New Reality Means No Stadium

San Diego Chargers mouthpiece Mark Fabiani laments new  redevelopment law.
  • San Diego Chargers mouthpiece Mark Fabiani laments new redevelopment law.

When the economy weakens, resolve stiffens. Glum consumers do fewer giddy things. It’s becoming apparent that lack of buying by debt-sated consumers could push us into another recession, or close to one, and the pain could last years.

In late July, Mark Fabiani, Chargers mouthpiece, lamented that the new state redevelopment law could crimp the team’s plan for a massively subsidized stadium downtown. Quoth Fabiani, “We now need to find alternative sources of funding.”

How about the Chargers themselves? If they want a stadium in this new economic reality, they can pay for it. Fabiani, of course, was not suggesting any such thing: he wants the stadium to be part of a subsidized sports and entertainment district. Voters should thumb that down as decisively as Long Island voters recently rejected $400 million of bonds for a hockey stadium.

Economists, viewing recent statistics (such as flat consumer spending) are increasingly predicting that we will have either a recession or extremely slow growth — very possibly prolonged.

New Jersey’s A. Gary Shilling, who has a great forecasting record, says the unemployment rate could hit 11.3 percent in 2013 and 12.4 percent in 2014. If housing prices drop another 17 percent (quite possible), the percentage of homes underwater (there is more debt on a home than it is worth) would rise from 23 to a horripilating 40.

“State and local governments will contract,” says Shilling, and that brings us to the proposed stadium. California has wised up. The new redevelopment law will keep the Chargers, and other pro teams in the state, from sucking up money that should go to schools and other worthy ventures. The Chargers admit that unless the California Supreme Court invalidates the new redevelopment laws, the team won’t be able to tap this source of funds until perhaps 2024 or 2025.

So now the team is angling for a taxpayer-financed sports and entertainment district. The proposed stadium would have a retractable roof and be used for conventions, basketball tournament games, rock concerts, and the like.

Mayor Sanders doesn’t want a taxpayer-financed stadium.

Mayor Sanders doesn’t want a taxpayer-financed stadium.

There are several roadblocks to this scheme: 1. Mayor Jerry Sanders and his allies, the convention center pushers, don’t want it; 2. The cost of the proposed facility would rise sharply. The Chargers (with their fingers crossed behind their backs) have long been saying that a new stadium would cost $800 million; put a retractable roof on top and the cost escalates; 3. Convention goers normally don’t like to walk between sites and there wouldn’t be enough events that require such a facility; 4. A covered stadium in a Mediterranean climate is asinine for the major use, football games.

The big question is where the money will come from. For some time, the Chargers have said they would put in $200 million and hope to get another $100 million to $150 million in loans from the National Football League. That league well is dry right now, but the recent agreement between owners and players permits teams to borrow money again.

But if the stadium is to be roofed and engineered for other events, what will it cost? Nine hundred million dollars? A billion? I asked Mark Fabiani, Chargers spokesman, about some of the details. For example, would naming and advertising rights be subtracted from the Chargers’ contribution? Would the Chargers plunk in $200 million of capital or would their contribution come from cash flow from the stadium? Just how much would the Spanos family put in the pot? His answer: “The amount of the combined Chargers-[National Football League] contribution is now the subject of negotiations with the City, but we expect the amount to be in line with what other NFL teams that have reached similar agreements in recent years have contributed to their new stadiums.”

Oh? Really? In Los Angeles, there is a plan to build a $1.2 billion stadium with private funds. The project will be tied to the convention center (as the Chargers propose in San Diego). The city will sell bonds to pay for a new convention center wing, but, supposedly, the bonds will be paid off with revenue coming from the center and the new stadium. (Well, maybe.)

In any case, a bundle of private capital is going into the proposal by Anschutz Entertainment Group. (Admittedly, Philip Anschutz is worth $7.5 billion and the Spanos family a paltry $1.1 billion, according to this year’s compilation by Forbes magazine. And the L.A. market is far bigger and richer than San Diego’s.) Still, L.A., unlike San Diego, demands private financing.

Similarly, the San Francisco 49ers aim to build a stadium in Santa Clara. The city is only kicking in $79 million of the billion-dollar cost. Hotel taxes should add another $35 million. (The change in redevelopment laws could alter current plans.) Since the 49ers’ owners may not be able to come up with their share of the money, the Oakland Raiders may chip in and play at the stadium, too.


Bruce Henderson: “The devil is in the details, and if you don’t have the details...”

Bruce Henderson: “The devil is in the details, and if you don’t have the details...”

All over the United States, proposals to build stadiums are in flux. “They haven’t put out the details,” says former councilmember Bruce Henderson. “The devil is in the details, and if you don’t have details, then you know you are dealing with the devil.” Amen.

