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Citizens victors over NFL greed

San Diego expects a different Chargers deal

Image of proposed San Diego convadium
Image of proposed San Diego convadium

On November 7, 57 percent of voters rejected the downtown stadium Measure C, and only 43 percent approved the construction of a combined football stadium/convention center.

But local media are not asking the right questions. A group called No on C, which had done a very good job opposing the convadium scam, got quotes from city leaders, including council members. All but one talked about a future deal with the Chargers, almost surely with a fat subsidy from San Diegans. This makes no sense. San Diego is the leader among U.S. cities in overwhelmingly rejecting a subsidy for billionaire owners. This is a breakthrough, and San Diego can be proud.

The vote must be viewed in context. Statistics show that the National Football League's grip on the public is weakening. TV audiences for the NFL are down 11 percent thus far this year. Ratings have declined in 27 or 28 prime-time games this year. TV-viewing of Monday-night games is down 20 percent; for Sunday evening, down 18.5 percent. The NFL is overexposed. There may be widespread revulsion about injuries, particularly concussions.

The Chargers' numbers are bleak. The team has filled only 78.5 percent of seats in home games this years — by far the worst in the league. Yet San Diego leaders can't wait to set up a deal with the Chargers.

The truth is that San Diego voters have displayed wisdom. The magnitude of the "no" vote will become a national story. San Diego is sometimes — wrongly — considered an intellectual backwater. Now San Diego vaults to "enlightened city" status. San Francisco used to be considered the intellectual center of the West Coast. But its new stadium in Santa Clara is beginning to look like a flop. Los Angeles is building a new stadium without government subsidies.

The Chargers say they have an "option" to move to Los Angeles. I doubt that very much. I suspect that all the Chargers have is permission of NFL owners to move to L.A. if they plunk $250 million into the owners' pot; the owners won't have to vote again. But we have no idea what kind of a deal the developers of the new L.A. stadium will offer the Chargers — probably not anything significant.

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Image of proposed San Diego convadium
Image of proposed San Diego convadium

On November 7, 57 percent of voters rejected the downtown stadium Measure C, and only 43 percent approved the construction of a combined football stadium/convention center.

But local media are not asking the right questions. A group called No on C, which had done a very good job opposing the convadium scam, got quotes from city leaders, including council members. All but one talked about a future deal with the Chargers, almost surely with a fat subsidy from San Diegans. This makes no sense. San Diego is the leader among U.S. cities in overwhelmingly rejecting a subsidy for billionaire owners. This is a breakthrough, and San Diego can be proud.

The vote must be viewed in context. Statistics show that the National Football League's grip on the public is weakening. TV audiences for the NFL are down 11 percent thus far this year. Ratings have declined in 27 or 28 prime-time games this year. TV-viewing of Monday-night games is down 20 percent; for Sunday evening, down 18.5 percent. The NFL is overexposed. There may be widespread revulsion about injuries, particularly concussions.

The Chargers' numbers are bleak. The team has filled only 78.5 percent of seats in home games this years — by far the worst in the league. Yet San Diego leaders can't wait to set up a deal with the Chargers.

The truth is that San Diego voters have displayed wisdom. The magnitude of the "no" vote will become a national story. San Diego is sometimes — wrongly — considered an intellectual backwater. Now San Diego vaults to "enlightened city" status. San Francisco used to be considered the intellectual center of the West Coast. But its new stadium in Santa Clara is beginning to look like a flop. Los Angeles is building a new stadium without government subsidies.

The Chargers say they have an "option" to move to Los Angeles. I doubt that very much. I suspect that all the Chargers have is permission of NFL owners to move to L.A. if they plunk $250 million into the owners' pot; the owners won't have to vote again. But we have no idea what kind of a deal the developers of the new L.A. stadium will offer the Chargers — probably not anything significant.

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Comments
110

Show the Mayor what you think of his closed-door dealings and recall him. Let Spanos know he should have to pay if he wants to play here. Pro sports should not only pay it's own way, but actually bring profit to the host city. Turn it around, San Diegans!

Nov. 10, 2016

CaptainObvious: The ideal situation for pro sports teams is that they will get zero government subsidy. If they try the threat of moving elsewhere, local politicians should leet them know they are unwelcome at their current home. The local government(s) will have no investment in the team, but it will pay taxes just as other businesses do. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

David O'Neil: We had some problems with this item, for no particular reason. Such things happen in this business, as in all businesses. Murphy's Law hurt us here. The item was written November 9, the morning after the election. I don't know where that "7" came from. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

When in comes to the Spanos gang and the team, "No" never seems to mean "No." Deano has struck out with the owners and the league as far as being permitted just to move to LA. He struck out on Tuesday. Or did he? As long as fools and fans are around, the team will keep trying to get a new stadium.

