Fabiani Talks

The young son of a prominent government official boasted to his father that he had saved 25 cents by walking home instead of taking the bus. “Tomorrow, save $10 by not taking a taxi,” cracked his father.

Beware of such mathematical legerdemain as the Chargers try to make the case for a massive government subsidy for a downtown stadium. For years, the team had said a new stadium would be built with private funds, but that claim was never credible because it was always assumed that the land would be donated by some duped government entity that might also ante up property tax revenues for construction.

Now the team is looking into building a stadium on a bit more than 10 acres downtown — the tiniest footprint in the National Football League. (Qualcomm Stadium is 166 acres.) The park would take up the current Tailgate Park (once a major sales tool for nearby Petco Park), the Wonder Bread building, and the bus yard of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.

Mark Fabiani, Chargers mouthpiece, says that because there can be no ancillary development, there will have to be a government subsidy — or, realistically, much more corporate welfare than there would have been when the team was claiming the facility would be privately financed.

So let’s examine some of Fabiani’s juggling of numbers. In a speech in Rancho Bernardo, he said the facility would cost $700 million to $800 million. Others say it will be closer to $1 billion. Fabiani told me that “stadium construction would not begin until five years from now at the earliest” and the team counts on inflation being 3 percent — possibly a very optimistic estimate.

But there is an overwhelming factor: a huge plume of gasoline and oil that has sunk deep into the ground in the decades since the bus yard went into use in the 1920s. “The period for that plume to develop has been a long, long time — not anything like a filling station in use for only 40 years,” says Jim Mills, former president pro tem of the California Senate and an expert in San Diego transportation. There is also the question of relocation of the bus yard. How much would it cost? What San Diego neighborhood would want it? “There would have to be an environmental impact report for the new location, and can you imagine residents welcoming the bus yard with open arms?” says former councilmember Bruce Henderson.

In a December 12 op-ed in the Union-Tribune, Fabiani never mentioned the huge cleanup or who might pay for it and any relocation. Said Fabiani in an email, “While [fuel contamination] is an important issue, we don’t see it as a show stopper. That could change with more work, of course, but right now we are not deterred by this issue.” Even the U-T says, “The cleanup costs are potentially enormous.” Hmmm.

In his Union-Tribune op-ed, Fabiani said that the Chargers and the National Football League might put $250 million to $300 million into the project. But in a Rancho Bernardo speech, he said that “the league’s financial support is not assured because the fund it created for such purposes has been drained,” according to the Union-Tribune. The league desperately wants a team in Los Angeles because of television and other revenue in the nation’s second-largest market. Would it put money in L.A. or in San Diego? Need I ask?

So how much would the Chargers plunk into the pot — $200 million? That could make the government expense between $500 million and $750 million or more. No wonder a Channel 10 poll indicated that 71 percent of San Diegans oppose use of tax dollars for a new stadium and only 26 percent favor it. But wait until the entire establishment lines up in favor of it and pro-stadium spending swamps the opposition by 100 to 1 or more, as is common in such campaigns.

In his op-ed piece, Fabiani claimed that it will cost the City more than $300 million to keep Qualcomm Stadium going until 2020. I asked him where he got that number. It turned out that $32.7 million represented expenses that would come after 2020. And $200 million came from supposed deferred maintenance. “He appears to have pulled that $300 million out of his butt,” says Henderson. Fabiani seems to be arguing that since it will cost $300 million (his dubious figure) to keep Qualcomm going, why not just throw in several hundred million more? Huh? Henderson points to the opportunity cost: the hundreds of millions in additional funds that would be spent on the downtown stadium could do much to reduce the City’s chronic financial problems, repair the rotting infrastructure, restore services, and improve the quality of life.

Fabiani says the City could save much by turning Qualcomm to other uses. But who is going to build condos, lofts, apartments, retailing establishments, and office buildings anytime soon? There is a huge glut. Any hotel that was built or refinanced in the past five years is underwater, says La Jolla hotel guru Jerry Morrison. It will take years before the condo oversupply is worked down.

On that score, Fabiani mentions tax increment financing, or the use of future property tax revenues. But those nearly empty hotels and condos are causing the value of high-rise buildings to go down — along with future property tax receipts. Since construction won’t start for at least five years, Fabiani says, “Our expectation is that the current economic downturn will have ended by then.” Probably, but will property tax receipts have rebounded enough to use tax increment financing? Will the overbuilding be sufficiently worked off?

If the Qualcomm site is used for something else, “Who is going to pay to rip down the stadium?” asks Henderson. And there is a plume at that site too.

Fabiani says the Chargers “have proposed from the start that the team be allowed to operate and maintain the new City-owned facility.” I reminded him that the team also claimed that the stadium would be privately financed. This led to a snappy colloquy in which each of us challenged the other’s personal honesty. I kept thinking to myself: even if the Chargers pick up maintenance costs (and I will have to see that to believe it), who pays the servicing on the bond? The Chargers have already answered that one. It won’t be the team. “Since the total servicing costs for the $60 million bond issue of 1997 for Qualcomm improvements is $5.8 million a year, then servicing costs on a bond of over $600 million could logically amount to about $60 million a year,” says Henderson, who is including sinking fund costs. Maintenance expenses would be a fraction of annual bond costs.

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Your page lost all credibility with half of San Diego after you quoted Bruce Henderson. This is the same Bruce Henderson who cost the city million of dollars with frivolous lawsuits, a FORMER city council member. (Bruce, don't even answer and give me your bull..you can tell me how the lawsuits weren't your fault blah blah blah,,they were.

The Chargers stadium issue comes down to one thing: DO YOU WANT A FOOTBALL TEAM. The Chargers will move without public money just as every team would in every city, right or wrong. Yes, they are billion owners. Yes, it sucks. However, think about this: if each citizen who can pay taxes payed $1-2 a month for 30 years we could pay for our part of the stadium. $1-2/mo. for a civic asset that brings together a city unlike any library, airport, or city hall can. Football is an American pasttime that brings together generations, and that my friend, has NO price.

The argument that Qualcomm is fine is ridiculous. Take a tour and you will see it is rotting from the inside. I have seen the insides of the tunnels and they are pathetic. San Diego has a sports arena that is completely embarrassing and a stadium that is anything but America's Finest.

What the citizens of San Diego have to get past is the argument that a rich owner wants money. This is what happens in pro sports! Is it silly? Maybe. All I know is that my family comes together around the Chargers...it gives us something to bond over. Sports is the ultimate entertainment and if you have been inside Qualcomm on a big game day than you know what I mean.

The redevelopment funds are going to be put somewhere and taxes will eventually be raised for some other project...why not this one? I would much rather put my money towards somehting my city can be proud of. Not an outdated library, not a new city hall, but a place where the biggest events come. Somewhere I can one day take my kids and say "this team plays for SAN DIEGO, grandpa used to take me to watch them when I was your age."

This is bigger than football and money. This is about our city and an intangible feeling. Remember the buzz in 1994 (if you aren't some transplant)? Yes, that feeling.

Thank you for your time.

