Fate of Chargers predicted

Worst case: they fail to relocate and have to return home

Sam Farmer, who has followed the NFL drama in Los Angeles for the LA Times, has some predictions in today's (July 12) edition. Writes Farmer, "Think of L.A. as a game of musical chairs, with three participants [St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders] and a maximum of two chairs. The worst-case scenario for the league would be to have one of those three teams lose a vote and be forced to return to a city it tried to leave."

I have been saying this about the Chargers, and now Farmer says it about the Rams and Raiders, too. The teams hoping to leave have already created enough ill will that it might be fatal for the prodigal sons to return. Farmer doesn't say this, but I suspect that sales of teams, or a large percentage of teams, might be one way to mitigate local hostility for a team failing to get to L.A. In the case of the Chargers, I suspect that a sale may also be necessary to get to L.A.

Farmer makes some predictions. There will be no major developments at the August 11 NFL meeting, he says. The NFL will have signed leases with one or two temporary stadiums by the end of the year, Farmer says. The Chargers quietly "got far down the road" in negotiating with the L.A. Coliseum last year, Farmer says.

If the Chargers return to San Diego they might play two games a year in London, Farmer writes.

He also predicts the NFL will begin counting potential L.A. season-ticket holders this fall, and possibly take refundable deposits on season tickets. He thinks the NFL will start having serious civic meetings in San Diego, St. Louis, and Oakland "in the coming months."

John Oliver on stadium lunacy

Meanwhile, comedian John Oliver has done a satire on billionaires getting the public to pay for stadiums.

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Charger fans, like all fans ("fan" short for fanatic) stupidly believe that if they are loyal to a team that the team will be loyal to them. They somehow think that the success or failure of their team reflects on their wellbeing. In today's world of high finance the fan is the last consideration. The Chargers have been good from time to time but is a lackluster team overall. The fans are loyal but Spanos and his minions could care less.

I think an example is how shocked all the Chargers fans were that the Chargers would potentially do business together with the Raiders. From the fans perspective the Raiders are the enemy and should never, ever be the Chargers partners. But from a business perspective the Chargers ownership will make any partnerships that might be in their best interest from a business perspective.

The fans see the rivalry as Chargers vs. Raiders and the goal is winning football games. But from the owners' perspective the rivalry is a small number of wealthy owners vs. a large number of taxpayers and fans, and the goal is for the owners to amass as much wealth as possible.

ImJustABill: The Chargers fans hate the Raiders, but the owners consider the Raiders a splendid source of money, partly because of the Chargers' fans ire. To the Chargers brass, it's a pro wrestling match: as long as the money rolls in, so called "rivalries" are great. Best, Don Bauder

like they are bluffing with all their cards facing up.

Murphyjunk: The subsidization of billionaire (or multi-millionaire) pro sports team owners is a scam, pure and simple. It may not be illegal in many cases, but is a rape of a naive public. Scams don't have to be illegal. Best, Don Bauder

AlexClarke: You are absolutely right. Ownership of a pro sports team is obscenely profitable. That is why leagues won't let the so-called fans see the books. At least some people who favor these subsidies to billionaires would wake up if they saw how much profit the owners rake in. Best, Don Bauder

Howard Kahn: Because of the massive amounts of money the team can put into advertising, and because of mindless support from local media and politicians, I think a subsidy could win if it only the margin has to be 50 percent plus 1.

On the other hand, if a 2/3rds vote is required, I think it would lose. In 1998, the Padres didn't even get 2/3rds, and that was before the dirty laundry of pro sports subsidies had been aired widely. Best, Don Bauder

Ironic that all three of these teams have played in then left LA before. Why was that Don? Why did they leave and what has changed since then?

MichaelValentine: The Chargers left L.A. because they were in the fledgling American Football League, and the local media barely covered them. There were few fans in the stands, so the team moved to San Diego, where attendance and media coverage picked up significantly.

The Raiders and Rams left in 1995 because the crowds were small and receipts thin. The Rams, who had played in L.A. for decades, couldn't get the stadium subsidy they wanted so they left for St. Louis, which gave them the store. The Raiders had not been in L.A. that long but decided to go to Oakland, from whence they came. Best, Don Bauder

Financing this blackmail of cities by the NFL is insanity.

So what makes the NFL think that LA is going to now support a parasite sports team? Like San Diego there is so much more to do in December then out there in fly-over country where the local sports team is the only thing in town to do.

