4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

John Lynch, chief executive officer of the Union-Tribune, addressed the Harvard Business School Club of San Diego Sept. 12. Whether the speech raised eyebrows among the Harvard crowd is not known. But a very reliable ex-U-T reporter heard a recording of Lynch's speech, and reported it today (Sept. 17) on the 919 Gang report, an online newspaper for more than 500 former and current U-T newsroom staffers. Some eyebrows shot up.

For one thing, Lynch asserted that a new downtown stadium for the Chargers "is not going to cost the City one dime." The National Football League will put in $500 million, claimed Lynch. But the NFL has not been putting that kind of money behind new stadiums. And most significantly, the NFL program is a LOAN arrangement. The money has to be paid back. Second, Lynch claimed that a joint powers authority will put in $200 million. Joint powers authority arrangements are between various governments. There has been talk of the County joining the City in the massive subsidy required for this stadium. "Public money is public money is public money, no matter what it is called," comments Bruce Henderson, former councilmember. And in the end, San Diego taxpayers will pick up the tab for a big part of any proposed stadium. If a San Diego subsidized stadium goes through, taxpayers will pick up at least two-thirds of the cost. That's what teams are extracting from other metro areas.

Lynch said "Deano [Spanos] was in my office last week saying, 'I don't want to move, but they're forcing me to move.'" Lynch told the Harvard business grads that he was working with County Supervisor Ron Roberts on a joint powers authority arrangement, and "I told Ron Roberts we would cover his back." (Presumably, watch the U-T's editorial page for this back-covering.)

According to the tape of his speech, Lynch said that U-T ownership has cash and no debt and intends to become a national media company, perhaps by buying a company coming out of bankruptcy. Lynch claimed the U-T's revenues are growing. He wants revenue to move from the current $150 million annually to $250 million. Then, Lynch took more potshots at the port, one of his favorite targets.

Comments
17

It looks like Lynch is projecting the new stadium will cost at least $700 million ($500 million which the city will borrow from the NFL and an additional $200 million from the County and or Port District). If the City allows Spanos to sell the Sports Arena and Qualcomm stadium sites to pay his share, then the cost of the new stadium could approach $1 billion. The retractable roof alone probably costs $100 million.

Sept. 17, 2012

Oh yes, Burwell. Ever since the downtown money hoggers started talking about a retractable roof, I have assumed the cost will actually be $1 billion or more. But you can be certain the estimate fed to the public will be far lower. And it looks like the U-T will try to hoodwink the public into thinking the project will be revenue-neutral, or maybe profitable. Remember, Petco Park was supposed to be revenue neutral. It now costs the City $11 million to $20 million a year. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2012

According to the tape of his speech, Lynch said that U-T ownership.... intends to become a national media company

OMG there are so many whoppers in this guys speech that I almost peed my pants-but this one is almost as hilarious as the one about a BILLION dollar stadium not costing taxpayers a dime!

Sept. 18, 2012

If the U-T becomes a national media property, then other national media will report widely on the U-T's egregious propagandizing -- editorials on page one, the two Bushes among the six best presidents, etc. And you are correct to wonder if Lynch's speech indicates the U-T will try to claim that a stadium -- for which taxpayers are doomed to pay at least 66.6% -- will cost the City nothing. This is getting very interesting. San Diego may well be in the national negative spotlight once again, but worse than it was in the pension crisis. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 18, 2012

I doubt that those HBS alums fell for much or any of those claims. I think they are all MBA's and they do know their way around a balance sheet and some creative capital structures. (You may not like them or what most of them do when they have careers. In fact, with a sole exception, I don't remember any of them in a positive way. But they are bright folks and don't suffer fools gladly.) It would be interesting to get comments from one or more of those who attended the speech.

Sept. 18, 2012

It would be a good idea to try to interview some of those who attended Lynch's speech. The problem is that, according to Lynch, it was supposed to be a closed meeting. So HBS grads might be reluctant to talk. I would hope that the attendees realized the scenario that could eventuate: 1. Lynch claims the proposed football stadium won't cost San Diego a dime. Does that mean that the U-T will take this preposterous position in its promotional efforts? Will citizens buy into it? 2. The U-T wants to expand nationally. Do you see how San Diego, if it buys into this claim, could be a national laughingstock, even more than it is now? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 18, 2012

Lynch said "Deano [Spanos] was in my office last week saying, 'I don't want to move, but they're forcing me to move.'"


Yes, I'm sure that Spanos has a gun held to his head at this point (eyeroll). I maintain that the only thing that has kept the Chargers from being in Los Angeles by now is the economic recession and the only thing that keeps them from moving there right now is the lack of economic recovery.

Sept. 18, 2012

Those are the only things keeping them here? Could it be that nobody in LA is dumb enough to hand them a subsidized stadium? Why, if they went there they would have to pay market rent for the venue, and all the fat profit would be skimmed off by the landlord.

Sept. 18, 2012

I really think it's economics. The revenue gained from Los Angeles is HUGE, that market is so much more large.

Sept. 18, 2012

A story is going around this week that Anschutz wants to sell AEG, which is the corporate vehicle for LA's downtown plans. Supposedly, any sale will not affect those downtown plans...but people should never believe what companies say at such times. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2012

Another thing that keeps the Chargers from moving is that LA has not got all its ducks in line for the downtown project, which city fathers seem to favor. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 18, 2012

True. And again, that lack of duck-soup could be related to how the recovery is not coming along as they had anticipated.

Sept. 18, 2012

Yes, you are probably right, Refried: this is an extremely tepid recovery, if you can even call it a recovery, and that could upset the downtown LA plans. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2012

Related, just got word that AEG might be sold (pretty reliable source), which changes the game. I've stated previously (and endured ridicule for it), that Roski was the main player, and if the AEG sale is true, then it makes Roski a stronger candidate.

Sept. 18, 2012

Roski has no money no financing refired, I said that 2-3 years ago when he had that pipe dream, would never happen, no one is going to lend a billion on a pro stadium deal today and these low life leeches will never ever not in a million years put their own skin into the game.

Sept. 18, 2012

Roski will have to sell his casino to please the NFL -- hypocritical, because of the NFL's longstanding ties to the gambling industry. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2012

I would agree: if AEG is sold, Roski will at least be feeling less uncomfortable. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close