Response to post #1: I shall respond to several of your points: 1. Henderson was trying to SAVE the city millions of dollars. Now Petco costs the city more than $20 million a year. The claim that it would be revenue-neutral was a lie. In fact, some bureaucrats admitted to the grand jury that they had been told by the mayor's office to juggle the numbers to make it look like it would pay out. 2. The new Chargers stadium would cost $60 million a year just in debt service and sinking fund. The city doesn't have that money. It is broke. Where do you propose that San Diego get the money? 3. You think the Chargers bring the whole city together. But only about 20% of any city consists of pro sports fans who feel so rabidly they would break the municipal bank. The Chargers bring YOUR family together. But do they bring MOST families together? 4 Government's job is to provide infrastructure and essential services. It is not government's job to subsidize billionaire team owners or billionaire developers. 5. Studies by objective economists clearly show that subsidized sports stadiums do not stimulate economies or pay for themselves. 6.San Diego's redevelopment funds must be put into the rotting infrastructure. They should NOT go to multi-millionaire or billionaire entrepreneurs who are building structures that only benefit the upper income people. Subsidizing the rich was NEVER the original purpose of redevelopent financing. 7. Forget about intangible feelings. The city desperately needs something tangible: money, so it can survive. Best, Don Bauder

The Chargers stadium issue comes down to one thing: DO YOU WANT A FOOTBALL TEAM. The Chargers will move without public money just as every team would in every city, right or wrong.

No, I do not want a FOOTBALL TEAM in San Diego, or any other sports team for that matter. I hate sports and want to shutter Qualcomm and the Ball Park and force professional sports out of San Diego, for good. I also want sports eliminated from state-funded colleges and universities, and private institutions that accept federal funding, including indirect funding such as student loans. Professional sports is sucking the lifeblood out of San Diego and it is time for the public to stand up to the vulgarian billionnaire carpetbaggers who come here seeking taxpayer subsidies for their teams.

Don, in another story/blog of yours I commented on the Henderson representation as being a negative for those who don't want a subsidized stadium. I didn't offer further comment there, but comment #1 here is a perfect example of what I was talking about. Henderson is interested in saving San Diego from itself, no matter what it costs.

PETCO will eventually be an asset rather than a liability. Was Henderson right about his accusations concerning PETCO? Yes. Absolutely. And he cost the City of San Diego money in trying to prove it. The voters, arguably naive about the process, approved the project. His lawsuits were frivolous at that point. There is a rule in gambling: Don't throw good money after bad money. Henderson was throwing San Diego's money at something that was already lost, in demanding that the City defend itself in court.

Do the Chargers deserve a subsidised stadium? Nope. But they can no longer play at Qualcomm. It is not suitable for a professional football team. They are going to Los Angeles. This was a done deal a long time ago, people seemed to refuse to believe me. Maybe they now will.

Fabiani's job is to ensure that Chargers fans continue to attend games at Qualcomm until the deal in Los Angeles is finished. He's doing a fine job. He's giving the Chargers faithful every bit of necessary optimism that the team wants to remain in San Diego. Comment #1 is a perfect example of this.

Response to post #3: Professional teams are breaking the financial backs of cities that are on the brink. San Diego is one of those cities. But as you point out, so-called amateur sports, particularly football, sucks the life out of universities. Just look at what is happening to California education. There are massive cutbacks afoot at San Diego State and virtually every state-supported school. But critical funds keep pouring into supporting a football team. Unlike you, I do not hate sports. In fact, I got into journalism through sportswriting. I enjoy watching professional football games. I enjoy watching professional golf. But they should be self-supporting. There is no reason that public money should go into subsidizing the Chargers or a pro tournament at Torrey Pines. This pro sports subsidy game got started about 50 years ago, and like any welfare program, it is extremely difficult to terminate. The welfare mother with six children claims she cannot live without social welfare. The billionaire sports team owner claims he cannot field a team without a subsidy. There is only one difference: the billionaire CAN support the team himself. He just feels that if the public is dumb enough to do it, why should he put his own capital into it? Best, Don Bauder

"...I would much rather put my money towards somehting my city can be proud of. Not an outdated library, not a new city hall, but a place where the biggest events come. Somewhere I can one day take my kids and say "this team plays for SAN DIEGO, grandpa used to take me to watch them when I was your age."

I about laughed my balls off at this. Even if I grew up here(I thank the good Lord everday that I didn't), I'd STILL be a Packers fan. You can't beat 12 World Championships in 90 years. Even the Steelers are only half as good as the Green'N'Gold when it comes to winning. The Chargeless will NEVER win a championship as long as this is a lazy resort town. I'd be PISSED at my team if they pulled the bulls*** the Chargeless players pull year after year.

Arrested for drugs, dead in Sabre Springs, Tila Tequila, bottle of champagne in PB, punching a security guard in the Gaslamp, pissing on the side of nightclubs in the Gaslamp, NUMEROUS DUIs from NUMEROUS players and having a career ended in front of your Poway home by an overzealous, off-duty Coronado cop. These happened in the 4 1/2 years I've lived here. ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Bears fans in Chicago raised $5,000 for a billboard to tell thier team that they're not happy with the coaching staff. Chicago has a set of balls bigger than the pebbles Sandy Eggans seem to have.

You dumb asses want a Lombardi? DEMAND ONE!!!!!! Get rid of Smith,Turner,Rivers,Tomlinson, Merriman and Cromartie and REBUILD your team!

Response to post #4: Bruce Henderson agrees with your analysis: he feels that Fabiani just wants to keep the fans interested and buying tickets until the L.A. deal is finalized. At that time, there will be attempts to blame Henderson, Aguirre, Donna Frye, and possibly me. Fabiani has already claimed that the Chargers couldn't find a developer to do the deal at Qualcomm because of Aguirre. It was an utterly ridiculous statement, and Fabiani knew it. The Chargers couldn't find a developer because there was no developer dumb enough to attempt a project at that location, given the Mission Valley overbuilding and the huge plume interfering with any plans. But wait and see: if, indeed, the L.A. deal goes through (and I am not one who thinks it is inevitable), these preposterous ideas will be thrown out, and a depressing percentage of San Diegans will believe them. Best, Don Bauder

All I know is if the Chargers go to the Super Bowl or win it than this discussion is pointless. The stadium issue will come to a vote and it will pass..just like prop C. I will see you on the front lines.

Response to post #6: Yeah, a lot of players get into trouble, but the mainstream media, particularly the Union-Tribune, play it down. Also, such things go on in many cities. Ever look at the police blotter that is filled with Cincinnati Bengals players? I don't think the behavior is a reason to dislike the team. Actually, the Chargers have a chance to get to the Super Bowl, and perhaps win it, this year. This will give them impetus to get a stadium that the city and/or county cannot remotely afford. The revolting behavior of pro athletes is a reason to tune out all pro sports -- not just the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #8: I'm afraid you are right. And when a city with a massive deficit is paying $60 million a year for a billionaire's stadium, and goes bankrupt, San Diego will be the laughingstock of the world. That's how ridiculous this idea is. Best, Don Bauder

The laughing stock of the world? You have to be kidding me..what excellent insight from a journalist. I'm sure people struggling in Iraq will be laughing because we are paying for a stadium. And you wonder why your comments hold so little wait, and why you are writing for the Reader instead of USA Today. Paying for a stadium and/or a new Arena like EVERY OTHER major city has would give this city some life. If you want to pretend we are the sleepy naval town of 40 yrs. ago than go ahead, but you are way behind the curve.

You and your boy Bruce lose every fight you have ever picked. I know it must be hard to constantly get backhanded, but maybe you should try and enjoy the ride for once. Look what the Saints have done for the city of New Orleans, what the Red Sox mean to Boston, the Yankees and New York, and the list goes on and on. San Diego is the least forward-thinking city in the entire country. The sports arena and qualcomm are the most pitiful stadiums I have ever seen in my life. When I have friends come and visit they look at those two buildings and they are in awe at how pathetic they are. If I may use your wording, they make us the laughingstock of the country.

