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Fabiani has a laugh

City/county stadium plan is goofy

The high school boy who calls a girl for a date and she says "no!" five times has to learn a lesson: she isn't interested. San Diego city and county leaders have yet to find this out. They presented a rushed proposal for a stadium and environmental impact report today (August 10) and Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani laughed at it publicly.

The plan has city and county taxpayers paying only 32 percent of the $1.1 billion cost of a stadium; the national average has taxpayers shoveling out 70 to 80 percent. And San Diego leaders think the National Football League (expected to contribute $200 million) will embrace this?

Fabiani noted that the task force's original estimate for the stadium cost was $1.4 billion, but local political leaders have "arbitrarily reduced the cost of the stadium" and then said the Chargers are responsible for cost overruns.

The financing plan and slam-bang environmental impact review are necessary because leaders are trying to clear the decks for a hurry-up vote in January. Said Fabiani, "Never before in California history has a controversial, billion-dollar project relied on environmental review documents hastily prepared in three weeks. The Chargers have been clear from the start that the franchise will not be the city's guinea pig for this inevitably ill-fated legal experiment."

San Diego leaders will present the plan to the National Football League. Those officials will immediately see through myriad aspects of the plan — particularly, the claim that the selling of personal seat licenses will raise $187.5 million for the financing of the stadium, according to the Union-Tribune. That sum is absurd. Fabiani told me in 2011 that the Chargers had no plans for personal seat licenses. They work well in affluent areas, such as the San Francisco 49ers stadium in Silicon Valley, but San Diego has trouble filling Qualcomm on many occasions.

Finally, the U-T quoted city attorney Jan Goldsmith as saying, "If they want an NFL franchise in the eighth-largest city in the nation, this is the time they make the decision."

Every owner of an NFL team is sophisticated enough to know that the size of the city is irrelevant. What's relevant is the size of the market. San Diego's is around 3.2 million — 17th largest in the nation.

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"eighth-largest city in the nation"

Where does that figure come from? Are they considering the entire area, including Tijuana, camp Pendleton & Imperial county? In any case, our demographics are very different from most of comparable size. We have our sports fans, but most people here are very attentive to survival in an expensive region and not as focused on expensive sports.

I've noticed that Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Black River Falls and some other cities are more intensely interested in sports. OTOH Bay Area, Boston and Seattle people seem to be interested in more creative pursuits (both in business and the arts).

I look forward to the day when people bypass commercial entertainment for those things that make life worth living.

swell: The city of San Diego is probably the eighth largest city in the U.S. I haven't looked because it is seldom relevant. What is important in business, including sports business, is the size of the market. San Diego's market is the county. The market is 17th largest in the U.S. at around 3.2 million. Best, Don Bauder

Personally I enjoy professional football and I will miss the Chargers. But I am opposed to the use of taxpayer money for a stadium.

ImJustABill: Get used to missing the Chargers because it definitely appears they are gone. They want LA -- as they have since 2002 -- but if they don't get there (possibly for lack of money), they will go elsewhere, such as St. Louis, which will have an empty stadium if the Rams move to Inglewood, as is likely. The Chargers have fouled their own nest so badly in San Diego that they could never get fan support if they tried to stay. Also, they will lose a big chunk of their revenue if one or two teams go to L.A. Best, Don Bauder

If it wasn't already theater-of-the-absurd, these events pushed the stadium deal over the edge. We have a suitor asking the league to make the team stay in town when the team wants to leave. And the team is very obvious in its disdain for the suitor, meaning Kev and his cohort at city hall. I had some hope for Faulconer when he said his top priority was going to be infrastructure. But he's putting personal energy, personal time, his scarce political capital, and his very reputation on the line trying to keep a sports franchise in town. And the sports franchise doesn't want to stay. If all that isn't absurd, please tell me what is.

Visduh: You are right. This is the theater of the hyper-absurd.

I will do you one better. I think the statements by Fabiani have been so abrasive that I increasingly think the Chargers cannot come back to San Diego if they fail to get to L.A. After all, in the last several years there have been several times when the game was going to be blacked out before some local business saved the day by purchasing enough tickets to cancel the blackout. The in-stadium market is not deep. I don't know the TV numbers but my guess is that they are also not impressive.

Fabiani has been so bold in his sarcastic statements that I suspect that the Chargers' Plan B is another city, such as St. Louis or San Antonio. Best, Don Bauder

Fabiani is a PR expert - I have to imagine that he knows what he's doing with the statements he's making.