I had expected the Spanos clan to have sold the team by this point. Even the sports page of the U-T reviled Deano's comments. That's a watershed! But if the family does sell, what can it now get from a buyer? The LA exit strategy seems out of reach, and now the voters here turned them down. A buyer would be buying a team that is forced to play in a substandard (they keep telling us) stadium in a city that doesn't really support it to the usual degree of insanity.

I'd like to be confident that this closed the door on any more talk of a stadium downtown--or anywhere else for that matter--and no additional subsidies for the gang. But it won't be over until they do leave, and that may be many more years away, years of this useless talk about how to placate Deano, and huge political distraction for mayors and city council reps.

Nov. 10, 2016

Visduh: Forbes raised its valuation of the Chargers 36 percent to $2.08 billion, on the expectation the Chargers would get a stadium in San Diego. But San Diego was too smart for that. Dean Spanos took a real smack to the jaw, Only 43 percent of voters backed the planned subsidy/tax increase.

Spanos and Fabiani insulted San Diego over and over, then begged forgiveness, which, thank goodness, they did not get. I agree that the Spanos family should sell the team to a multi-billionaire with money to burn. That moneybags could then build a stadium in San Diego with 100 percent private capital. It's true that stadiums per se are a lousy investment (that's why the billionaire owners get taxpayers to pick up the tabs), but owning a team is a fantastic investment.

However, as you can see in the column, the NFL is getting knocked off its perch -- TV audiences are way down. Most teams are doing fine on attendance, but one team is not: San Diego. That could cut the amount of money a multi-billionaire would pay for the Chargers, or any NFL team. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

Could this be the point where the NFL goes into a steady decline? First, the San Diego voters recognized that they could not afford to keep going with a subsidy for the billionaire owners of the team at the same time that, Second, the nuttiness for pro football had peaked. There is plenty of reason for the public to decide that those gladiators on the field are victims of a game that glorifies mayhem, while being wildly overpaid for what they actually produce. It isn't a huge step from there to deciding that the system that exists isn't deserving of all the adulation.

I'd like to be sure that your comment about how "San Diego was too smart for that" actually reflects reality. Elections take their strange twists, as this one did, and SD fans/fools/politicians can come back with another deal that gives away the store. Only when such votes persist will I feel that the stadium ripoff racket is gone for good.

Nov. 10, 2016

Mike Murphy: I agree. This encouraging vote was not just a matter of people disliking such a huge increase in the hotel tax. The repugnant personas of Dean Spanos and Mark Fabiani were also factors. And the NFL itself is coming off its peak, apparently. If Spanos is going to sell the team, he should do it now. (I suspect, however, that Alex Spanos's wife may be blocking such a sale. Alex is out of it -- suffering severe dementia, and she may not want to sell while he is alive.) Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

Visduh: This SHOULD be the peak from which the NFL steadily declines. It sure looks like it from statistics so far this year. But we need more data. Without question, though, with the Chargers losing the subsidized stadium vote so overwhelmingly, and with the possibility that pro football is coming off its popinjay perch, the value of the franchise is going down. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

If I followed Sports Illustrated and a host of other jock mags, I'd be able to get a read-out on the reaction to this ballot proposal. But I don't read any of those mags, and have no clue as to the reaction, or even if there was one. There certainly should have been one.

We need to keep in mind that sports columnists seldom if ever meet an athlete they don't like. And even when they don't like the star, it isn't good for sports-fobia to admit it. No, better to pump out another cliche-ridden column that tells why the bum is great, the owner is a prince, and the team is really trying to win.

Nov. 10, 2016

The general gist I get from sports talk radio is that the Chargers are disappointed with the election results but 43% isn't a complete disaster (from their perspective). So they think there's still a chance to either try another ballot initiative (with better terms? better ad campaign?) or to try to get a better deal from Mayor Kev and Ron Roberts. Of course the Chargers and Raiders will have the Jan 2016 deadline coming up for the Chargers to make an official decision about LA. But as long as Mark Davis and Dean Spanos agree I think the other NFL owners would be happy to agree to postpone that decision. That gives time for the Raiders to try to move to Vegas and the Chargers time to try ANOTHER ballot initiative.

Nov. 10, 2016

ImJustABill: I would disagree with those who think 43 percent is really not so bad. Actually, a team losing a vote at all is rare. Most breeze through with an overwhelming majority of votes. To hope for 67 percent and get 43 percent is a strong message. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

Well, the guys on local sports talk shows tend to be optimists. I do think that those who want the Chargers to stay do actually have a lot to be optimistic about. I don't think Spanos wants to move in with Kroenke in LA. Instead of getting 100M from the NFL to stay in SD he would have to pay 500M to the NFL for relocation. And he would be 2nd fiddle in LA unless the Chargers can put together a Super Bowl run. I think the Chargers will try again to stay in SD but with a ballot measure that has no tax increases and a public contribution close to what Kev and Ron initially offered (350M). 350M is still a ridiculous amount of welfare money for a billionaire but it's a lot less than 1.15B.