Vanderbilt University economist John Vrooman estimates that in the early 1990s, before the league began its loan program, teams were only putting in 27 percent of stadium costs. Then after the league began providing loans, that percentage rose to 60.

What the Chargers propose to pay is closer to the percentage that teams put in before the league’s loan program began, and quite possibly less.

This is hardly surprising because, all along, the team has been going down two tracks. It prefers to be the organization (perhaps one of two) occupying the stadium in L.A., if it ever gets built. But if the team can’t get L.A., it wants a San Diego commitment in its back pocket.

As now anticipated, this would be a smelly deal. Perhaps deliberately. The Chargers may want to be able to tell the league that San Diego just wouldn’t cooperate and therefore they should get permission to go to L.A.

Henderson notes that in the deal in which former mayor Dick Murphy ended the 60,000-seat guarantee, costing the City $100 million in rent, “The Chargers do not have to reveal that they are talking to anyone. They only have to give notice [of pending departure] in the period beginning in February, after the season, after the Super Bowl; notice doesn’t have to be given during a period that gives any disruption to the team. We proved to be Super Suckers.”

Maybe economic reality will prevent that happening again.

Comments

Don -

You mention an economist saying unemployment may reach 11-12% within a few years. I'd suggest that unemployment, measured honestly and competently, is already roughly double those numbers. The headline Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment figure always reported is their "U3" calculation, which, when you look into their methodology, is a joke.

For example, it takes no account of "discouraged workers," people no longer actively looking for work because they've given up, or who've been unemployed "too long." BLS' U6 unemployment figure does take account of many such individuals, and is the only BLS stat that should ever be cited as an unemployment figure. Note that the BLS U6 figure is currently over 15%.

However, even U6 does not include "long-term discouraged workers," those out of work more than a year. So, for example, someone receiving unemployment benefits past the prior 52-week limit - unemployed but looking for work - is not counted, even, in U6. If you add this group back in, you'll find that the current US unemployment rate is around 22%. To get a running update on these stats and some related background, I recommend visiting ShadowStats.com.

You make excellent points. Shilling was talking about the unemployment rate as reported by the government. But you are correct; the realistic unemployment rate, including discouraged workers and those out of the work force for a year or more, and those with part-time jobs who want full-time employment, tops 20%. Government statistics are rigged. I have devoted at least one column and several blog items to this topic. This morning, consumer inflation numbers were awful and spooked the market. But realistically, that number is probably higher than reported. Using statistical tricks and faulty assumptions, the government understates both unemployment and inflation. Best, Don Bauder

we r no longer an industrialized country...there r no jobs to be had except for greeters at that insufferable Walmart and burger flipping at Mc Donalds

u couldn't even buy American if u wanted 2..there is NO American!!!

it just makes me ill!!!

and i hope we never build a new stadium for those thoroughly ungrateful Chargers!!!

i'm just so grumpy this morning...hahahahahaha...i need more coffee ;-S)

Hun, get yourself on back to bed!!! But only AFTER re-reading Marmalade Blues:)

And I guess I'll not send in my application to the catheter soldering plant if what you say is true. What's an unemployed scribbler to do?

find a man u can penwhip into submission and wait 4 the economy improved Roody...or tell the READER to hire u as a Travel reporter to places we all want to see...

WE NEED A WEEKEND VACATION WRITER

someone that could tell us places that would be terrific 3 or 4 day vacation destination 4 two at fair prices

little out of the way places would be cool

go get em tiger!!!

we r no longer an industrialized country...there r no jobs to be had except for greeters at that insufferable Walmart and burger flipping at Mc Donalds

= You nailed it nan, 41% of ALL jobs in America today are minimum, or near minimum, wage.

We are a banaan republic where te top 1/10th of the top 1% owns 50% of the countries wealth, or as much as the bottom 60% combined..

and i hate being on the bottom puppy...wahhhhh!!

What about our great plan for taxpayers to fund the preparation of the foundation for a new stadium through a 4 percent County-wide TOT; with the private Chargers, NFL, and AEG paying for the actual stadium structure and ongoing maintenance?

www.tinyurl.com/20110518

Mayor Sanders, Maas, Fabiani, and the Chargers plan is based upon selling off both the publically owned Qualcomm stadium and Sports Arena sites to pay for the Chargers new stadium. Luckily selling these large parcels could only be accomplished through a public vote.

Having a pre-approved, shovel ready, CEQA compliant project site, takes lots more time than finding a potential funding solution.

Ed Roski's site in the City of Industry has already been pre-approved for CEQA and shovel ready for a few years now.

AEG Farmers Field in Los Angeles have already started their Environmental Review for CEQA. Once approved LA will have Leverage over the City of San Diego who has yet to start the long CEQA analysis.