So it does seem like he's awfully confident that the Chargers will be out of San Diego soon one way or the other. It seems Fabiani is "all in" to the Chargers leaving to the point where he wants to alienate San Diego.

ImJustABill: Fabiani, no dumbbell, is deliberately alienating San Diegans. After all, the team wants to convince the league (3/4ths of owners) that San Diego doesn't want it. There is another factor: if another team or teams occupies L.A., the Chargers lose up to 25 percent of their audience. Under that circumstance, St. Louis would be a much better market than San Diego.

So the answer is yes: the Chargers are as good as gone. If not L.A., somewhere else. It's possible the Spanos family made this decision: go all out for L.A. If that fails, go all out for St. Louis or a third city such as San Antonio. Best, Don Bauder

What will be even more absurd - and could actually happen - is if the Chargers play an entire season (2016-17) in San Diego after making a final decision to move to LA.

It's apparently going to be difficult for NFL teams to find a temporary home in LA.

Latest I've heard on the radio:

Colloseum says they can host one team (maybe) Rose Bowl says no. Dodger + Angel stadium have scheduling conflicts.

ImJustABill: According to my sources, the Rose Bowl has dropped out. The Dodger and L.A. Angel stadiums could be in the MLB playoffs. Coliseum could be an answer -- you say for one team, but not, apparently, two. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder " According to my sources, the Rose Bowl has dropped out." I am not sure what you mean by "my sources", but it was widely reported by national media that the Rose Bowl Operating Co.decided by a unanimous to not even respond to a request for proposal the NFL sent them for the use of the Rose Bowl as a temporary NFL facility.

danfogel: I guess my sources were either a post by you or one of those reports by national media. Best, Don Bauder

Robert Dean: Everybody on what is a moron? Our planet? Marijuana? The sauce? Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: In all these pro sports subsidy deals through the years, only losers have represented taxpayers. I know. I have fought those wars. I have the bruises to prove it. Best, Don Bauder

Robert Castaneda: The deal, in a nutshell, is crazy. Thank goodness, it is not yet a deal. Best, Don Bauder

shirleyberan: What job? Best, Don Bauder

Personal seat licenses are the linchpin of the stadium financing proposal. More than $100 million in PSL (debenture) is anticipated, according to the most recent plan.

In the past decade, the Chargers have had blackouts and close calls for blackouts only to be saved by local businesses (often media companies) buying large blocks of tickets. If the team has that difficulty in getting ticket buying fans, how in the world do they think they can sell seat and parking licenses?

What's worse is that I anticipate the proponents are not going to shock the fans, and the general public, with information about the cost of seat licenses, parking licenses and the future cost of attending a game. If they spook the fans, they hurt their chances of winning the vote. But if the stadium goes forward and the seat license marketing fails, it's going to be the taxpayers stuck with another cost. A sort of ghost of the "ticket guarantee." Because I'm sure the NFL lawyers will have all kinds of exclusions and indemnities in the contracts.

Ponzi: I agree with you 100%. The Chargers nixed personal seat licenses years ago. San Diego does not have the household income, after subtraction of cost of living levels, or number of extremely rich families to support PSLs. The idea is absurd. Best, Don Bauder

The drawings of the proposed monstrosity prove what I've been writing here all along, this whole game of Three Card Monte is about stealing City parkland for cheesy condos. The Chargers might be interested, they proposed something similar years ago, but that proposal left Spanos in possession of the condos. Since other developers would get the plunder under this scam, it's a non starter with the Chargers.

Psycholizard: Who would develop and build those cheesy condos? Would there be sufficient water for them? Best,, Don Bauder

The sketched development looks absurd, but the plan is to steamroller legalities through a ballot measure that would make new law, passed through an election with even less voters than Faulkner's anointing. Trouble is, their plan looks worse than the Charger plan that was laughed out of town, all the way to Oceanside.

Psycholizard: Several Chargers plans were laughed off. Remember the residential/commercial development in Mission Valley that forgot to leave space for parking? These were never serious proposals.

Since at least 2002, the Chargers have coveted the L.A. market. They couldn't reach an agreement with AEG (Anschutz) a couple of years ago. Best, Don Bauder

I'll bite Don. It's massaging each othe for a violent detonation$

REPORT: TWO POLLS BY CHARGERS INDICATE MORE THAN 60 PERCENT OF SAN DIEGANS OPPOSE USING TAXPAYER MONEY FOR A CHARGERS STADIUM, ACCORDING TO ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The Orange County Register has reported that the Chargers at today's (Augusst 11) NFL meeting in Chicago said the team commissioned two recent polls showing that more than 60 percent of San Diegans oppose the use of public money for a Chargers stadium.