Nov. 11, 2016

I bet that contribution assessment is pretty spot on. The city and county could probably actually even reduce that a bit when you consider the money the NFL agreed to contribute to a SD stadium project after the Chargers were rejected from LA. If the team is just talking about building a stadium on land the city is offering (like Mission Valley) they seem pretty close to covering the costs all by themselves at this point.

Nov. 11, 2016

Dryw Keltz: The teams are nowhere near covering the costs of a stadium. Remember that the team will take credit for naming and advertising rights. That is a key part of most stadium scams.Generally, the public is fooled on this point. If anything, the Chargers will wind up paying almost nothing. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

ImJustABill: The guys on local sports talk shows generally side with the team's shakedown of taxpayers. Like local sportswriters, they want to keep their jobs, and realize that if the Chargers leave there would be job cuts. As I have mentioned, the exceptions are at sports websites -- some practice smash-mouth journalism.

I think you have one thing switched around: it's not that the Chargers don't want to go to L.A., it's that Kroenke does not want Spanos and his Chargers.

I certainly hope that "Kev and Ron" (the city's mayor and county's long-time leader) don't cave in to demands for a bigger subsidy. They would be fools to fall for any subsidy at all. I think the people have spoken on that topic. The taxpayers don't want to fork over money for sports because infrastructure and neighborhoods are too important. (At least, I hope that's the case.) Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Visduh: Actually, a lot of sports journalists are tough these days, particularly on websites. The New York Times had a tough story today, suggesting the Chargers may leave San Diego. The website Fieldofschemes.com has excellent stadium scam information.

This vote was not a close Trump/Clinton vote. It was an overwhelming message to the Chargers, and, hopefully, to the mayor, who seems to be setting up another subsidy deal down the road. He should rethink that notion if he wants a political career. Also, Chargers attendance tells a story that can't be easily explained away. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 10, 2016

I always said not to underestimate the stupidity of San Diego voters and Chargers fans. My apologies. It seems that the above mentioned groups rose the occasion and finally said no to billionaire and millionaire crybabies and let the bought-and-paid-for politicians what they thought of their backroom deals. CONGRATULATIONS!

Nov. 11, 2016

AlexClarke: I add my congratulations, too. There were a plethora of factors: the lousy location, which would end tailgating and worsen parking; widespread revulsion of the arrogance of Spanos and Fabiani; the constant dishonesty of team officials; the attempt to bolt to L.A., then claiming the team wanted San Diego all along after it was rebuked by NFL owners; the NFL's greed and arrogance; the overexposure on TV, and perhaps most importantly, the need to spend that hotel tax money elsewhere, such as in San Diego neighborhoods, along with the need for infrastructure spending. Those are just a few of the factors in this enlightened vote. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Dennis Hull: Right you are. One of the major factors in San Diegans knowing a scam when they see one is the greed of the billionaire NFL owners who believe their costs should be picked up by taxpayers. The league keeps finances secret for an understandable reason: they are a colossal embarrassment of riches. The fans are exploited, both when going to a game and when watching on on TV.

Example: Each team brings in $226 million a year from the TV deals alone. That figure should be widely publicized should the Chargers try to rape San Diego again. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Words I have NOT heard on sports talk radio nor seen reported:

"The Spanos family has announced their intention to excercise the option to be a tenant in the Rams stadium in LA, under the excellent terms agreed to with their dear friend Stan Kroenke"

It's been reported that the Spanos family wants to wait until after the season is over to announce their future plans.

Nov. 11, 2016

ImJustABill: Their dear friend Stan Kroenke who doesn't return calls from Dean Spanos. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Bev Paul: No more Chargers, but you love the NFL? Interesting. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Don: One of the significant reasons for NFL viewership decline this season that has not been raised above is that we previously blindly loyal NFL fans tend to also be red, white and blue loyal in that we APPRECIATE having respect during the playing of our National Anthem and are proud to STAND and salute our flag instead of having to watch some spoiled overpaid jock-brats show total disrespect for what many of us have sacrificed for. Best regards always.

Nov. 11, 2016

You may be right, but I don't think the decline was due to that. (If it had been, or if the owners just thought it was the reason, those bozos would be out of the league for life.) As it was, the photos looked just like something out of 1970, and we know how little effect all the dissent at that time actually had.