It also helps to have a DA that is a fan of the team said players play for. ;-D Sandy Eggo already is a laughing stock. Between no fireworks this year because of threats from environazis, reporting two inches of rain in a 24 hour period like the 7th seal was broken, s***ty sports teams that couldn't win to save their lives, not allowing it's legal citizens the right to drink on the sand and the complete ineptitude and corruption that oozes from city hall like a bad re-make of The Blob, I'd say Sandy Eggo pretty much has a lock on being a laughing stock. Not to mention looking like a complete douchebag of a city. But I digress... :-D

"If you want to pretend we are the sleepy naval town of 40 yrs. ago..."

No, San Diego is now 4 billion dollars in debt. It could be more, but that's what they're admitting to. Hardly the sleepy naval town. The point is moot anyway, the Chargers decided to move to Los Angeles almost three years ago. They are hoping you'll make the 2 hour drive north, regardless.

I would not drive 2 hrs. north. I cheer for San Diego and HATE Los Angeles. That is one reason why this issue means so much to me. I also do not think they made up their mind three years ago. If they play for a super bowl title this year they will get their stadium here in San Diego. Watch.

LMAO! It's always us transplants who see through the native's obvious transparency when it comes to them "hating" Los Angeles. For a group of people so opposed to the L.A. lifestyle, you sure do a great job emulating them. :-D

Good luck on that elusive animal known as a Super Bowl win. I talked to Santa myself and he told me you'll be getting a lump of s*** in your Tennessean stocking this year. I'm waiting for the Captain Marshmallow press conference where he spouts off at the piehole about getting revenge for two years ago. You guys lose on Christmas and you'll be facing a mediocre New England team in the divisional round only to lost to Tom Brady yet again....LMAO!

I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the talk about, "This is the most talented team in Chargeless history..." bulls***. This year's team is better than the Marty Schottenheimer 14-2 team? YA! Pigs might fly out my ass too!

Tom, if you're cheering for the City of San Diego, then the last thing you would want is for them to go into even more debt than they're already in. Qualcomm is a dump, I agree, I've been inside of it many times (this is related to the reason I know they are moving to Los Angeles, or at least, not staying in San Diego). I'm not a Chargers fan, but I would love to see them stay in San Diego. It simply won't work.

If the Chargers were to hang around for eight or ten years before looking into a new stadium again, they would have a shot. Unfortunately, Alex Spanos owns the team. He isn't patient. He will not wait for the economy to become ripe for a new stadium in San Diego. This is a money decision.

And I'm not convinced that the Chargers will go to the Super Bowl this year. They don't match up well against either New England or Baltimore.

But I do, maninthemirror. I've been saying that the Packers aren't the team everyone thought they were about 5 or 6 weeks now. I've also been saying that they need to rebuild and they are rebuilding. I wasn't a big fan of Mr.Rodgers in September but he's made a believer out of me and I'm harsher on my own team than the Chargeless.

If you keep your Chargeless gear in a closet 10 months out of the year so that it looks pristine come playoff time, you might be a bandwagoner...Packer fans are so devoted to the team, I've seen MANY men and women wear the exact same shirt and/or hoodie EVERY day of the year for years until it disintegrates from being washed so much. Packer fans look at a bird s***ting on their shirt or hat as a sign of respect. They say to themselves," Well, will you look at that? Even the birds are jealous of our team." :-D

It's funny-if the Chargeless choke again this year, and they probably will, the hats, shirts and car flags all go back into the closet until next year. You won't see a single person wearing anything other than a pathetic $x Division Championship shirt or hoodie for the first week after the choke. They'll be wearing that because deep down inside they know their team is a massive joke....LMAO!

Unfortunately, Alex Spanos owns the team. He isn't patient.

Spanos will likely die of old age within the next several years. I hope he does not expire until after 12/31/2010, otherwise his estate will escape the 45% estate tax. When he dies, assuming he goes after 12/31/2010, his heirs will have to sell off assets to raise cash to pay the estate tax. I'm betting his heirs will want to unload the Chargers to raise cash to pay the estate tax, and hold on to his massive real estate holdings. I see absolutely no possibility of the Chargers moving to Los Angeles while Spanos is alive, even if voters reject the new stadium. No decision will be made on a move until after Spanos dies and the Chargers are sold to new owners.

Don't forget about Indy this year, refried. I think Peyton is laughing his balls off to himself regarding the Chargeless this year.

Bottom line regarding the Bolts/Colts "rivalry"? I'll break it down for the dumb ass Chargeless fans who think the Bolts own the Colts... Since 1975(COULD be 1972), the Bolts have played the Colts 22 times in the regular season. The Bolts are 12-10 Vs. the Colts. Hardly what I call owning them. Mediocre at best. They've played the Colts 3 times in the post season. The Bolts are 2-1 Vs. the Colts. Again, hardly what I call owning them.

Fair enough themaninthemirror. TRUE die-hard fans I have nothing but respect for. Unfortunetely, they're few and far between here in the 'Daygo. I DO call the Packers chokers every year that goes by that they don't bring home more silver. The main thing that pisses me off about the fans out here is there transparency. There's that word again...lol. I live with two people call themselves die-hard fans yet I've never seen one of them pony up the dough for a ticket. One isn't even a football fan. He's a baseball fan. I call him a convienent Chargeless fan. The other one? She wore her 88 Parker jersey last week to the Old Town Strret Market. First time I've seen her wear it more than 10 months.

I'm TIRED of the cockiness from the fans out here. Everytime I see one of them spoutin' their Dan Fouts/Bambi/1994 s, I want to bitch slap them with my wang and yell, "PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!!!!!!" Never in my life have I seen such obnoxious fans from such a sty team in my entire life. Even Cubs fans don't piss me off as much. I've noticed that out here in California, laidback is just a euphemism for lazy, uneducated and ignorant. It's been 6 years max that the Chargeless crawled out of the cellar. If it's taken this team 44-45 years to crawl out, what makes the fans think that the NFL is just going to roll over like a lapdog and hand them a title on a silver platter without earning it just because the league likes Sandy Eggo? ALL of the Championship titles won by any major sports organization were earned. Why does this town think so different? I don't get it. If the Chargeless EARN a LOmbardi this year, I'll give them that much more respect. I don't see Cleveland Browns fans spoutin' off at the piehole about how great their city and team are. In fact, nobody spouts off more than Sandy Eggans about their city and sports teams. It's quite hilarious when you analyze it.

Watch these videos and tell me that the maker is wrong... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_ekWx0WwLA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwsF1U...

Burwell: I say Alex lives for another decade. Don't buy into his "mentally unable" crap. The paradigm hasn't changed, which tells me he's still in charge. We'll see, but my money goes on Alex reaching the century mark. It's tough to kill a billion and a half dollars.

Pete: I don't think that the Colts get out of their first game. I think that the Eagles will play the Ravens in the Superbowl.

Interesting pick, refried. My money is on the favorites(Colts/Saints) but one of the reasons I'm an NFL fan is the drama. Football is the only sport with drama that I can stomach. It's not that I inherently hate the Chargeless. Quite the contrary actually. They're the bad boys turned Cinderella story in the making. It's the fans that make me hate the Chargeless. Just once I'd like to hear a fan say or see a blogger write, "Well, if the Chargers can keep their heads screwed on straight this year instead of getting cocky like they always do, they have a legitimate shot at a Lombardi this season". I won't see that or hear that. The die-hards think that way. I respect them because the majority of them aren't members of the lazy, self-centered, egotistical instant-gratification generation. The true Charger die-hards think to themselves, "ACT like you've been there goddammit!!!!".