Mayor Sanders' preferred site in the East Village of downtown San Diego would be expensive to acquire. Considering a different site than the East Village would save $150 million off the top that CCDC does not have to clean up the contaminated soils at the MTS Bus Maintenance Yard.

The $3 million publically financed Draft EIR for the Convention Center Expansion is currently being written. To analyze a dual multi-purpose Stadium and Convention Center Expansion as an Alternative Project will not add much costs to the Draft EIR document. All that is needed is more seismic and hazardous waste investigations. Additional taxpayers costs $200,000.

According to CALTRANS Earthquake Engineering maps, the original convention center was built over an active fault. That may be the reason why the original underground parking garages leaked, and requires constant pumping.

San Diego has to find a way to collect and clean our urban storm water runoff. Creation of structural cistern foundations would get rid of the Seismic Hazards of liquefaction, and create stable foundations for any future project. Plus the bulkhead configuration would create ongoing jobs for the ship building industry, while reclaiming public space currently underwater.

Since San Diego got burned with the original Convention Center's leaky parking structure and lack of engineering design, no one wants to build cisterns. Just Analyzing a waterfront stadium project forces the City to finally address outstanding Seismic concerns.

Ed Roski's site in the City of Industry has already been pre-approved for CEQA and shovel ready for a few years now.

============== As I stated a few days ago-Ed Roski CALIMS to have all the financing ready to go. Just needs one team to commit.

A CLAIM* I find hard to swallow in this environment.

SurfPup, you can't be suggesting that a casino owner who wants to have a football stadium would ever engage in hyperbole. You know full well that pro sports owners (most of whom have connections to the gambling industry) are as honest as the day is long (in Nome, Alaska in January.) Best, Don Bauder

You do realize that a casino owner CANNOT be an NFL stadium owner don't you? I don't see any "for sale" signs at the Silverton... and I live right next to there.

Katheryn Rhodes, an engineer who writes under the name of laplayaheritage, has an excellent plan for a cistern project that would allow San Diego to achieve future water security. In my opinion, this is where the $600 million or more that would go into this goofy stadium idea should go. Best, Don Bauder

Brilliant... how much tax revenue would this water security project bring?

Costs are Approximately $31.2 to $50 million per year. Solving our Urban Storm Water Runoff problem would only save General Fund money. The money saved could be used for other General purposes such as public safety. There is no new source of Revenue, only a huge drop in Expenses.

The City of San Diego subsidizes our public Storm Water Fees according to Mayor Sanders Revenue Review and Economic Competitiveness report "Starting a New Path for Sucess" dated December 1, 2010.

www.tinyurl.com/20110124a https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_fHftxFXFhyMGJmMWY2NjAtZmJlZi00ZTVkLWIzZjktZjJiZjczZjZkZWY2&hl=en

A Major Top Competitiveness Priority includes Significantly improvements for storm water runofff programs to stop man-made pollution from entering the Pacific Ocean or San Diego Bay.

This Year the City of San Diego's General Fund is paying $31.2 million dollars, with future annual costs of $50 million per year. Its big and should pay for itself.

it's a better sh*tty idea then a stadium...as i've said in the past

SEND THE CHARGER NORTH!!

You've got a pretty good start on a gallery of rouges. Maybe the Reader would consider compiling and index that summarizes their accomplishments with links to the details?

Just which rogues are alluding to, Twister? Pro sports owners? If that's the topic, suggest you read the book "Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football" by Dan E. Moldea. It is heavily footnoted. It is the bible on the topic of how pro football has been connected with gambling and organized crime from its beginning in the 1920s when Al Capone financially backed both the Chicago Bears and Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals. The connections with gambling and pro sports owners continue to this day. Best, Don Bauder

The Nation magazine has a great article in their Aug 15th issue titled "Why Do Mayors Love Sports Stadiums? " Curiosly enough they do not mention San Diego.

I haven't seen the article but will look it up. The answer is strictly politics: so many team supporters are such utter fanatics that they comprise a potent political bloc. San Diego is turning into the theater of the absurd. There is no way in the world that the City can afford the $700 million or probably much more that it would have to lay out to build a retractable roof stadium, spend $150 million to move the bus depot, etc. Intelligent voters know it, but opponents of such matters are normally outspent 100 to 1. However, in this case, the Chargers really covet LA. San Diego is just a backup. I don't think they would spend that much money to win an election unless their LA quest had already been blocked.

As I stated earlier, I think the solution is to let the Chargers move to LA, and name the team the Southern California Chargers. Then people in San Diego could be sure they could watch it on TV without blackouts.

Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who agrees that the City cannot afford to put money in a new stadium, points out that Chargers mouthpiece Mark Fabiani has tried to set up the trap that anybody opposing a new stadium is opposing the team. But Aguirre says there are remedies for keeping the team in San Diego, such as through an antitrust suit against the National Football League.