Nov. 11, 2016

Visduh: Right you are, once again. As soon as the TV ratings numbers began to crater early in the season, the NFL blamed the players refusing to stand for the national anthem. I have never thought that was a significant reason. The factors to give most weight to are the overexposure of pro football; the injuries and, consequently, youth playing less football; and, among many things, the fact that the public has become wiser about the colossal greed of the billionaire owners. People don't like being blindfolded and robbed. Team owners may finally figure that out. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

CDTB: Yes, there are a number of explanations for the abrupt drop in NFL on TV. One of them is that people resent some players not standing for the national anthem. I think that is a weak excuse. There are other explanations: 1.A schedule this year that doesn't yet present potentially exciting games; 2. Dull games. 3. New rules to thwart injuries that make the game a "sissy sport" to rabid, violence-loving fans. 4. Concern about injuries, particularly concussions. 5. Young people not playing football, probably at the insistence of their parents. 6. The election excitement could have drawn viewers from football. There are many other so-called explanations.

However, I think that when 27 of 28 prime time games suffer a diminished TV audience, when Sunday night and Monday night games are down 18.5 percent to 20 percent, respectively, there is something meaningful going on. That's why I believe if Dean Spanos is considering doing the intelligent thing -- selling the Chargers -- he won't get the price he would have gotten last year. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Great news after our City election!

We are now Billions of dollars ahead in San Diego!

I hope all those that were supporting the new $tadium spend some time thinking about doing more for US and less for the Big Donors who want to own $D.

Nov. 11, 2016

Founder: Yes, people should think about doing more for the U.S., but more importantly should think about improving San Diego's rundown infrastructure, helping rotting neighborhoods, boosting fire and police protection, and getting the pension deficit down, among many things. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 11, 2016

Don, When Founder mentioned US, it wasn't about the USA, but about those of "us" who live in--or near--San Diego. Those millions/billions that don't end up in the pockets of the Spanos gang can be spent here, on things that will really improve the sadly degraded quality of life in the city. What great things might come from having a mayor who really cares about the quality of life in the city? At this point Kev-boy shows no real grasp of how he could make the city better for its residents.

Nov. 11, 2016

Visduh: Yes, in talking about US, Founder was talking about San Diegans, not about the nation, or USA. I misinterpreted his statement -- which was a perspicacious one. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

For the rest of US: per·spi·ca·cious ˌpərspəˈkāSHəs/ adjective having a ready insight into and understanding of things.

Nov. 12, 2016

Founder: I said that your original statement was perspicacious, and I meant it. Absolutely: San Diegans should think more of spending money on important civic matters (infrastructure, water, fire and police, etc.) than on lining out-of-town billionaires' pockets. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

My personal theory about the drop in ratings is that we're just over-saturated with games. For a long time there were 3 time slots for games: Sun 10AM PT, 1PM PT and Monday night. Now there are 6 time slots for games: Thurs nite, Sun ~7AM PT (London game), 10AM PT, 1PM PT, 5:30PT, and Mon night. For a while I think the 6 timeslots / wk was working but now I wonder if it's just too much.

Nov. 11, 2016

ImJustABill: Oversaturation may definitely be one of the main reasons for the stark decline. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

Glad to see that smart San Diegans voted against billionaire sports team ownership taxpayer subsidies.
In Texas, voters approved tax subsidies for a new Rangers baseball stadium. Las Vegas approved building a new stadium for the Raiders. Dean Spanos does not want to be a second class citizen and tenant to the Rams in LA. By the time Spanos pays the NFL Relo fees, his share of the "buy in" for Inglewood and his stadium rents yearly in LA (without naming rights, without advertising rights, without seat licenses, with no season ticket or fan base in LA etc...his take in LA may not be worth the move since it will take him 5 years to build up his fan/season ticket base in LA.

If Spanos was smart, he would find a deep pockets billionaire to buy the Chargers who has his own cash and credit to build a privately financed football stadium for the Chargers. His Mom and Sons are probably resisting selling the Chargers team that they consider their legacy. But, the Spanos family is team equity rich and cash poor....Their cards to play are few...unless they want to move back to St. Louis and take over the Rams State subsidized new stadium deal that the Rams bailed on.

Nov. 11, 2016

"Equity rich and cash poor" is a perfect way to describe these "poor" billionaires. The rich is in a a sports franchise that can bring in a huge income, and yet due to the vagaries of the resale value of teams, is very hard to sell. The way out would be to strike a deal with the city to refurbish the current stadium, stop the subsidy that already exists, and play there for the foreseeable future. That could be quite profitable, and attractive to a rational buyer.

But that option is too sensible and too hard on the Spanos gang egos to be seriously considered. Nowadays these team owners have to think of themselves as hard charging studs. To do less is to lose face. But a good business man/woman could earn a fortune owning the team.