MichaelValentine: Too many San Diegans realize the Chargers are lying when they say they want to remain in San Diego. This is a lie that isn't even half-credible, given their blatant attempts to get to L.A. -- and, particularly, their sticking their tongues out at San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Over the years, I don't recall any real fan enthusiasm for the ownership of the team. For a long time, I was forced to conclude that Gene Klein didn't care what the win-loss record was, as long as he kept costs down and the seats mostly filled. But when Spanos came along, for a while at least it seemed as if the fans stopped complaining about the owner and penny-pinching. But did that last long? I think it has been gone for a long time, and that generally coincides with the handover of effective control to son Dean. Even the most die-hard fanatic has to think of the aloofness of Dean Spanos and the antics of Fabiani are infuriating. The notion that the city is at fault for the complaints about the stadium and the need for a brand new one is wearing thin.

If/when the Chargers are faced with that worst-case scenario, it could be the birth of a new era where the team is satisfied with a good return, gives the fans a good team, and knocks off all the BS. But I think that is highly unlikely to ever happen.

Visduh: I think the antipathy toward the Spanos regime gained momentum when Alex promised to keep the team in San Diego until 2020 if the stadium were rebuilt, then just a couple of years later started angling for a new stadium.

The 60,000 seat guarantee didn't enhance ownership's reputation, particularly when the team said "A deal is a deal" when the team itself was attempting to break the stadium deal. Best, Don Bauder

The Chargers have made it very clear that moving to LA is their first choice. It's up to the NFL now as to which teams get to move to L.A.

There is little point now in the city / county of SD negotiating with the Chargers or spending more money on studies, environmental impact reports (EIR's), etc.

If the Chargers are allowed to move to LA they are gone.

If the Chargers are NOT allowed to move to LA then the city / county's negotiating position all of a sudden becomes a lot stronger and we shouldn't have to give so much away to the Chargers. The original proposed ~500M taxpayer funds / land to be used should be scaled way back if the Chargers get "stuck" in SD.

ImJustABill: I am beginning to believe that the Spanos family may have to sell the team, or at least about half of it, no matter what happens.

I am not convinced the family has the money to make an L.A. move. One way to get the money would be a sale of all or half the team. If the team can't get to L.A., it has created so much antipathy in San Diego that getting a new stadium looks more and more difficult (particularly if it requires a 2/3 vote.) Selling the team or half of it may erase some of the ill will the team has created locally.

Another way out of this for the Chargers would be moving to St. Louis if the Rams leave there to go to L.A. It would probably be a better market than San Diego, certainly if there were a team or teams in L.A. San Antonio is another possibility.

One thing is certain: there are plenty of multi-billionaires who would be willing to buy into the team, even with its self-created problems. Best, Don Bauder

So if GS ponies up more than half a billion for the Chargers' half of a Carson stadium then would GS own part of the Chargers? Would the NFL allow that? Wouldn't that exclude GS from doing some other business with other NFL teams?

ImJustABill: I question whether Goldman Sachs will ante up that much money for a Carson stadium. I would guess that Goldman would help the Chargers finance the stadium.

I can't imagine the NFL would let a bank become an owner of a team. Goldman Sachs is publicly held. Would it have to release results of the stadium? Probably not, but the NFL would fear that. Best, Don Bauder

Supposedly Goodell has said the NFL only wants 2 total teams in Southern CA - whether that is 1 team in SD and 1 in LA or 2 in LA. But supposedly the NFL doesn't want 2 teams in LA + 1 team in SD.

I couldn't find a print reference but the Loose Cannons on XTRA 1360 AM have repeated the above comment often.

ImJustABill: I have not heard that Goodell made such a statement, but it makes sense. Three teams in Southern California might lead to cannibalization, particularly for TV revenue. Best, Don Bauder

Farmer writes: "That could mean the league goes to one or more of the owners and says, "Look, you're not going to have the required support to do this. It's best for everyone involved if you stand down, but we will help you in the following ways…""

I think that "we will help you in the following ways" means one of two things: (A) The team or teams that don't move to LA will get paid, a lot, by the team or teams that do. There will be a "relocation fee" and most of that money will be given to the team or teams that don't move. Or, (B) The NFL will arrange for one of these owners to sell their team for an obscene amount of money.

If it's (A), then perhaps Spanos gets both a new stadium in San Diego and a huge check from the NFL/Rams, while the Rams move to LA. Or the Raiders get that deal to stay in Oakland. Spanos and Davis could both really use that money, because they're not flush with cash.

If it's (B), then either the Chargers (or Raiders) move to LA, or someone buys the Chargers (Raiders) and keeps them in San Diego (Oakland), or maybe Kroenke (the Rams owner) buys the Chargers (Raiders) for LA and sells the Rams to someone who keeps them in St. Louis. Or, Kroenke trades franchises, and gets the Chargers or Raiders for LA while Davis or Spanos ends up owning the Rams in St. Louis.

Matt101: A big relocation fee (say, anything over $300 million, knocks out the Chargers and certainly the Raiders from moving to L.A. If that fee would be given to the Chargers and Raiders, who would be remaining where they are now, the last thing the NFL would want is for the money be applied to a new stadium.