Aguirre says there are remedies for keeping the team in San Diego, such as through an antitrust suit against the National Football League

How about a fraud lawsuit.

A fraud suit might be good, too. Aguirre's point is that a person can be for the Chargers remaining in San Diego but against the new stadium. Fabiani wants people to believe it's either-or: if you're against the new stadium, you're against the Chargers. Qualcomm is much better located than the proposed stadium downtown. The Q's so-called problems can be fixed. Besides, the City absolutely cannot afford the new stadium. In fact, the idea is preposterous. Best, Don Bauder

Please NO closed/domed/retractable roof. With San Diego's amazing mediterranean weather, the stadium must be open to the sky with REAL GRASS. None of this astroturf nonsense.

A retractable roof in a Mediterranean climate, when the stadium would seldom be used for conventions, rock concerts and the like, is the height of absurdity. Best, Don Bauder

Quoting Bruce Henderson only diminishes this article.

Henderson is the one we need to put/keep Spanos et al in line.

Agreed. We need Henderson. I don't expect him to file any suits to block a Chargers scam, but I do think he will comment, providing insight. Best, Don Bauder

I strongly disagree that quoting Bruce Henderson diminishes the column. Henderson, almost alone, saw how the City had been set up to be fleeced in both the 60,000 seat guarantee and the highly subsidized Petco deal. He was one of the first to see that redevelopment funds were being stolen from schools and used to subsidize downtown buildings that should have been financed with private capital. Best, Don Bauder

He's done nothing but file bogus lawsuits. I'm glad most people see thru him.

I hardly think the lawsuits were bogus. The judges who ruled against them were under pressure from the establishment. Best, Don Bauder

An agenda??? Wrong wording, but nice try. If anything, my agenda is for the City of SD to be better off, which is exactly what a new stadium will do. I was born and raised there and love my team. There is so many benefits this new stadium will create. People like Bruce Henderson are just "sue" happy people, and want SD to suffer.

If you're wondering why the Chargers would leave San Diego? The answer is that they are financially unable to compete with other teams because of the lack of luxury suites at the current stadium. All 32 teams share revenue on their regular ticket sales, but they keep their luxury suite ticket revenues for themselves. All of this type of information can be found on our website, plus other questions you may have.

Tyce, I am sorry but this comment is 100% FALSE.

No team needs "luxury boxes" to "compete". The ONLY reason the NFL does NOT share "luxury box" revenue is because they use it as a bogus bargaining tool against muni's in order to con them into building a new stadium, at taxpayer expense of course, while they keep all the money.

This rule was *intentionally* set up to con the public. The NFL could change that rule in 2 seconds with a vote of the owners. Making ALL "luxury box" revenue subject to sharing.

And if Spanos wants those luxury boxes then HE can pay for them, not taxpayers.

Surfpuppy. I suggest you stop listening to and believing in conspiracy theories. You are 100% wrong.

I think SurfPup is 100% right. I would say we have a disagreement here. Best, Don Bauder

ditto Don...that puppy has a nose for the bad oder of governmental and corporate scamming

thx for keeping ur noses to the ground and sniffing this stuff out puppy and Don

SurfPup is right. The non-sharing of luxury box revenues was definitely set up by the NFL to fleece taxpayers. Tyce and Fabiani say the Chargers can't compete without a new stadium. Ha. The Chargers are one of the best teams in football and have been for several years playing in the current stadium, one of the oldest in the league. The only reason the Chargers want a stadium with luxury boxes is so that they can pocket that extra revenue themselves. Best, Don Bauder

If anything, my agenda is for the City of SD to be better off, which is exactly what a new stadium will do.

Are you being paid by the Chargers? That is a serious question. There is no way a billion dollar plus stadium used 8 times per year could EVER be a benefit for San Diego. Ever. /

I was born and raised there and love my team. There is so many benefits this new stadium will create.

Name one.

BTW-there is nothing stopping Spanos from building his new stadium with his own money and land, why not let him do that if there are so many benefits????????

Gee... Have you ever heard of Tax revenue? Have you seen the reports about how Petco has exceeded their projections for the City?

Have you ever heard of Tax revenue? Have you seen the reports about how Petco has exceeded their projections for the City

Petco is not paying for itself, last I heard. I doubt that has changed.

In any event, a billion dollar football stadium would not pay for itself-that is a ridiculous comment.

You should work for Jerry Clown and be his spokesperson on that hundred billion dollar boondoggle bullet train, where the cost per passenger will be $1 million. You can tell the masses how much money it will save and won't cost more than the projected $40 BILLION originally (now over $100 BILLION!)