Nov. 11, 2016

Visduh: The main reason NFL teams want new subsidized stadiums is that the expectation of hoodwinking taxpayers raises the value of the team sharply. Forbes raised the valuation of the Chargers buy 36 percent to above $2 billion on the expectation of a new stadium. The only thing stadium subsidies do is enrich the team's owners. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

SportsFan0000: There is no doubt that the L.A. deal that Kroenke originally offered the Chargers was a lousy one. That is why Spanos came back to San Diego and told the whopper of the year: all of a sudden, he had decided that he wanted to stay in San Diego, not go to L.A. Apparently, some San Diegans believed that colossal poppycock. Hopefully, San Diegans saw it as an insult to the city's intelligence. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

Sportsfan0000: I agree: Spanos should sell the Chargers to a billionaire who will build a stadium without public funds, but with public input as to location., Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

GO CHARGERS...please!

Dec. 21, 2016

Don thank you for all the excellent reporting over the years regarding stadium subsidies. You've consistently provided and refered to many data and analyses which showed how misleading many of the NFL's and Spanos' claims have been.

Nov. 12, 2016

Hear! hear!

Nov. 12, 2016

Ponzi: I"m old (80) but don't have hearing problems yet. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

ImJustABill:I started looking into pro sports' massive subsidy scam in 1996 and haven't stopped. I hate to see crooks get away with murder. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

Don - I hope you will do a story on how the City SHOULD spend the billions that all of US saved by not voting for a new $tadium. I say SHOULD because how the City WILL spend the money is going to be a Political crap shoot (no pun intended) as our elected leaders try and make themselves look good instead of making the City of San Diego look better physically and financially!

Nov. 12, 2016

"San Diego facing first budget cuts in years" is the story in today's SD U-T. "San Diego has been slowly and steadily restoring many previous cuts to libraries, recreation centers and other services in recent years as the economy has recovered, but Mayor Kevin Faulconer said last week that a spike in the city’s pension payment will halt those efforts."

The city leaders should explain why they were supporting a subsidized stadium while budget cuts are looming.

Nov. 12, 2016

Ponzi:Absolutely. That question should be asked of all the leaders, and on a regular basis. How could a $billion+ subsidy be justified, especially with the infrastructure in such horrible shape? Another question: don't you think that the business of government is providing essential services, particularly when money is not plentiful? And the business of government is NOT providing stadiums to out-of-town billionaires? Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

Founder:First, I don't think the city should raise the TOT to 16.5 percent. That is too high. However, I think it could be raised, say, to 14.5 percent or maybe 15. That would provide some income for: 1. infrastructure 2.police and fire protection. 3. water. 4. the pension deficit. 5.Balboa Park 6.Etc. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2016

Don — I agree raising the TOT is just strangling SD's golden goose!

Nov. 13, 2016

Founder: The TOT is an important source of funds for legitimate functions of government. That does NOT include building stadiums for billionaires. Bests, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

Don - dontcha think they otta raise minimum working wage to a livable wage first? Oh the places we'll go.

Nov. 12, 2016

Shirleyberan: A much higher minimum wage is a necessity. Bestie, Don Bauder

Nov. 15, 2016

This reminds me of the Downtown Library. Folks were committed to the idea of a new building regardless of the fact that library attendance was on a steady decline and the digital revolution was well underway. Similarly, the Chargers want a new stadium even though attendance and NFL viewership is down, and people are finding better use for their time via other digital avenues.

Nov. 13, 2016

Visualasyluym: An interesting analogy. The Library has better uses than a daily home for the homeless. It's was put there as a favor to John Moores, whose real estate business needed it.

I am all for libraries, but we need more outlying ones, and we need the libraries to have computers for those who don't have the funds to have their own. Bestie, Don Bauder

Nov. 15, 2016

First, let me add my thanks for all Don's years of devoted citizenship, hard digging, and suffering the slangs and errers of outrage's fortune.

But, look--ALL gummint contracts are prizes for them what's gone along with the scheme to pick the taxpayer's pockets.

Now they're giving us another broom handle in the a** with the Balboa Park Parking fiasco. Just another money laundering. Watch who gets the contracts (including Ace hole) and follow the money.

They couldn't have come up with a nuttier scheme to cram another 200 cars for (what shall we say?) $100 million. They will create a creeping perennial traffic jam (talk about your air pollution that you will have to breath in as you walk alongside the jam) across the 100 year old Cabrillo bridge because of the right turn into a stream of pedestrians. But that ain't all. The out of town suckers will line up but the citizens in the know will fill up the Zoo lot; then the Zoo will start charging too, and the rest of the park will be sucked into the vortex. Then they will expand into Florida canyon, despite cries of anguish from the environmentalists that the last bit of original habitat will be sacrificed to create even more traffic jams. Ask any traffic engineer that ain't on the take.