Response to post #11: Actually, there are stadiums that have been privately financed. One is the one that houses the New England Patriots. The Kraft family tried every trick in the book (including threatening to move to Connecticut) to get the local and state government to cave in. They wouldn't. So the owners built the stadium, and the governments chipped in on accompanying infrastructure. Another is the stadium for the Washington Redskins. It has always been a private affair. A third is the one for the San Francisco Giants. After four or five unsuccessful elections, the team realized that taxpayers were in no mood to be fleeced. The owners built the ballpark, with government help in infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #12: The ballyard in which the Red Sox play was privately financed -- way, way back in the early part of the 20th century. It is the only pro stadium that actually aids the local economy. That's because there isn't enough room to serve much beer inside, so the Sox fans flood into the local saloons. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #13: You're sure right on the corruption oozing from City Hall. But with the Chargers one of the best teams in football, I don't think you can complain about pro sports records. (The Padres may bounce back some day.) Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #14: I would rather see San Diego revert to being a Navy town than a Real Estate Speculation Town, as it is today. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #15: Sadly, you may be right. They will win the Super Bowl and get their stadium, which the city cannot begin to afford. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #16: Maybe the transplants do have a better perspective than the natives. However, if you read the demographic trends (the percentage of the population that has come to San Diego from elsewhere), you realize that there really aren't that many natives. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #17: I'm not sure that "making it to the playoffs" should be a measuring stick. Look how many teams "make it to the playoffs" each year. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #18: The team has already said that because of Alex Spanos's advanced age and slippage, he is not making the major decisions (if any) these days. Here's something to ponder: if Qualcomm is really in this bad shape, why did the Chargers in 1997 agree to play there until 2020? Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #19: Packer fans wear hats? I thought they wore cheeseheads. Here's how old I am: I went to the University of Wisconsin in the 1950s. The Packers drew so poorly in Green Bay that they played a number of their games each year in Milwaukee. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #20: Roski wants a piece of any team relocating to his stadium, if it ever gets built and he dumps his casino interests. Roski's intentions and Spanos's advanced age may dovetail to the disadvantage of San Diego fans. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #21: But by and large, the Colts have probably had better records in the years they have played the Chargers. That would make the Chargers's record look better. In any case, do games played in the 1980s and 1990s have relevance today? Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #22: Back in the 1970s, San Diego lost some pro teams -- soccer, basketball, etc. Several just threw in the towel. The joke back then was that one local team would move to the Philippines and be named the Manila Folders. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #23: Please don't mention the Cubs. I grew up a Cubs fan. Was psychology devastated every year. I consider it a reason for my deep feelings of inferiority. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #24: You are putting your money on a couple of long shots there: Spanos lives to be 100, Ravens vs. Eagles in the Super Bowl. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #25: Your money is on the Colts vs. Saints. Remember when the Colts drafted Manning and the Chargers drafted some goofball whose name escapes me? Oh yes: Ryan Leaf. The local media kept saying the Chargers got the best of it. Leaf disappeared, only to be found recently on a police blotter. The Chargers also got rid of Brees. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #26: Those poor damned fools in Chicago, Green Bay, and Cleveland who sit out in minus 10 degrees to watch a football game deserve to go to the Super Bowl and sit in a warm stadium. Best, Don Bauder

response to #31


could it all be a set up just to keep the money coming in?

after all, its not a sport, its entertainment. ( real big money to be made)

seems to me the whole league is run ( dare I say game fixing) to keep the most customers interested ( buying tickets) for as long as possible

Let the san diego voters decide where to waste tax payers money

themaninthemirror-You're right. I was being hypocritical. Kind of. You have to keep in mind that the Packers have sold out EVERY SINGLE home game before pre-season was done since the year your team was born-1960. That's 50 years of not having to worry if local sponsors are going to bail out the team. Supposedly, this is the best Chargeless team ever. If that's correct, why are sponsors STILL bailing out the team to get shown locally. Technically, the Chargeless have been blacked out at least 4 times this year at home. Considering that there is almost half the population of the entire state of Wisconsin living in Sandy Eggo county and the stadiums hold almost the exact amount of people, isn't that pretty pathetic?

3,001,072 people in Sandy Eggo county in 2008. 5,627,967 people in Wisconsin in 2008.

Qualcomm Stadium-71,294 Lambeau Field-72,928

TRUE die-hards go to the games. I've never been to a game at Lambeau Field. That's not for lack of trying. The closest I've lived to Lambeau Field was the Green Bay Correctional Institution. I'd give my right nut to see a game there. Every single time I've tried, I couldn't get a ticket. NOTHING. I've talked to ticket brokers that have told me that the next game they have for sale is 2013. I've known a few guys who have been scammed by ticket brokers.

Maybe I'm biased but I see a whole of talk and not enough action from this town when it comes to football games. Maybe the next time the Packers kick the s*** out of the Chargeless here at the Q, I'll be able to see my team in person. BTW, the Packers TRULY OWN the Chargeless. 8-1 Vs. the Chargeless since 1970. ;-D

"...But with the Chargers one of the best teams in football, I don't think you can complain about pro sports records."

Being the best without a Lombardi isn't being the best. Hate to harp on something like past history but it's true. The Chargeless could win their division/conference every year till the end of time. It doesn't mean jacks*** without that silver,angled football on a kicker's stand.

"...In any case, do games played in the 1980s and 1990s have relevance today?"

Sure they do. Just ask the Chargeless about playing in Pittsburgh. :-D Chargeless fans thought 0-13 didn't mean s*** this year. It's now up to 0-14 at Heinz Field. Same thing about Mile High Field in Denver. The Chargeless didn't win a single game from 1971-1980.

With so much mention of Lombardi as patron saint of all pro sports, I'm still trying to figure out why anybody would be so (fill in the blank) as to move here from Wisconsin.

After all, Wisconsin has cheese. All we have here is public debt and houses sliding off the market and Mount Soledad.

I moved here to be with the one I love. As soon as she is divorced, I might move back. I also might be moving back within a year or so with or without her. Wisconsin is just as f***ed up as California when it comes to politics and the weather might be great out here but in Wisconsin/Illinois, I'm with people that are a hell of alot more humble and down to Earth. Anyone, anywhere can find any fault with the place they live. As much as I love my birth country, but it's almost a shame that we're "united".

Response to post #43: Yes, pro sports is entertainment, but a different kind of entertainment: it is inextricably tied to gambling. As I have pointed out in many columns, the NFL was founded in the 1920s for the express purpose of gambling. Al Capone money backed both the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals. For many decades, almost all the owners were tied to gambling and/or organized crime -- Rooney, Modell, Mara, Rosenbloom, Mickey McBride (actually a Jewish gangster from Cleveland), etc., etc. The league's tie with the gambling industry has never been broken. The same is true of other pro sports. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #44: I am not aware that there was any state money in the Redskins stadium. I will have to check that. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #45: The Chargers could be the best ever and the stadium still not sold out. Reason: the economy. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #46: Would it surprise you or break your heart if I told you the owners would prefer to have the cash register jingling than have a Super Bowl trophy? Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #47: This may just be statistical happenstance, too. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #48: Wisconsin has beer, too. The state consumes more alcoholic beverages per capita than any other state, if I am remembering my statistics (recent ones) correctly. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #49: I am from Chicago. The place has always been known for its lack of humility. Indeed, the term "Windy City" does not refer to the weather. It refers to the citizenry. Wisconsin has some blowhards, too. Best, Don Bauder

I know where you're coming from themaninthemirror. However, there's a bit of a difference between GB die-hards and SD die-hards. Die-hard Packers will skip funerals of friends to either watch the game on TV or in person at the stadium. SD die-hards give up both watching the game on TV or in person to go sky diving, surfing, wind surfing, golfing, etc, etc.