I emailed Mark Fabiani, Chargers spokesman, and he said he was in the meeting and would give me an answer once he has a break. I have not heard yet, so I am going ahead and posting. If he gets back, I will post his answer.

Media are also reporting that Carmen Policy, who represents the Chargers and Raiders in their attempt to build a stadium in Carson, stated that both teams are fully committed to moving to the Los Angeles market. This should be no surprise, but it helps close the coffin. Best, Don Bauder

If a polling operation wants to get accurate predictions of elections, it is careful to ask questions that are to-the-point and neutral in nature. If one wants to give the client results that go along with preconceived desires, that's easy. They ask vague questions and slant them. For example, asking "would you support" something can mean different things to different folks. Does it mean voting for something, or does it mean eventually spending money on something? Both suggest support, but have big differences in impact.

I'm not so sure the ballot measure would or will fail. The big lie is already in place, to wit that there will be no cost for taxpayers beyond that now in place. Kev doesn't say that, just that there is no new tax proposed. But no new tax doesn't equate to no new cost. And if built the boondoggle is going to have a considerable cost. The dollars needed for infrastructure maintenance aren't in the city budget now, and anything that spends more elsewhere merely reduces the repair and maintenance budget. But will the typical low-info voter understand that? No, not in a thousand years.

Visduh: Yes, when viewing poll results, you have to consider who did the poll. Did the pollster come up with the answer that a group or person financing the poll wanted? It happens all the time. All the pollster has to do is rig the audience that is polled. Best, Don Bauder

In a video posted on YouTube, Carmen Policy said;

"It works for California, and it certainly works for the LA market," he said. "And now it works for the two teams that are playing in the most dilapidated, terrible stadiums in the league."

He was at a loss for words when he was asked what a team would be worth in the LA market. "What are the Clippers worth? I would not have guessed what they were worth." He did say they would be worth on a par with teams in the same sized markets. "The Chargers and the Raiders have been found by NFL studies to be the number one and two teams in terms of the number of hispanics that are part of their fan base."

It appears they want to create a mega-market. He said the LA plan would create a market from Santa Barbara to Tijuana. "This will be in effect, continuous infrastructure for the NFL in the terms of dealing with superbowls."

When it comes to what Dean Spanos thinks, he said "You have to have him." But he isn't speaking to anyone. When asked about the funding, bonds, he said that was Goldman Sach's category.

When asked what his biggest concern or biggest worry was, Policy said "I don't know that we have a worry.... things are in place."

To me his words are a good glimpse into what is going on now. Much of the issues of making the team(s) worth more money, more market, more Superbowls, is bringing out the greed for all to see.

Ponzi: The Chargers act smug, as if everything is in place, as Policy says. That is possible, but I don't believe anything is in place in Carson. Best, Don Bauder

". . . playing in the most dilapidated, terrible stadiums in the league."

When was Wrigley Field first "renovated?" Good thing construction techniques have improved since then.

Twister: Midwestern university stadiums, challenged by the elements in the winter, are 100 years old. Qualcomm is not dilapidated. Best, Don Bauder

I was trying to be cynically ironic--quite out of character--I don't know what got into me . . .

Twister: Yes, everybody reading this blog knows that you do not have an ounce of cynicism in your persona.

It reminds me of Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady" singing: "I'm an ordinary man -- even-tempered, and good-natured, whom you never hear complain, who has the milk of human kindness by the quart in every vein..." Best, Don Bauder

Twister: When "My Fair Lady" came out -- I believe in the '50s or early '60s -- the science of cloning had not yet been perfected. Therefore, you could not have been cloned, so everybody couldn't be like you. Best, Don Bauder

Shucks! But it ain't too late is it? I could raise myself until I croak, then an orphanage could take over--paid by the taxpayers, of course.

You heard about the rich guy who did this haven't you? The kid was very precocious and so much like his fatherly version that he was always cussin'. This pissed off the elder model so much that one day when they were walking along the seashore cliffs and the kid mouthed off, the elder one kicked the kid off the cliff and killed it.

There was a trial, but the guy had so much influence, he was sentenced to time served for making an obscene clone fall.

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