But the nonexistent "problem" of pedestrians not being able to walk in the street (El Prado), they forget the nightmare that will be created for the museums' day-to-day operational logistics--not to mention when huge trucks have to move exhibits in and out, cracking up the pretty tile paving the decorators will put in at out expense. The existing walkways' capacities have not yet been exceeded, especially along El Prado, and they never will. Who wants to go to what's left of the Museum of Man?

Park the surplus (if any) on the Arizona landfill and run intra-park transportation.

There's no point in the silly elevated (in cost, too) road from the bridge. Close the bridge to all but operational and handicapped traffic. Route the visitors into the the Organ Pavillion lot, and add the 200 spaces nearby where there is nothing much but grass that just sucks up water anyway.

And speaking of sucking up, El Mayor wants to be El gobernador.

Nov. 16, 2016

Flapper: I agree that Balboa Park moves bear watching. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

The mayor will not be governori if he con tiniest to find a way to let the ShargersScam the taxpayers. Clearly, Californians see through this scam. Best, Don bauder

Nov. 16, 2016

Nice unbiased article Bauder. You really should look at the facts before posting this drivel.

1st. the stadium would have been owned by the city, not a billionaire owner. 2nd. tourists not the citizens of San Diego would have paid for this. 3rd. the reason it didn't pass is transplants like you and others ignorant to the facts

You move to my city and don't get behind the local sports teams. The majority of Chargers fans live in the county, not just the city. This should have been a county wide vote. It probably still wouldn't have passed because of the misinformation out there by people like you and the Vote No on C crowd but it would have been a much closer vote.

The stadium would have been an asset to the region but that's to obvious for you to see with your head planted firmly up your derriere.

Please do us a favor and go back to the dump of a city you left to come here.

Nov. 16, 2016

Before you attack the author, perhaps you should learn more about him. I suspect from your lack of knowledge about Don Bauder, you are the transplant.

The reason the measure did not pass is because the taxpayers were not buying the deceptive contract, written by the Chargers - for the Chargers. It was not in the public's favor to adopt it because taxpayers would be on the hook for the bonds.

The hotel tax is an unfair tax on tourists. I would not want my friends and family gouged to pay from someone else's business proposition. The stubbornness of Spanos to build in downtown, walling off a historic community and making the city, at its expense, move the MTS bus yard.

Finally, the people, including long time season ticket holders, are exhausted from the Spanos and Fabiani circus and its tour from Chula Vista, to Oceanside, to Carson and then Inglewood. Nobody is saying that the people don't want the Chargers to stay, they just don't want to foot the bill or make San Diego a less inviting place for tourists and conventioneers by gouging them at our hotels. The hotels did not want it either and I trust their business sense a lot more than Spanos.

Nov. 16, 2016

Ponzi, I am not attacking the author. I just prefer unbiased reporting. 43 years in town doesn't change the fact that he's a transplant. I'm from here and have been here longer but that's beside the point.

I'd love for you to explain how it is an unfair tax on tourists. It would bring our ToT tax in line with many other cities that have way less amenities than San Diego.

The hoteliers didn't want it because they want to keep control of the transient tax. The increase would not have made San Diego less inviting. There wouldn't be a single person that was planning a trip here for business or pleasure that would be booking a trip, then upon seeing the tax decide not to come. If you think so you're delusional.

Nov. 17, 2016

I'm not sure I need to follow you down your rabbit hole. If a person has resided in, no less, reported about a city...for some 43 years I would measure my words calling them a transplant. That is a near half a century. They would be more San Diegan than 95% of the populace.

So if I have this straight, you were born in San Diego. You think the Chargers are somehow San Diego property. You have no regard for the opinions of other residents, since they were not born here.

Am I correct?

Here's something to think about. I was born in San Diego (in a local hospital) but I was raised in Yorba Linda. My family moved to San Diego when I was 12. Am I a "native" or a "transplant?"

And when you hurl insults like calling people "delusional" you will get a defensive response. Not to mention you lose all credibility when you post insults rather than facts.

Nov. 17, 2016

Ponzi: You are giving excellent reasons for the public not voting for the Chargers scam. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

Billdo. I do not know where you get your information. I have covered San Diego for 43 years. Your points are equallly inaccurate. Best, Don bauder

Nov. 16, 2016

Drivel is as drivel does. A Great Trump Twit in a thin disguise? It's usually limited to 140 characters . . .

Nov. 16, 2016

Did it arrive at 3 a.m? Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

We can agree to disagree Don

Nov. 17, 2016

Billdo. It's a deal. We will disagree. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

1st. The primary purpose and use of the stadium would be for the Chargers. There would be some other uses like concerts, etc but there is no need to build a 1.8B facility to have concerts in SD.

2nd. All tax money collected for the city of SD is owned by San Diego citizens. If we could raise 1.15B to pay for a stadium by raising TOT then we could just as easily raise 1.15B to pay for infrastructure, police, or other civic need.