Can anyone tell me what almost happened on January 4th, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

(hint:Think of a paper that's not going anywhere)

I'll be back after a shower, trip to Von's and lunch to see if anyone can tell me.

For your listening pleasure, I give you, Bob Knows Best... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q7uUO...

Response to post #50: And the Denver fans often have to sit out there in the cold and snow. Best, Don Bauder

LOL Don.

Using the economy as a reason for s***ty fans is a cop-out. I'll bet there are poorer people living in Wisconsin than in California. Yet, the games ALWAYS sell out. Economy isn't the reason.

In all honesty, if the Chargeless win 5 Championships in the next 50 years, this conversation will be moot. Team pride is supposed to bring fan pride. In SD, it's backwards.

Chicago is also known as the City With Broad Shoulders. Do you know why?

Cheese and beer in Wisconsin.

The leftovers of an Enron commodities unit in charge of San Diego's franchised power utility.

Man, that's a hard choice when it comes to knowing where to live.

Maybe it's a good thing for the local tax assessor that man does not live on cheese and beer alone!

If one from Wisconsin thinks there are no down-to-earth people here in Enron-by-the-Sea, then I could introduce one to a local FBI agent or two who are salt of the earth.

Something tells me a2zresource must not live in the real world if he's found an FBI agent or two that seem like they're the salt of the Earth. The FBI is one of the most inept government sheriffs there are. ANYTHING associated with the federal government smacks of ineptitude.

I also never said that there were no down-to-Earth people here. I'll give you a quick example that I've noticed since moving out here almost 5 years ago...


Native:Welcome to America's Finest City. Transplant:Thank you.


Transplant:Welcome to Sandy Eggo. Transplant:Thank you.

See the difference? I've seen this scenario played out dozens of times while living here. I saw it twice at Lindbergh Field when I was coming back from a trip home in March.

Anyways, I have to run.

BTW, the answer to my question, a playoff game almost got blacked out. Yes, a playoff game. There were 350 tickets left for that game that the SD-UT snatched up to keep the Chargeless from becoming national embarrassments instead of just local embarrassments. http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20080104-9999-1n4tickets.html

Using the economy as a reason for s***ty fans is a cop-out. I'll bet there are poorer people living in Wisconsin than in California. Yet, the games ALWAYS sell out. Economy isn't the reason.


The games sell out in Wisconsin because the people who live there are stupid.

Response to post #60: Chicago is the city with broad shoulders because Carl Sandburg described it thus way in a poem. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #61: Man CAN live on cheese and beer alone. I did it for long stretches when I was at the University of Wisconsin. I know several people who live on pizza and beer alone, which is close. Best, Don Bauder

"The games sell out in Wisconsin because the people who live there are stupid."

Congratulations, Burwell, you just won the 2009 San Diego Reader "Most Convoluted Logic Used In A Comment" award. The ceremony, emcee'd by a crackhead on a bicycle with a flashlight duck-taped to a hard-hat, will be held at midnight at the end of the pier at Imperial Beach on December 31st. You will receive a plaque and a dime-bag of meth.

Response to post #62: San Diego got that "finest city" moniker about 37 years ago. I doubt if many natives use it. Best, Don Bauder

The games sell out in Wisconsin because THERE'S NOTHING ELSE TO DO!! Pete, I WAS getting you the Direct TV NFL Sunday ticket for Christmas tomorrow, but I've decided to wait until the shipping address is back in Wisconsin. You'll have more time to enjoy it then.

Response to post #63: You seem to be using the old adage, "If he had any brains, he wouldn't be living there." Where else is the state bird a horse fly? Where else is the state mascot a bar fly? Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #68: One thing you CAN do in Green Bay during Packer games is plunder all the cash registers. Nobody will notice you. Best, Don Bauder

70 comments within 22 hours has to be some sort of record.

Listen, there is not going to be a new stadium b/c there is no more money to scam off the taxpayers. We are tapped out. Property taxes have fallen through the floor. We still have the 3%@50 pension scams and every other public union scam you can think of. The money well has run dry.

This City will be filing BK within the next 2 years. It is not a matter of "if" we will, just when we will.

Does anyone have a clue as to how we are going to pay off the $3-$6 billion in pension and retiree healthcare benfits owed to our elite ruling class-the public employees????.....please-Fabiani, speak up, how are those going to be paid????? What about replacing the water and sewer systems-the ones that are over 100 years old where a rotted out cast iron pipe breaks at least once per week?????

I doubt ANY bonds could be sold to finance a stadium even if KFC Sanders were stupid enough to try to give away the farm again.

So argue about this scam all you want-it will never happen.

Heck, we have our own Gov begging the feds for an $8 billion bailout-the feds said no last year and they will say no this year. You cannot borrow money, at the state or city level, when you have a structural deficit imbalance. The feds are not going to bailout this states public pensions, and the taxpayers are not going to throw a billion at Spanos when he already has his OWN billions.

Fabiana-take this messege to your buddies Alex and Dean, if they want a new stadium they can use THEIR money.

Now stop trying to put your dirty, grubby, fat little hands into MY pocket. I have my own $$$ problems, I don't need YOURS too.

Response to post #71: Heresy! Alex and Dean spend their OWN money? Do you want to get them in trouble with the other NFL owners? You are right: the city is broke. The city and county together couldn't pull it off. I don't know who would do financing now or any time in the next few years, but you have to look at the financial community's proclivities. They think leveraged buyouts, which are scams, are great. They think mergers and acquisitions, which usually fail, are wonderful. They think IPOs, which fill a few pockets and ultimately scam investors, are great. Wall Street makes big bucks on all these. Who cares if the economy goes to hell because capital is drained for these counter-productive and non-productive purposes? So why wouldn't they finance bonds stealing $60 million a year from a bankrupt city? Wall Streeters would salivate. Best, Don Bauder

So why wouldn't they finance bonds stealing $60 million a year from a bankrupt city? Wall Streeters would salivate.

Don, ANY investment bank that would be willing to underwrite ANY bonds for San Diego, knowing the financial situation we are in, would be sued for fraud-because the possibility for default would be 100% IMO.

You cannot sell muni bonds when the muni is on a collision course with bankruptcy. It is straight up fraud. No different from a business that is selling products knowing they are soon going to file BK without delivering the product-it is fraud.

You are right: the city is broke. The city and county together couldn't pull it off. I don't know who would do financing now or any time in the next few years, but you have to look at the financial community's proclivities.

The City's only option is to impose a utilities tax to pay for the new stadium. If the new stadium is put to a public vote, Henderson should place a competing proposition on the ballot that authorizes the city to issue bonds to build a new stadium, but also imposes a residential utilities tax to pay for it. The voters would become confused and not know which proposition to vote for, or conclude that a vote for the stadium means higher taxes. The phony proposition might be able to confuse the voters and siphon off enough votes to stop the other proposition from passing.

Response to post #74: Just remember that the mendicant (the team) will outspend the opposition by 100 to 1, normally. So the team would have a lot of money to propagandize on the subject of the alternative ballot measure. Best, Don Bauder

Well, I just had a nice xmas dinner.