The NFL is dedicated to having taxpayers plunk in the maximum amount. In recent years, the league has had to come up with so-called loans to teams getting new stadiums, but only because the tide of opinion is shifting. Across the country, more and more people realize what a huge scam the NFL is running.

Yes, Kroenke could trade the St. Louis franchise for the San Diego or Oakland one. There is precedent for the trading of franchises. Best, Don Bauder

Good points, Don. If the Chargers get $100 million to not move to LA, then the city of SD would turn around and ask the Chargers to contribute that $100 million to a new SD stadium. That is a problem from the NFL's point of view.

Still, though, imposing a relocation fee is an easy way to distinguish between the three teams, because it effectively forces the Raiders (or perhaps the Chargers, but more likely the Raiders) to either stay where they are and take the money, or sell the team to someone who can afford to pay the relocation fee.

Matt101: I think the Chargers are better-financed than the Raiders, but it's hard to say. The Davis family owns 47 percent of the Raiders, but still have control. I don't know who owns the rest, or what kind of money they have. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, Al Davis became the managing general partner in 1972, but he didn’t become the majority owner until 2005. At that point he bought the 31% ownership from E.J. McGah’s family, the great-grandson of Raiders co-founder E.W. McGah. That gave him about 67% ownership. In 2007, Davis sold about 20 % ownership in the Raiders to a group of east coast businessmen: David Abrams, Paul Leff, and Dan Goldring for about $150 million. That leaves Mark Davis and his mother with about 47% ownership. The other minority partners are Ginny Boscacci, widow of original investor Arnie, Allan Boscacci, son of Rita and Gene, who were among the original investors, Jack Hartman, one of the original owners whose wife was related to E.J. McGah, Doray Vail, widow of Ralph Vail who was Jack Hartman’s business partner, GOPPPL,LLC, which is the first fantasy football, company founded by Bill Winkenbach, another original investor, and Bob Seaman, who I read was an east coast businessman friend of Al Davis, owning less than 1%. There are also believed to be others who have inherited a small piece of the franchise from parents, grandparents, even great-grandparents of original investors, but who knows.

danfogel: Very good information. I wonder if this group, plus Mark Davis and his mother, add up to $1 billion in combined net worth. Somehow, I doubt it. And even if they have that much in collective net worth, would they be willing to put chunks of it in the Chargers/Raiders purported stadium deal in Carson, or into Kroenke's Inglewood deal? Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Well, I guess that Abrams is the wealthiest. I have read that he earned $400 million in 2013 running his hedge fund and is worth somewhere around $1.5 billion. Leff is a founder of another hedge fund and Goldring is a managing director at the same hedge fund and I think that between them they are worth somewhere north of $500 million. The rest, probably not so much. They are either original investors or heirs of original investors.

danfogel: I did a quickie search on Abrams -- like the Chargers's desire to have a quickie EIR. I found some other Abrams (such as J.J.) but not David Abrams. But, as I said, it was a quickie look-see. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder By chance did you try searching "David Abrams hedge fund"?

danfogel: Yes, found out that he has been a very successful hedge fund magnate, but reclusive. Interesting. Best, Don Bauder

City Council Tuesday July 14, 2015 at 2 pm Item S500. Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to Agreement with AECOM for CEQA EIR.


$2,100,000 Total for CIP S-16025 Qualcomm Stadium Reconstruction. = $1.2 Million AECOM Environmental Consulting + $200,000 for Conceptional Design [Who is the Designer? Need name.] + $230,000 DSD Staff + $150,000 Public Works Staff + $320,000 Contingency.

laplayaheritage: Any city council member who votes for city money going to a pro sports consulting firm should be drummed out of office. Consultants do NOT provide objective studies. They provide propaganda one-liners for those paying their bills. Best, Don Bauder


Check out John Oliver's take on Stadiums - accurate but hilarious at the same time.


ImJustABill: We have already posted this on this blog, but I am delighted to have another link to it. Best, Don Bauder

Ooops - sorry I missed that! It truly is brilliant.

ImJustABill: Agreed. He hits the main points. Best, Don Bauder

Bjorn Steller: But the NFL does not want a "fair" land deal. It insists on completely one-sided land deals. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: Oh yes, those "polls" are rigged. A pollster can get whatever result he or she desires by manipulating the wording of the questions, or by selectively choosing the people who will be polled. And when TV goes to a sports bar to ask for "public opinion," it is simply slanting that opinion in the direction that the station's owner desires. And the stations are usually 100 percent in favor of a massive stadium subsidy, because there is so much money to be made from broadcasting sports. Best, Don Bauder

Jayson Rudeboyboy Griffin: But San Diego infrastructure is in horrible shape. This should be addressed. There should be no money for pro sports billionaires. L.A. does it that way. San Diego can, too. Best, Don Bauder

Reading you guys is more fun than watching a game. San Diego is in good hands as long as they listen to you.

swell: But who in San Diego is listening to us? Best, Don Bauder

FWIW I think the tide has turned somewhat on sports talk radio to where there is at least some acknowledgement that public financing of stadiums is unfair to the public. It hasn't reached the point where hosts are actually completely opposed to public financing. However, some shows, such as Darren Smith's show on 1090 AM and The Loose Cannons on 1360 AM will listen to callers and guests who are completely opposed to the stadium subsidies. I think the hosts still buy into the flawed economic logic which supposedly justifies the expenses but more and more voices are introduced which counter that logic.