Let's also add the tourism that will be brought in for events like World Cup soccer, SuperBowl, convention space, mosnter truck, top talent musical acts... the list goes on and on. And the tax revenue is a big deal... the City needs it. TOT tax.

If we had 1 superbowl every decade it would be a miracle, especially with ALL the new stadiums today. I will say the 1988 Superbowl with the Broncos and Redskins was one of the best run, best produced, most succesful Superbowls ever. But even with a new stadium the SB would not be a factor in SB's at all because of the infrequency of gettign one. We don't have a soccer team, and I would suggest if there were World Cup soccer it would be the same infrequent event such as a SB.

As for monster truck shows- I pray we NEVER have those! Kidding aside, someone here or the UT made this very same claim many rears ago about the new AZ football stadium, claiming it was used nearly the entire year by supercross events (moto-cross racing), monster truck shows and the like-yet when the event calender for the stadium was checked it showed it was rarely used for these events, and also showed the stadium sat empty most of the year.

The bottom line-if there is so much money in building a new stadium why has LA not built one in the last 16 years?????????????????

Why aren't billionire developers lining up to make this big money you claim is out there??? I'll tell you why-because it is a fraud. There is no money to be made, only a black hole of taxes benefiting billionaire owners and millionaire players, to de-fraud the poor and middle class out of their livelihood, people who would never be able to afford the events in these stadiums THEY end up paying for.

Sorry Tce, this aint your local UT bloggign site, the people posting here are far more schooled on these stadium and other tax issues than any other blogging site in San Diego.

Heck even Bruce Henderson has posted here before, who knows maybe he will weigh in and offer hsi own comments.

If the Spanos family poured their own money into the stadium, they would be lepers among other NFL owners, who feast on taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

How in the world would the City be better off plunking $700 million, probably much more, into the stadium and necessary related expenses such as moving the bus depot? In some stadium scams, the team says it will stimulate development in the surrounding area. This is nonsense, because study after study shows it just doesn't happen. However, the Chargers aren't even saying there will be ancillary development. Best, Don Bauder

In the piece you sent, Duhbya, Tyce says he is a "diehard Chargers fan." That's the point I have been trying to make: politicians will permit a stadium subsidy to break a city because of the fans who are helpless fanatics. Tyce says he cares about San Diego. He should study how much this stadium will cost. You can't be for that giveaway and be a San Diego supporter. Best, Don Bauder

Next you'll be telling us that the 2003 Super Bowl in San Diego had a $367 million impact on the local economy. Oh, wait, that's the NFL's claim.

The most objective economic studies indicate that Super Bowls have an economic impact that is about 1/10th what the NFL claims, maybe less. (Some say hosting of Super Bowls is a losing proposition.) If the NFL says a Super Bowl brings $400 million to a city, the realistic amount may be $40 million. Best, Don Bauder

If the NFL says a Super Bowl brings $400 million to a city, the realistic amount may be $40 million

Don, I just ran the numbers. If the SB brought 100K attendees to town, then they would have to ALL spend $4K each to make it to $400 million. They stay what-2 days on average, many would just fly in for the day, a very select few hundred maybe thousand or two from the media would arrive earlier and stay maybe 10 days max.

Even with inflated hotel room costs, double the normal average rate, 10 restaurant meals, and other various costs, I just don't see the average attendee spending anything near $4k. I would bet $500-$1,000 total for two days per attendee is about right, which would be $50 - $100 million. No way the average person would spend $4K, no way.

Interesting number to estimate though.

Remember, there are all kinds of hosted parties for the corporate CEOs and their entourages. These are expensive. There have been many studies. Keep in mind, too, that the host city has to spend a bundle on police, etc. And hoteliers have to turn down many potential customers for that week. These are among the reasons why some say the Super Bowl is actually a loser. Best, Don Bauder

And hoteliers have to turn down many potential customers for that week.

Another wild card calculation, how many of the rooms woudl have ALREADY been occupied without the SB-good point that I missed.

Mike had a piece in the U-T that many misinterpreted. They thought he was advocating the massive subsidy of a new stadium. He was doing no such thing. He is against any subsidy. Some of these op-ed pieces don't come off as intended. Best, Don Bauder

You sound like Aguirre's mouthpiece.

=================== It is funny how a difference of opinion causes such discourse with the Chargers-I suggested Tyce could be Jerry Clown's mouth piece earlier in this thread for the so called bullet train b/c of my preceived spin from him -now he is returning the favor.

2003 Super Bowl

OMG, I had COMPLETELY forgotten about this SB being played! I had to Google it, and then I remembered b/c the Raiders lost!

Once reason I remember the 88 SB so well is because the Redskins stayed at the Hyatt Islandia, which was right across the bay from my home in South Mission Beach.