Anyway, Happy Holidays to you Don.

I didn't read every post after all there are so many. To the guy that is bagging on Don, well Don worked for Business Week and the SDUT. Don is retired and this is at his pleasure in his retirement… is that correct Mr. Bauder?

Anyway, lesson to learn. Respect your elders. Also, Mr. Bauder is a very smart guy and well respected. The Reader is fortunate to have his personality on here.

Back to the topic. Since when does the NFL play on Christmas day? It feels like, wtf.. Are they trying to steal Christmas Day now? Shame on them. Seriously, that totally sucks.

I used to have season tickets to the Chargers. Like Don, I enjoy sports too. But there is also a responsibility to be prudent when it comes to civic priorities. We have so many more pressing issues that the city is responsible to address. I just have to chuckle when all the Chargers meatheads post about the stadium… then Fabiani the jerk-off. Seriously, I hate Fabiani. Probably because I hate lawyers and lairs. Fabiani is both, I would love San Diego Chargers to win a super bowl, but then again I hate to see the sheeple sign off on a one billion dollar subsidy for the Chargers also

In the late nineties, the voices opposing subsidies for professional sports entertainment businesses were few and far between. It was lonely.

Now there is some hope. While Don is correct that our voices will be outspent 100 to 1 in any election, maybe we aren't quite so naive as before. The proliferation of online media is something the Chargers cannot strangle, as was the case with the sports teams excercising their "partnership" power over television, radio, and newspapers in San Diego last time.

Don, in future stories on this. (unfortunately, there will probably be many), please lead with the simple fact that we can use this money elsewhere. Arguing about HOW to finance a stadium is wrong. We need to state at the beginning, and repeat frequently, that San Diego has important needs.

It's sad that so many otherwise healthy Americans find so much addictive and unhealthy pleasure watching athletic young men in tights playing with their balls. It's truly frightening that some families are so emotionally impoverished that only this kind of homoerotic athleticism turns them on. It's probably Tom's own bad parenting that has brought this sad state of affairs about. His love for the Chargers proves his hatred for San Diego, and his family doubtless suffers too.

Response to post #76: I'm hardly retired: look at the weekly column, the daily blogs, and the responses to everyone who writes in to both the column and blogs. But I enjoy writing for the Reader greatly. You speak of a responsibility to one's community. No professional sports team -- ever, anywhere -- has shown such responsibility to its community. See my blog posted this morning (Dec. 25) on how the two Cincinnati teams are financially draining their home base, but refuse to rewrite their extremely generous contracts. Professional sports specializes in fleecing municipalities for the profit of owners, who in most cases are already billionaires. Best, Don Bauder

You speak of a responsibility to one's community. No professional sports team -- ever, anywhere -- has shown such responsibility to its community

dbauder 9:05 a.m., Dec 25, 2009

I remember when Tony Gwynn was winning batting title after batting title with the Padres. 8 in all (I have personally seen all 8 at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown), tied with an old timer named Honus Wagner and a few behind all-time leader Ty Cobb (both old timers, not from the modern era of 100+ MPH fastballs).

Tony took LESS money to play for the Padres when his contracts expired. He could have signed on with other teams for bundles more $$$$$. But Tony didn't. Tony loved San Diego, Tony loved the San Diego fans and Tony loved the Padres. He took less $$$ because he was a true part of this community and it meant something to him. It meant more to this community and his fans. Tony put his money where his mouth was, and put his heart in San Diego.

The Chargers could learn a thing or two about life, and loyalty, from Tony Gwynn.

Response to post #77: Good point, Fred. This time around, in San Diego and elsewhere, the pro sports scam might possibly be thwarted through use of the Internet. San Diego also needs a leader from the business community to come forward and state definitively that the Chargers arrangement, as now suggested, will break the city and county. Hopefully, a respected, responsible executive like Irwin Jacobs or John Thornton will come forward and explain to San Diegans that they are driving down the road to bankruptcy already, and such a deal would just hasten the woes. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #79: Yes. Gwynn was not the OWNER. Best, Don Bauder

Propitious timing. Filed under: Funniest line found in the San Diego Reader during this decade. "Don is retired.."

I surmise Don's response might be similar to mine when asked the question. I'll retire when they pry my cold, dead fingers from my keyboard.

Happy New Year/Decade, Don.

Response to post #82: Maybe the writer meant "Don is retarded." That would have smacked of more verisimilitude. Best, Don Bader

LOL Don. I'm pissed at the Chargeless right now. They keep making me look stupid. I guess we'll know in a month whether or not they were right or I was right. All I know is that the last time the Chargeless were significant in the sports world was 1963 and the players were poppin' steroids like a fat kid pops candy corn on Halloween.

Response to post #84: I think the Chargers could be favorites to win the Super Bowl. They seem to be playing exceedingly well. This would be good timing for a vote on the downtown outrage (unless court cases on such matters as environmental reviews could delay things), but possibly bad timing in the Chargers's hopes to get to L.A. (The team would like either location, preferably L.A., and is planning for both possibilities.) I'm not sure the NFL would want a Super Bowl winner to announce it was leaving town. Keep in mind, though, that neither the downtown SD stadium or the L.A. stadium is likely to be ready in five or six years. Best, Don Bauder

I'm pissed at the Chargeless right now. They keep making me look stupid. I guess we'll know in a month whether or not they were right or I was right. All I know is that the last time the Chargeless were significant in the sports world was 1963 and the players were poppin' steroids like a fat kid pops candy corn on Halloween.

Yeah, I saw that special too-cannot recall where I saw it though. One of the Charger players interviewed sued them for giving him the steroids, the guy still lives here in the San Diego area, cannot recall his name though. The lawyer that represented this Charger player was himself a Charger player on the same team......

Chargers received a first round bye for the playoffs-and have one of the hottest offenses in the NFL right now. Could be a superbowl year. New Orleans is the team to beat in the AFC IMO.

Wow, 86 postings as I type this! The topic is a real hot-button issue for long-time Bauder posters, and for a new one or two. Today this city is faced with a question, and that is simply, "Shall we put tax dollars into pro sports subsidies that gratify some fans, or shall we spend them elsewhere?" Every dollar that goes into a subsidized stadium is a dollar that doesn't repave a crumbling street, replace a century-old water main, hire a cop, buy a new fire engine, collect trash in a park, or . . . the list is endless. There was a time when the choice was far less stark. Now it comes into focus. If you live in the city of San Diego (I'm so glad I do not) you get to make a choice of how those dollars are spent. If, like tomchannik, you think keeping a pro football team is really the test of greatness for the city, and really think the team brings the city together, the choice is obvious. He'll go for it, regardless of how lopsided the deal is, no matter how much it costs. On the other hand, if you would like to live in a city that is doing everything in its power to avoid looking like some third-world dump, one thing that it absolutely cannot afford is to waste a single dollar on a stadium for a billionaire's team. The choice is clear, one-dimensional, and defining. Spend it on a stadium, and those millions will not be around to use for quality of life, public safety, or infrastructure repair and replacement for decades. But you'll have your circus, and maybe some bread. What you will give up is fire protection, streets, police, parks, libraries, and maybe even being able to ever get a dogcatcher to come handle a stray cur. The city of San Diego is no great shakes on those things now, and hasn't been for a long time. There is plenty of room for it to get worse, much worse.

The choice is yours, San Diego voter. Step up and tell the pols what you want.