3rd. I think the basic facts were understood by most voters. 1.15B in tax money was to help pay for a football stadium. That's the bottom line. Most voters rejected that plan.

Nov. 20, 2016

ImJustABill: Excellent points. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

Dear Mr Dildo, How about all the mis-information and outright LIES that issue from the pie holes of Charger supporters such as your pathetic self. Even the ignorant fans (some of) rejected the fleecing Spano's and his gang of thieves tried to lay on the San Diego citizen. You are correct about a vote also failing if it were proposed countywide. People are wise to the shake-down, not influenced by misinformation. By the bye, Don Bauder has more integrity in his little toe than the entirety of Spano's gang of pirates...

Dec. 21, 2016

Ponzi. You are right on every point. Best, Don bauder

Nov. 16, 2016

Oh, well. I hoped you'd take the bait and look into the BP Ace Parking Garage scam that we're gonna have to pay millions for. But I won't creep out your thread anymore. For the moment . . .

Nov. 16, 2016

Flapper, I contributed to the conversation about the Irwin Jacobs Balboa Park defacement plan in the recent story in The Reader. Here is the link to that story: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Nov. 16, 2016

Flapper: That may be worth looking into. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

Flapper: There are so many scams to look into in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

Thanks, Ponz. I don't read every article, and don't know how I missed that one. I guess I'll post over there, but the comments may be effectively closed, as it is old news.

An update piece, Don?

Nov. 17, 2016

Flapper: There may be an update. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

The next shoe drops--today, the Rams finally broke ground on their stadium in Inglewood. Will the Chargers be joining them???

Nov. 17, 2016

Aardvark: Frankly, I doubted the Chargers will join the Rams in L.A. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

Don: Despite what the NFL has said--including the so-called "deal" that Spanos has with Kroenke--I don't think the NFL wants the Chargers in LA either.

Nov. 17, 2016

aardvpark. The league wants the Chargers in San DIego, the 17th largest market. The Chargers do not have a remunerative deal in LA. IF they did, they would long since coming have gone. THe Chatgers have alienated San Diego which they intended to do. THe answer is to sell the team to a multi-billionaire who will pay. For a new stadium. Or the. Can clontinue to play at Qualcomm. The idea that taxpayers should finance a new stadium every 25 years is evidence how twisted our society has become. ANother answer is to rehab Qualcomm and continue playing there. BEst, Don Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

Don: After going to the SDSU game last night, just having a stadium that had drains that were clear would be a major improvement. Some of the waterfalls cascading off the upper deck were majestic--and very annoying to the people that were sitting under them.

If only someone would by the team and build a new stadium...I just don't think that will be happening.

Nov. 27, 2016

aardvark: Qualcomm is a good stadium but needs some work. It would be nice if the Chargers, or the Chargers and the city jointly, would pick up the tab. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

danfogel: There have been several stories by knowledgeable journalists saying the same thing: the Chargers are headed to L.A. But I repeat what I have said: If Kroenke gave the Chargers a good deal in L.A., they would have already announced their move. Kroenke wants a partner rich enough to put money in his Inglewood development. Spanos doesn't have that kind of money. Spanos will not have a remunerative deal in L.A. unless the NFL forces that on Kroenke. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

Rich Gibson: Dpn't be surprised if the Chargets leave. I would rather see them sell the team. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

Constance Wit: The opera has done a yeoman job recovering. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

Gardy Whaley: Seize the team for just compensation? Where will we get the $2 billion? Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 17, 2016

Billdo, I'm not sure I need to follow you down your rabbit hole. If a person has resided in, no less, reported about a city...for some 43 years I would measure my words calling them a transplant. That is a near half a century. They would be more San Diegan than 95% of the populace. So if I have this straight, you were born in San Diego. You think the Chargers are somehow San Diego property. You have no regard for the opinions of other residents, since they were not born here. Am I correct?

Here's something to think about. I was born in San Diego (in a local hospital) but I was raised in Yorba Linda. My family moved to San Diego when I was 12. Am I a "native" or a "transplant?"

And when you hurl insults like calling people "delusional" you will get a defensive response. Not to mention you lose all credibility when you post insults rather than facts.