There was one important game -- possibly a Super Bowl -- when announcer John Madden and his sidekick both said that Qualcomm is an excellent stadium and they saw no need for a new one. Best, Don Bauder

Why would anyone be against investing public money that will generated redevelopment to a blighted area, property tax revenue, tourism, amazing special events, TOT revenue. Look at the Petco Model and ready for yourself how well it is for the City of SD.

http://www.sandiegobusiness.org/media/docs/07%2014%2010%20Petco%20Economic%20Impact%20Report%20Press%20Release_FINAL.pdf

http://www.welcometosandiego.com/2010/07/petco-park/

Those are cold hard facts. No way to get around this.

Redevelopment $$$ would be nice, and hopefully the Supreme Court reverses Jerry Browns decision to fraudulently take away those funds.

Obviously you haven't noticed, or nobody has told you, that the condos in the ballpark district are darned near empty. Please don't confuse chauvinistic propaganda with cold, hard facts. Best, Don Bauder

Meanwhile... you seem to deny all the benfits that Petco has brought? Wear blinders much? Your blinded with facts, and time in the industry has well passed you by. Your just spewing your own propaganda without merit.

Petco produced a lot of condos. The occupancy of them is very low. Buildings that were supposed to be built, such as in retailing, were not. Meanwhile, the Padres are attracting smaller crowds than they did at Qualcomm, primarily because the Q is so much better located. Best, Don Bauder

I'm guessing you didn't even read the report.. did you?

Which report are you alluding to? You have to consider the source in deciding whether to read a purported report. Best, Don Bauder

Originally, yes, fan was short for fanatic. But in common usage, there are fans, and then there are fans who are fanatic. Best, Don Bauder

"Fan" is short for fanatic.

============== Tyce is definelty fanatical about his Chargers-as I am, I just won't give billonaires free money off the backs of the poor and middle class.

I wonder how many of the "Damn the cost, just BUILD it!" crowd owns the exact opposite view when the subject is government spending. I'm guessing the number is substantial.

Henderson and I had a friend in common years ago. He's one of those very rare kind of men--uncompromisingly honest, with a true sense of civic responsibility, and the guts to call bs bull sheet.

I agree with your assessment. It took intestinal fortitude as well as intellect for Bruce to fight these pro sports subsidy scams. Best, Don Bauder

And while all this commentary goes on, "Porky" Sanders makes his grand tour of municipally-subsidized stadiums around the nation, with the Light News breathlessly recording each stop and finding wonderful news about the benefits to each city. If anyone was wondering of the "new" U-T would start to play it straight and knock off the corporate welfare schemes, wonder no more. That rag is still a sellout to the Spanos crime family, Moores, and their ilk.

Unfortunately, the U-T is still slanting the news. However, I read a story today on the topic of the stadium that was very good. It quoted analysts who look realistically at stadiums. Over and over, objective economic studies show that the notion that a subsidized stadium boosts a local economy is false. There are so-called consulting firms that specialize in telling cities that a huge subsidy to a sports team will pay off. Those studies twist statistics into a pretzel to reach such a conclusion. Best, Don Bauder

It's not that dam lies and all statistics are all bad, it's just that you run into big trouble when you throw the "common-sense" baby out with the bathwater.

Those purported consulting firms make big bucks telling clients (in this case city politicians) what they want to hear. Best, Don Bauder

Leiweke also responded sharply to a recent comment by San Diego Chargers attorney Mark Fabiani that it would require a "miracle" for AEG to break ground on a stadium project by next year. The Chargers have been looking for a stadium solution in the San Diego area for almost a decade and are a top relocation candidate.

"I think the problem with the Chargers is, [Fabiani] can sit here and talk about all the things we need to go through," Leiweke said, "but the last time I checked, they've been doing it for 10 years and they're nowhere.

"And the difference between us and them is we've got a guy willing to write a check for a billion. They've got zero financing, zero entitlements, zero design, zero deal with the city, and zero property that ultimately is not contaminated. Good luck."

He added that the Chargers "are not the only belle at the ball."

BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-nfl-coliseum-20110821,0,4457490.story .

I'll be durned. I'm wondering if this is professional wrestling or if there is really a dispute between the two. AEG is right: Chargers have zero financing, zero entitlements, zero design, zero deal with the city, and zero property that ultimately is not contaminated. This is quite interesting. Best, Don Bauder

But if LA dances with one of the others, we'll remain stuck with this ugly flocking of ducklings.

The excellent solution all around would be another team(s) going to LA and the Chargers continuing to play at the Q. Do you know who would benefit? The Chargers. They make a bundle at Qualcomm. Best, Don Bauder

The UT misrepresented one of my Op-Eds several years (decades?) ago, turning my point on its head with headers of their own authorship. This may not be illegal, but it should be a cause of civil action. It certainly is not ethical.