Response to post #86: There was a big medical scandal among Chargers in teh 1970s, too. And New Orleans, as I am sure you know, is in the NFC, not AFC. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #87: You put it very well, Visduh. Those are the choices. You left out another: bankruptcy. A vote for this preposterous idea may be the city's direct ticket to BK. Best, Don Bauder

By refriedgringo: "PETCO will eventually be an asset rather than a liability."

Really? When would that be? Will it be as much of an asset in the future as Qualcom is now? Stadiums are like new cars, and start to depreciate quickly until they become a liability. The Padres graciously "giving" us Petco after 30 years is a joke, because they would not want to own it at that point. Did you happen to see how much the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit just sold for? $583,000. That is substantially less than a decent house in San Diego. In 30 years Petco will be a tear-down, not a civic asset.

"Stadiums are like new cars, and start to depreciate quickly until they become a liability."

Not true. Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field are all older stadiums, and they work wonderfully well. Qualcomm was built as a multi-purpose stadium, which was a mistake and a cheap way to house both the Padres and the Chargers in the same place. These types of stadiums do not work well for either sport, I can't think of one anywhere that is still used.

Petco will be less of a liability when the economy improves, especially when the team becomes more competative. There is no reason to imagine that Petco will be bulldozed after 30 years. There is no reason that this should happen.

SurfPuppy-It's called Pumped Up Pioneers from ESPN's OTL. It can be found here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837

The player's name was Houston Ridge.

RE#86: "I'm pissed at the Chargeless right now. They keep making me look stupid. I guess we'll know in a month whether or not they were right or I was right." Pete, I gotta give you one thing - if the Chargers pull it off this time, you will have earned a hallowed place in the city's lore. Sort of like the reverse of the Sports Illustrated jinx.

Response to post #90: Yes, the provision that the city would own the facility in 30 years was just another case of San Diego getting completely snookered by the Padres's lawyers. Actually, however, a 30-year old stadium should, rightfully, have another 60 years left. Perhaps more. Look at the stadiums at the big universities -- Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. Built about a century ago. They have been expanded and kept in good shape, but are still quite good stadiums. The same should be true in pro sports, but the owners know they can fleece the populace and get a new one every 25 years. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #91: Oakland still has a multi-use stadium. There may be others. One thing that is absurd about this pro sports stadium scam is the few times the facility is used. A pro football stadium is used for 10 games a year. Oh, there might be tractor pulls and bowl games, but most of the time it sits empty. Baseball stadiums are used for 81 games and perhaps playoff games, and have other uses, but most of the time are empty. Good architects could design stadiums that could be used for both football and baseball. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #92: Fascinating history. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #93: If the Chargers win the Super Bowl, win the vote for a stadium subsidized with $700 million the city does not have, and the city goes bankrupt, the year will certainly go down in history. Best, Don Bauder

And New Orleans, as I am sure you know, is in the NFC, not AFC. Best, Don Bauder

I didn't know that-I thought the Saints were one of the AFL teams at the merger in 1970. My bad.

So if NO is in the NFC-then the Chargers are the team to beat in the AFC-even though Peyton Manning and the Colts will go 16-0......b/c we KNOW how good the Colts are against the Chargers in the playoffs!

"Stadiums are like new cars, and start to depreciate quickly until they become a liability."

Not true. Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field are all older stadiums, and they work wonderfully well.

By refriedgringo


Dodger Stadium is owned by the team, always has been, which today is the McCourt family. You may find the ball club owners attitude in getting a new stadium vastly different if they actually OWN the venue-Big difference.

Next, the Dodgers are in the middle of a multi million dollar renovation plan at Dodger Stadium. The Angels already upgraded their stadium a few years back with CITY funds-which led to a major lawsuit because the City of Anaheim required the name Anaheim to be used, and the current owner changed the name to the LOS ANGELE Angels of Anaheim-which just goes to show you how much you can trust a professional ball club owner today-isn't this similar to what Spanos did after he got his $80 million Jack Murphy upgrade in 1998-cry like a little baby and break his promise to stay for the 20 years like he PROMISED to when the City gave him the upgrade???

Whether a pro ball club stadium will be obsolete in 30 years is open to speculation- to me though it is just not relevant because if the cost is paid by the pro ball club ONWERS then it won't affect me.

Taxpayers should nto be paying for this nonsense. The pro ball club owners are billionaires-sticking their fat, dirty, little grubby fingers into OUR pockets. When they start sharing the profits with me, maybe then I will lend them some $$$-until then they need to keep their hands out of MY pocket.

RE #97: And quiniela rules don't apply.

Response to post #98: The way the Chargers are playing, and the fact that they often beat Indianapolis (even in Indianapolis), may make the Chargers the favorites in Vegas. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #99: One of the classic scams was in Miami. I am going to do this from memory, but it won't be far off. The citizens built the pro basketball team, the Heat, a new arena. But then the economics of pro sports changed: the way to make money was in luxury suites, etc. So something like seven -- yes, seven -- years later, the Heat demanded another new stadium with luxury suites. And got it. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #100: In the pro sports subsidy game, there is only one rule: the billionaire owners must be enriched and the citizenry must become impoverished. Best, Don Bauder

the lawsuit over the naming of the Angels had no connection at all with the money spent on the renovation. They were two separate things, under two different owners. When Disney got control of the team in the mid 1990's, they signed a new lease with the city of Anaheim. .... The lease that Disney signed with Anaheim in 1996 contained a clause that the team named had to "include the name Anaheim therein".

Man-that is not correct, the requirement of the Angels to use the Anaheim name was DIRECTLY tied to the stadium renovations;

** The use of the name "Anaheim" in the team name was a major factor in the City's approval of the current lease in 1996 and the economic concessions the City of Anaheim made.


The "economic concessions" were the renovations of the stadium which the city of Anaheim paid for.


"City Manager David M. Morgan drafted a personal letter to Arte Moreno, the Anaheim Angels owner on September 11, 2003. The letter stated that in negotiating the lease "the City did not waiver in requiring the Team to be named for this City. This was, and is, a critical point for the City and a very material element in the City's decision to provide financial support ($20 million) for the Stadium remodeling and renovation efforts."


Response to post #104: Marketing is important in pro sports. Among many things, look how agents market their client-athletes. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #105: We have a controversy here. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #106: I always wondered why they didn't name themselves the Orange County Angels. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #107: They had this in common: both were (are) greedy. Best, Don Bauder

Moreno had nothing to do with the lease in 1996. He made no promises of anything during the negotiations of the 1996 lease and asked for no concessions in the lease. His changing the team name is nothing like what Spanos did. Disney made the deal with Anaheim and Moreno felt he was maintaining that provision of the lease and the court agreed. He didn't break any promises or go back on his word because he didn't make any promises or give his word because he wasn't involved in the "negotiations".

Art was the holder in due course of the lease, so he would be bound by the provisions/promises/words of the contract even if he was not personally involved, b/c he is in privity with the contract.

But I see what you're getting at-that Art's interpetation of the lease was open to challenge because Anaheim didn't nail down the language enough. It was hard to foresee what Art would do with the name IMO, using the vague and ambiguous challenge to the Anaheim name placement successfully.

I have to say this though, I think Art made a boneheaded move messing with the name. Orange County is NOT Los Anegles, and the Angels are NOT going to pull LA spectators/fans b/c the Angels have the words LA in the team name. I think that line of reasoning is perposterous. But hey, Art did it, the court ruling went his way, so that is the way it is.

I like the Angels though, good team, and Moreno is keeping them competitive-can't say that about the Padres.