Nov. 17, 2016

ponzi, I agree about not following this guy down the rabbit hole. But I will add this. If I remember correctly, and I am sure Don Bauder will correct me if I am wrong, Don lived in SD for around 30 yrs but has been living in Colorado for more than a decade, 12 or 14 years, I think. Now, while using his many sources, I do think Don can report on many of the things that happen in SD without ever visiting. However, that said, I do think that it is difficult for him to get a feel for everyday life in SD from the viewpoint of an "average" person without actually being there. To your other point, my daughter was born in SD. Before she was seven, we moved to LA, Calabasas to be specific. After going to school and working out of state for more than a decade, she moved back to Orange County early this year. So if she decided to move to San Diego,after more than 2 decades away, would she be considered a "native" or a "transplant?" On a couple of side notes, I have a friend who lives in SD. My wife and I met her in school. She was born and raised in Orange County and moved for Grad School I think. Thirty years later, she calls herself a San Diego native and lists her hometown as the same. In my case, my wife and I moved to San Diego as teenagers for school, but were born and raised in Tucson. We spent 40 years in So Cal. Since my wife's passing, besides SoCal, I spend part of my time in Az, among other places. And yet some of my friends, some of whom I've known since I was a kid, still think of me as a California guy. Go figure.

Nov. 19, 2016

Good points.

Nov. 19, 2016

Danfogel. Welcome back..your discussion reminds me of the so-called law of the sea. Diplomats debate whether a fish in San Diego waters that swims a thousand miles sand is caught in a net is under U.S. Laws or the laws of some other country. Best, DOn Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

don bauder not really back. just a drive by I couldn't resist.

Nov. 28, 2016

danfogel: I would say you are all well-traveled. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

Ponzi. As you know, few San Diegans were born in SanDiego. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 18, 2016

This post was hijacked by a jackal that wants to shift the conversation to some "local" cultural argument. That if you were not born here, you don't understand the Charger's culture. So to that I have to again resort to lowering my intellectual constraints to a newcomer to these comments and say that I feel there is no positive or reasonable economic solution to the NFL's quest to build a stage for their entertainment here.

A stadium is just a stage for their show, It's an NFL show, not a San Diego show. The proceeds of your tickets go to the team, the NFL company and its millionaire employees.

This is a business. The circus that comes to town every year does not ask for free rent for their tents. Why should we pay for a multi-billion dollar enterprise seasonal business stage for $ billion dollars?

Nov. 20, 2016

I think it's irrelevant whether Don is a newcomer to San Diego and frankly I think it's irrelevant whether a poster is new to the forum. I generally don't buy into arguments that start with "you don't understand ... because ..."

What is relevant are facts, logic, and reasoned opinions about what is good for San Diego and what is fair. The basic fact is that the Chargers wanted 1.15B of public funds spent on a stadium project. Don has posted a lot of logical arguments about why that would not be good for San Diego, nor fair. Clearly a majority of San Diego voters agreed with Don's logic and opinions.

Nov. 21, 2016

ImJustABIll. The Chargers have alienated San Diegans who have seen enough of Spanos and Fabiani's, if he is still on the payroll. SAn Diegans want tax money to go to infrastructure, etc. Best, DOn Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

"I feel there is no positive or reasonable economic solution to the NFL's quest to build a stage for their entertainment here."

I think the reasonable solution would be for the NFL / Chargers to spend 300 - 500M renovating the Q. Some renowned architects have indicated that with that kind of money the Q could be renovated and improved to a level the NFL considers good enough for Super Bowls. So the Chargers could stay in town and we can get a Super Bowl every 10 years or so (my guess).

Nov. 21, 2016

ImJustABill: I agree.Renovating the Q is one solution. Universities have stadiums that were built 100 years ago. Owners want new stadiums because the value of the team soars.Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

Ponzi. Then money you shovel out to the CHarers and Padres is ivied up among billionaire owners and millionaire players. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

Not only the voters are unhappy with the Chargers, their fans are too. Look at all the empty field level seats at the Chargers v. Titans game.

None

Nov. 21, 2016

And those weren't the only open areas. The best open areas really dig at the Spanos wallet, as many fans were disguised as empty seats in the Club Level on the visitors side of the field.

And I am still wondering as to who paid for the upgrades to the boxes at the top of the Club Level in the last 2 seasons. Somehow, I doubt it was the Chargers.

Nov. 23, 2016

aardvark: That is an excellent question. I agree with you: I do not believe it was the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

Don: I am sure it wasn't the Chargers. As Mark Fabiani has said many times, "The Chargers are only a tenant in a city-owned facility."

Nov. 27, 2016

Ponzi: The Chargers have filled only 78 percent of seats this year. That is the worst in the NFL. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

don bauder, If you are going to point out that the Chargers are last in percentage of seats filled, then I think it is only fair and just that you also point out the positive. The Chargers are are only next to last in average attendance, coming in ahead of the division leading and NFL second best record Oakland Raiders ( I guess winning isn't everything).

Nov. 28, 2016

danfogel: I am not sure "next to last" is so positive. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 3, 2016

Voices of dissent are good for any forum. But the dissenters have to have the guts to stick with it and keep it relevant, responding to points of fact, not ricocheting off into irrelevance when the going gets tough. When they go low, let's go high.

Nov. 27, 2016

Flapper: Agreed. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 27, 2016

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