the proceeds go to the general fund and the council can decide every year how the revenues are spent, then it is a general tax and requires a majority vote. If the voters direct that the revenues be spent in any particular way, it is a special tax and requires a 2/3rds vote.

The Moores/Frye initiative purports to put the money into the general fund so supposedly will require a majority vote. But when you read the initiative language, it appears to restrict the use of the revenues. That would arguably require a 2/3rds vote. So there is, and will be, a dogfight. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

Thanks Don.

So basically Briggs has cleverly worded the initiative in a way that he and Frye believe will not require a 2/3 vote. Whether or not that will fly remains to be seen.

Sounds like this initiative may help keep some law schools in business as there will certainly be a lot of legal work sorting this out which will require a lot of lawyers.

Feb. 25, 2016

ImJustABill: The San Diego establishment and the National Football League hate democracy. So they try to figure ways that any corporate welfare project does not go to the voters, or only requires a majority vote. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

As renderings go, that is a pretty picture. But cost, transportation and parking remain unaddressed, as we all know.

Yet, there does seem to be no end to the crazy ideas that get floated here in San Diego. I keep waiting for someone to bring up once more the overhead gondola spanning the city as a means of bringing people to the stadium...

What is the exact waterfront location this represents--or is it not meant to be reality-based?

Feb. 25, 2016

The picture above does not have the stadium in the correct location. It is proposed to be in the area of the current bus maintenance facility, and will also take over Petco Park's Tailgate Park.

Feb. 25, 2016

I noticed on the tv news the eatery owners in the area said people could still get the "tailgate" experience dining in their places .

totally unbiased statement I am sure

Feb. 25, 2016

Sure--the only "tailgate" opportunities I see would involve some of the local watering holes in the East Village/Gaslamp areas mounting actual tailgates on walls inside their establishments. Unless, of course, those places will allow individual grills at each table and have numerous porta-potties scattered throughout the area. Now THAT'S tailgating!

Feb. 25, 2016

aardvark: The city contemplates former Qualcomm tailgaters to eat and drink in local bars and restaurants. Effectively, that ends tailgating. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Don: Not only does city contemplate that, the (former) tailgaters will have no choice. But that would probably lead to another round of bar/restaurant openings and closings, similar as to what happened (and is still happening) around Petco Park.

Feb. 26, 2016

Murphyjunk: At a press conference, Maas was asked whether the fans could tailgate at the proposed stadium. He laughed and said they could have a tailgate-like experience at the bars and restaurants near the stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

aardvark: Yes, the planned new stadium will be on grounds now occupied by the bus maintenance facility and Tailgate Park. But there could be juggling at a later date. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

eastlaker: It's not clear what the exact downtown location will be, but it appears that this proposed stadium will require assembling many pieces of privately-owned land (no easy task) and will require moving a public transportation terminal (a horrible task). It isn't clear who would pay for moving this yard, much less how many years it would take.

The bottom line is that Dean Spanos blundered completely. He thought he could block the proposal by Stan Kroenke because of his friendships with a few owners. But Kroenke had the money, and also had the sophisticated plans. Money decides such matters. Kroenke won easily when the owners realized how much money they would get from the fat relocation fee he would pay. Kroenke is contemptuous of Spanos. They could never work together.

Then the league, Spanos, and probably Kroenke cooked up the tale that Spanos has an option to go to Inglewood with Kroenke. The purpose of this fiction was to put pressure on San Diego. Spanos does NOT have an option that he can afford. Inglewood is out unless Spanos sells the team. That would be a good idea.

The answer is for the Chargers to continue playing at Qualcomm. It is not too old. College stadiums can last as much as twice as long as Qualcomm has lasted. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

eastlaker: Ah, pretty pictures. Time after time in San Diego, a press conference is held. A new building is announced. A rendering of a beautiful building is passed out to reporters. Nobody asks how the building will be financed. It is not financed and is never constructed. Remember all the buildings that would be built in the ballpark district, but never were? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 25, 2016

The Red Herring is d,d-starling of promoters.

Feb. 25, 2016

"I hope no one in San Diego believes that poppycock."

Dear Donianna,

They LOVE poppycock.

Feb. 25, 2016

Flapper: Yes, poppycock seems to go unchallenged in San Diego more often than in other cities and metro areas.Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Remember when some insane group was attempting to promote the floating airport in the bay? Maybe that same group will introduce a floating football stadium. To paraphrase the lyrics from Guys and Dolls, it might be the only continuing floating football game in San Diego, with some gambling on the side.

Feb. 26, 2016

eastlaker: There was one nutty proposal to have the stadium above the port, sort of on stilts. I don't know what happened to that one. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Moving the MTS yard would take about 5 years. They have to find a site large enough. If it is near water, the Coastal Commission has to be involved as well as the Port Commission. It would require an environmental impact study. It would have to acquire and cobble together land and most likely use eminent domain.