Response to post #112: There is a definite similarity with San Diego. In each case, the city was completely outlawyered by the well-paid attorneys of the team. Best, Don Bauder

In each case, the city was completely outlawyered by the well-paid attorneys of the team.

Don, I have said it from the start-the City of San Diego gets "out lawyered" on purpose, intenionally.

They sign these ridiculous deals to benefit their buddies, Spanos, Moores, Aaron Feldman, who ever is lining their pockets at the time. The Mayor and Clowncil get a few pennies of "campaign contribution" chump change and the taxpayers get saddled with millions in taxes to benefit their cronies.

When the Charger expansion deal was inked in 98, with the infamous "ticket guarantee", it was obviously a set up.

A first semester, "Contracts I" law student with just 2 months of LS under their belt would never do a "ticket guarantee". It makes NO sense at all. The ONLY possible explanation for the "ticket guarantee", is that it was done intentionally to benefit the Chargers and line Spanos' pocket.

So it is not getting out lawyered-it is straight up fraud and malfeasance of duty on the part of the Mayor and Clowncil who all approved and signed off on these bogus deals.

Response to post #114: Consider the revolving door. The personnel of the Development Services Department and CCDC are simply whores for the developers. There is that revolving door: people work for developers, then slide into jobs with Development Services and CCDC, then go back to working for developers. They work for developers while on their payroll, and also work for developers while on the government payroll. The same is true of the U-T: reporters and columnists do the mayor's dirty work while on the paper, then go to work for the mayor. And as you point out, City lawyers forever being outlawyered may be deliberate, or as a result of orders from the top. Remember the girl who "cain't say no" in the musical Oklahoma? She sings, "Every time I lose a rasslin' match, I have a funny feelin' that I won." Best, Don Bauder

RE #115:

And what about the failed SEDC-consultant-led recall effort against Tony Young after he called for Carolyn Smith's ouster? The "simply whores for the developers" tag might actually apply at SEDC as well, no?

Response to post #116: Yes, SEDC gets the label, too. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #118: Orange County and San Diego County are similar economically and demographically. The populations are similar. Orange County has had higher income per capita and generally a stronger economy through the years, but it has been hit hard in the current downturn. Angels attendance is impressive, but there is another factor: Orange County doesn't have a pro football team, so more discretionary income can be steered to baseball. Best, Don Bauder

All I know is that the huge dollars being GIFTED to these team owners has to stop-out entire economy and nation are imploding-and that is one of many, many reasons.

We will never recover, and will continue to look like a third world country more and more if it continues.

Response to post #120: For years, I said that corporate welfare was larger than social welfare. Some people argued the point, others did not. Now, with the U.S. government bailing out financial institutions, GM, etc. there is absolutely no question about it. Corporate welfare is far, far larger than social welfare. And the executives of the firms that drove us to the brink -- (that danger hasn't passed) -- are still raking in big bucks, like $50 million or more a year. The average salary of a S&P 500 CEO is around $13 million a year. Multiply that by 3 or 4 and you have the annual pay of Wall Street CEOs. Hedge fund chieftains are still bringing in more than a billion in some years. Best, Don Bauder

I am deeply puzzled by those who complain about our stadium. For forty years I have attended a wide variety of events there, and always thought it was a marvelous example of public architecture, sited in the best climate and location this fortunate city has to offer. The trolley line makes it better than ever.

Mr. Bauder, you explained why the Padres moved; to perpetrate a real estate scam through the power of eminent domain. The previous Charger proposals fit this pattern, but this latest one doesn't. The new location is only better if you want to score crack on the way to the game. How do the Chargers make money out of this?

Regardless, the Chargers have found excuses to tear up multiple agreements. I can't believe they are bargaining in good faith. The slander on the stadium is just another excuse.


Response to post #122: I haven't been in Qualcomm for several years, but those who have say it is a very good facility. I remember at one recent Super Bowl, two announcers, one of whom was Madden, lauded Qualcomm. When people say it is rundown, they say the press facilities are sub-standard. The press be damned! I can say that because I belong to the press. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #123: I didn't mean to say that there was only one factor in the Angels's attendance upsurge. I can scarcely think of any phenomenon in which only one variable plays a role in a significant change. Best, Don Bauder

And the executives of the firms that drove us to the brink -- (that danger hasn't passed) -- are still raking in big bucks, like $50 million or more a year.

The $13 BILLION! AIG could not pay off to Goldman Sachs on their credit default swaps were paid 100% on the dollar by the American taxpayers.

WHY??????? Why did the taxpayers cover AIG's insurance fraud to Goldman Sachs???? WHY???? Goldman could have, and SHOULD HAVE taken the loss. Just make Geitner or Bernanke pay back some of that bonus money they pulled out a few years earlier.

Now Goldman has the $13 billion of taxpayer money-that they shouldn't have-and are raking in billions more in profits from their scorched earth financial raping of the country. If it were not for those losers lowering the underwriting standards for credit we would not be in this mess today.

Response to post #126: The government should have paid 15 or 20 cents on the dollar. Why did it cave? Why does Geithner care more about Goldman Sachs and other large banks than he cares about American taxpayers? Best, Don Bauder

The press might be damned, but I hope before that happens that the Ghost of Christmas Future might give the press and the Spanos family a ride on the LA freeways to the City of Industry at one in the afternoon. Perhaps they might learn before it's too late that millions can't replace a Mission Valley afternoon, and that a beer and the truth tastes better than the Spanos buffet. Perhaps someone will learn the difference between being loved as a public benefactor and hated as a notorious miser.

Just kidding, we know these people. They deserve LA. But LA might not have room. The main difference between Los Angeles and Damnation is that the road to Damnation has no clogged freeways.

Meanwhile we should SAVE OUR STADIUM. You never know-- the Saints might come marching in.

Response to post #128: Your essay is a creative and appealing one, but your last paragraph stands out. San Diego is the 17th largest U.S. market. There are 32 teams in the National Football League. If the Chargers leave, another team is quite likely to occupy Qualcomm -- whether an expansion team or an existing team having troubles in its home market (Jacksonville would be the best example). This is too big a market to abandon. And this big market already has a good stadium. Best, Don Bauder

The government should have paid 15 or 20 cents on the dollar. Why did it cave? Why does Geithner care more about Goldman Sachs and other large banks than he cares about American taxpayers?

There can be no doubt-at least in my mind- that Geitner put Goldman ahead of the country, the question is why???

I think there can only be one answer-he was/is being paid off, or will be paid off in the future (most likely) for doing it.

There is simply no other logical or reasonable explanation. And this is the reason the country is so upside down today-this unethical and greedy mentality by Goldman Sachs et al, which goes all the way to the top of gov.

Response to post #130: As former head of the NY Fed and former Treasury Secretary, Geithner will have lots of employment opportunities when he leaves government. Best, Don Bauder

Don, if building a new stadium puts the city in bankruptcy, have you ever considered that bankruptcy may be a good option for the city of San Diego right now? It would help with restructuring all that pension debt we have.

Don, if building a new stadium puts the city in bankruptcy, have you ever considered that bankruptcy may be a good option for the city of San Diego right now?

Bankruptcy isn't a good option, it's the only option.

Response to post #132: You should go work for Fabiani. That's the kind of twisted logic he dotes on. Bankruptcy would give the city the chance to restructure the pension debt and hopefully erase all the past promises that the city can't afford. But it won't take a $750 million stadium to get the city into BK. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #133: But why not add another $750 million liability? Who's counting? Best, Don Bauder

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