I don't think you can sue. You can only bitch. Best, Don Bauder

For the last piece, I didn't even get a tear-sheet. I guess their op-eds are now all presumed to come from volunteers? I think they took it out of their archives too. What I can't figure out is why they printed it in the first place.

The Reader doesn't want op-eds.

Through the years, op-ed policy at the U-T has been capricious. If the topic is something the paper is stumping for, such as a massively subsidized ballpark or football stadium, selection of the op-eds is normally biased toward the company's view. Best, Don Bauder

I think they knew I would send it someplace else (now assured--well, almost), so the best option was to publish it in "modified" form.

If it was an op-ed, the U-T should have contacted you about the changes. Best, Don Bauder

It was. They didn't. And that's not the first time. The LA Times always did.

The hundreds of millions to watch is in the value of the land the present Stadium occupies. Even when shopping around the county the Chargers kept mentioning the money the city would make developing the stadium land. The first proposal was both a new stadium and condo towers on the present site. I suspect condo towers in Mission Valley is the real reason the Chargers want to move. The Stadium talk is the patter of the dealer at three card monte, strictly meant to deceive. The city's real estate is all that's left to steal, we must keep our eyes open.

The last thing San Diego needs is more condo towers. Condos downtown, including in the ballpark district, are still doing very poorly. Condos in other parts of the county are not doing so hot, either. Best, Don Bauder

Not only do the Chargers want to get all the money from the sale of Qualcomm Stadium, they are also pushing the concurrent sale of the Sports Arena at the to pay for a $500 million public contribution to their $800 million stadium.

Thankfully, our City Charter requries that large public land sales (greater than 80 acres) can only be sold by a vote of the people. Therefore our public land is safe.

The public contribution to the proposed stadium will be far more than $500 million. That's the figure the Chargers give. It is far from reliable. Best, Don Bauder

Peter King had some stadium-related comments in his weekly Sports Illustrated column yesterday. I'm surprised at his "city fathers" statement, though. He's usually quite well-informed. Sixth item down the page:

. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/08/21/preseason.week2/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t11_a2 .

That sniping between Fabiani and the AEG boss might have been phony negotiations ploys. The Chargers have to sell out their seats this year; their advertising suggests it's tough. So AEG helps by implying that the Chargers won't be going to LA. In professional wrestling, it's called "scripted entertainment." Best, Don Bauder

I wish our public land were safe from a vote of the people, and that unneeded condo towers wouldn't be built in a polluted flood zone, but if sheer stupidity stopped an idea in this town, we wouldn't be discussing tearing down our excellent Stadium.

They must be thinking of stealing real estate, police and fire have already stolen our cash.

You hit the nail on the head. Best, Don Bauder

The stadium is in a riverbed. One reason we have water shortages might be the space that has to be left behind San Vicente Dam for flood control every winter. Anyone have the numbers on this?

I don't have knowledge on that topic. Best, Don Bauder

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the San Diego County Water Authority in the middle of a project to double the size of the resevoir? Runoff accounts for a portion of the water held in the resevoir, but most of it comes from the ca. aquaduct so it doesn't seem logical that space is reserved for "flood control" every winter. According to the SDCWA website, it will take 2-5 yrs to fill after the expansion is completed so it also doesn't seem to follow that having too much water behind the dam will be an issue going forward and probably hasn't for at least the last couple of years.

If it wasn't for San Vicente Dam, the San Diego River would flow through it. The reservoir can't be full when the rains come so the runoff will end up in the dam and not the stadium. Building condos there would be dumb.

Building condos anywhere in SD County in this market would be dumb. Best, Don Bauder

Building condos anywhere in SD County in this market would be dumb

Building ANY residential housing in San Diego, the county or the state would be dumb.

We are going to have upside down residential real estate for at least 3-5 more years. Maybe even a decade.

You may well be right. Housing won't come back for quite awhile. Best, Don Bauder

I think you're being overly optimistic, surfpuppy619. For anyone who bought a home between about 2000 and 2008, I believe it will be a MINIMUM of 5 yrs. And if you bought a home at or within 12-15 months of the peak, you most likely will never see your home regain that peak value. If you purchased your home prior to 2000 and bought it as a home and not an investment to make money off of, I think you'll be fine. Otherwise, you're pretty much screwed for the next few years. I'm refering to SoCal real estate. I believe there are probably other areas that will recover much more quickly.

Don, that bothers me a lot. It's a major economics issue.

See: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/2010/dec/21/11435/#c94238

Re: "I don't have knowledge on that topic. Best, Don Bauder By dbauder 9:53 p.m., Aug 23, 2011"

OK, I admit it. I SHOULD have knowledge on that topic. But what can I say? I'm being honest. I don't. Best, Don Bauder

All I want for Christmas is 10,000 potholes fixed. Oh, and open some libraries at night, fix some sewer pipes and elect an honest district attorney.