Considering the MTS yard has been ground zero for the public bus population for years, all routes and roads lead to it. It has been estimated that moving that yard in any direction from its present location will increase the cost to MTS at a rate of about $1 million per 5 minutes of travel time. Therefore, move it south a little, 5 minutes farther from where it is and add $1 million more in operating costs. Move it to Mission Valley, add at least $3 million a year. That is from the additional person-hour time, energy and wear-and-tear.

Is Dean Spanos, the Chargers or the NFL going to pick up those additional costs (each year) that would be directly attributed to moving the MTS yard to accommodate a stadium? Does Spanos even care that doing so will most likely increase the cost of public transportation for everyone?

Then we have to consider these promoters are talking about a billion dollar stadium. They don't often mention the inevitable cost-overruns or the fact that by 2021 the real cost will be closer to 2 billion dollars. Again, who pays for MTS to buy their land, build new facilities and move their operations? The taxpayers and the riders?

Feb. 26, 2016

Ponzi: Perhaps it will take five years to figure out how much money moving the MTS yard would cost. Then another period to figure out who would pay it. You can bet that Spanos and the NFL will claim that somebody else has to pay it. That would no doubt be taxpayers. But this expense -- which would be huge -- would not be counted among the expenses of building a stadium.

San Diegans must realize that in dealing with the Chargers and the NFL, the city is dealing with a bunch of sharks. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 26, 2016

Mike Murphy2: Thus far, the mayor, although playing both ends against the middle, is not making a fool of himself, immediately capitulating to corporate welfare. He seems to be standing up against the subsidy mendicants. Unfortunately, he wants a Mission Valley stadium. That would be better than downtown, but it would still be anti-taxpayer and anti-citizen. The only answer is gong back to Qualcomm under current ownership, or going to Inglewood under a multi-billionaire who would buy the team. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 28, 2016

"San Diegans must realize that in dealing with the Chargers and the NFL, the city is dealing with a bunch of sharks. Best, Don Bauder"

Must? Good grief! This kind of stuff is only the tip of the iceberg.

What angers me right now is the mis-allocation of funds and "human resources" (Mayor and other politicians feeding at the public troughs as well as staff time, travel, salary, diversion from other REAL city and county business . . . blah, blah, blah.

Do you REALLY believe that San Diegans WILL realize much of anything in the state of deceptive confusion into which they are led by their colluding "leaders?" (NOTE OF INTEREST: The people in the Mondragon region of Spain do the leading; their hired "executives" do the following.)

Feb. 28, 2016

Flapper: One big waste is paying consultants. The consultants make a purported "study," then recommend exactly what the leaders paying their bills want. Then those leaders cite the fraudulent study when giving arguments for taxpayers to ante up.

Nice little daisy chain, isn't it? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 29, 2016

"San Diego does not lose if the Chargers return to Qualcomm. Actually, that is the only logical and workable solution. Best, Don Baude[sic]"

How do you figure?

Feb. 28, 2016

Flapper: Although Qualcomm is draining the city every year, just as Petco is, it is the cheapest alternative if San Diego is going to keep the Chargers. Continuing to play at Qualcomm would be much cheaper than building a new stadium. A new contract has to be negotiated in 2020 or before, and perhaps the city won't get the shaft as thoroughly in the new deal.

But if you are only looking at the cheapest alternative -- period -- that would be the Chargers leaving town. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 29, 2016

"But San Diego's leadership thinks subsidizing a billionaire's stadium is more important. This tells you what you need to know about San Diego and its leaders. Best, Don Bauder"

"We" gotta figure out just how to condense and scale-up the essentials that we have here. Otherwise, I'm gonna buy lotsa stock in lubricants.

"Out, damned OverChargers!" sounds like a good alternative to me, but which strategy will do the least damage? And why?

Feb. 29, 2016

Flapper: The alternative of the Chargers leaving town might be best, because there would be no argument then over spending money on San Diego infrastructure, which is a necessity

But the Chargers under Spanos are not gong to LA except possibly as a renter, and the chance of that is remote. Also, Spanos could sell the team to a multibillionaire who might be a good partner with Kroenke in LA.

The bottom line is that Kroenke and Spanos are not on friendly terms and the former does not want the latter in LA, and Kroenke has the money, which always calls the tune in the NFL. That's why I think Spanos as a renter in LA is not likely. Also, I believe Spanos has probably burned his bridges in San Diego, although time might heel those wounds. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 29, 2016

I LOVE potent Freudian slips!

Feb. 29, 2016

Flapper: The word should have been heal, not heel. Mea maxima culpa. Best, Don Bauder

March 1, 2016

It is at least a double-pun.

March 1, 2016

Achilles would really appreciate it!

March 2, 2016

eastlaker: Achilles was one of history's greatest warriors. I don't want him passing judgment on my slips. Best, Don Bauder

March 2, 2016

Flapper: It is? Best, Don Bauder

March 2, 2016

Maybe two and a half or three, especially when you count Achilles.

March 2, 2016

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