You mean you would rather have potholes fixed than have the City put $600 million to $800 million into a Chargers's stadium? Fabiani and Sanders would call you a heretic. I'll bet you prefer money going for education instead of subsidizing billionaire pro ball team owners. Blasphemy! Best, Don Bauder

Who are all these companies and fat cats waiting in line to buy sky boxes? There are no big corporate interests based in San Diego, aside from maybe Qualcomm, and all the rest of the smaller ones have stopped giving out perks. Our company used to have all sorts of vendors entertaining us with golf outings and game tickets but I can't remember the last time we got anything from any of them, besides an invoice.

It can not be said often enough that if this is such a certain money maker then go ahead and build it with all private funds.

Even Fabiani admits that San Diego's lack of corporate headquarters is a problem. Also, many local companies are scientifically oriented and capital intensive. These factors mean that fewer seat licenses and luxury boxes will be sold. Best, Don Bauder

"Analyst casts doubts on economic benefit from downtown L.A. stadium"

"Speaking to a state Senate panel reviewing the stadium plan, policy analyst Mark Whitaker warned that football stadiums typically have a minimal effect on a region’s economic growth, largely because they become a magnet for household entertainment dollars that were already being spent elsewhere."

. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/08/analyst-casts-doubts-on-economic-benefit-from-downtown-stadium.html . BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just about every economist who has objectively studied this issue says the same thing: stadiums, ballparks and arenas have no significant effect on local economies. The massive subsidies they receive from governments bring zero returns. Best, Don Bauder

Ok, ok, ok--I get it!

BUT . . .

How, precisely, do "you" (does one) get the word out to enough of "the public" to have an impact on "public opinion?"

People like us come off as a smattering of nattering nabobs of nagitivism. A few ants at a garden party.

Scribes who tell San Diegans the truth are considered skunks at the garden party, not merely ants. Best, Don Bauder

in fragranti delicto!

They are the skunks; we are the piss-ants--too impalatable for consumption who must be squashed in indifference.

Read Gretchen Morgenson's column in the business section of the Sunday (Aug. 28) New York Times. It's a brilliant article on how the Federal Reserve's policies have boosted Wall Street but not helped Main Street at all. She doesn't use the word "plutonomy," as I do, and she doesn't say that Wall Street DEPENDS on Main Street starving, as I do, but I am happy to see somebody as prestigious as she is saying what almost everybody else is afraid to say. Best, Don Bauder

That's an excellent report. Note that AEG overestimates the number of events that would take place at the stadium, as well as the economic impact. That's typical of pump jobs created by pro sports teams. Best, Don Bauder

Even as we stare down the abyss of a deflationary spiral, rampant inflation remains a possibility. Should inflation strike the dollar, investors will return to the real estate market, driving up prices far past the boom year peak. There is no guarantee, but I expect the unstoppable deficits to ignite inflation eventually, and fix many of our problems, including the weak real estate market.

It's not the deficits per se that lead to inflation, but excessive monetary creation. However, all this money that Bernanke is printing doesn't become inflation until the banks start lending it out. That would require a strong economy. So Bernanke and Wall Street are praying for a continued weak economy. This is how Wall Street preys on Main Street. Best, Don Bauder

Well, that's one way to start a gray revolution.

I don't see wild real estate inflation for some time. If there is a gray revolution, it will be over changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Best, Don Bauder

I suspect that the big concern for the Chargers is that -- if they are NOT selected to move to the LA stadium -- they will lose a bunch of their current sky box renters -- a key component of a profitable pro football team.

San Diego is a "branch office" city, with too few large corporate headquarters located here. With LA without an NFL team, some corporations in that region rent Charger sky boxes. If LA gets a team, the Chargers can say "good-bye" to most of these current renters.

Unknown to the public is the number of such LA/OC corps that rent Charger sky boxes. Rumor has it that the number is 20 or more. The Chargers aren't saying.

Then there is the Charger sky box CURRENT vacancy problem, which again is rumored to exceed two dozen at this time. I don't expect the Chargers will be releasing such info, even though they desperately seek massive taxpayer subsidies.

BOTTOM LINE: With only 3.1 million people and few big corporations, the San Diego region is a small NFL market that likely will struggle financially compared to other NFL teams. IMO, if the Chargers get the opportunity to move elsewhere (with subsidies, of course), it's hard to imagine that we'll be able to keep or attract an NFL team here.

Richard, as usual you provide facts and figures that others either lack or deliberately obscure.

Once again, thanks.

Fred

The Chargers know that San Diego's mediocre income levels and weak corporate base thwart any chance of having personal seat licenses, and make it harder to sell luxury suites. Best, Don Bauder

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