Neil deMause (Field of Schemes author) was on 1090 yesterday - I don't think host Darren Smith completely agreed with him but he certainly let him express his opinion and respected his knowledge.

I've heard Liam Dillon (VOSD) on Sports Talk radio before explaining his economic analyses about how much the proposed stadium would really cost taxpayers. Again I don't think the hosts agreed with him but at least they took him seriously and listened.

More and more callers - even rabid sports fans - are starting to express how disgusted they are that so many tax dollars are spent for the new stadiums and the net result is even MORE expensive game tickets for fans (seems counter intuitive - if I'm spending tax money towards a service than I should get a discount, right).

I think the tone is different from 1998 when it seemed every opponent to Petco Park was summarily insulted or dismissed. I think the sports media world is still pretty rah-rah when it comes to building stadiums but I think there is an increasing acknowledgement that there is something fundamentally unfair about taxpayer subsidies to billionaire owners.

So true, they add thousands of seats to a new stadium and you would think the ticket prices would fall because of supply and demand. But the franchise will be happy with empty seats as long as those paying to attend are paying more money.

There is also a distinction between the game and fans of baseball and that of football. Baseball has many more games and the lack of space for "tailgating" has not been a major issue, though many fans still gripe about it.

With football, fans have a richer tradition of tailgating before a Sunday game. Any new stadium in San Diego, whether downtown or in Mission Valley will pretty much eliminate parking lot space for tailgating. The scheme in Mission Valley is to develop most of the land where the parking lot exits. I wonder if fans realize that half of the experience they have enjoyed in San Diego, that is socializing and eating pot luck food from home, will vanish. Not only will the cost to park probably double, then higher ticket prices, but the cost containment for food will go out the window too. The NFL is hoping that you will do all your eating and drinking inside the stadium at expensive food and drink establishments they share profits with.

Yes - I think one could easily spend $30-$50 inside the stadium for a meal and a few beers / snacks / sodas compared to spending less than $10 for that food / drink outside at a tailgate.

Ponzi: Oh yes. The NFL wants everyone to buy the beer, hot dogs, nachos, etc. inside the stadium. There, the prices are many times the prices at outside establishments. Best, Don Bauder

The markups are criminal. A beer that would cost $1 in a can costs $6, a hot dog that costs 50 cents they charge $6 for, and nachos... some stale tortilla chips, plastic cheese and a few jalapeños that cost 50 cents they sell for $8

Ponzi: Concession prices are part of the scam that typifies both the NFL and MLB. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I really don't think high concession prices are a scam. I mean, I don't ever recall anyone claiming that when a stadium opens, concessions will be cheap. There is no fraud, no deception, no attempt to cheat the patrons. It is what it is. It's unreasonable high prices for a captive audience. If you don't want to pay the prices, then don't buy anything.

danfogel: "Unreasonable high prices for a captive audience" to which you promised that prices would stay low if taxpayers would only give you a stadium, and the city council would give you 26 blocks of prime property for a ridiculously low price, on which the team owner could rake in $700 million to $1 billion, is spelled S-C-A-M.

In fact, "unreasonable high prices for a captive audience" by itself is a scam. As I said, scams don't have to be illegal. One of the biggest scams occurs when the team owner says that ticket and concession prices won't rise if he gets his subsidy, but then as soon as the stadium opens, they rise significantly. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder

I am not going to argue with you over semantics. If you want to believe that stadiums charging high prices for concessions at events they have is a scam, please feel free to do so. The prices at ALL stadiums are too high and very few of those stadiums are new.

It's no different than concessions at a movie theatre or a concert or opera and stage productions. How much do the food vendors on the Civic Theatre concourse in San Diego charge?

You are right, a scam isn't necessarily illegal. But it does involve a deceptive act, the promising of something with no intent to deliver, the misrepresentation of something, etc. I just don't think the act of charging an exorbitant price for food, drink, etc is anything like that. It is what it appears to be and you have the option to avoid it.

Several years ago, before my wife passed away, we took a trip to NYC. One night we at at Luger's. For my wife, our daughter and myself, the bill was over $200, before the tip. We also ate at a couple of really good Italian restaurants and spent probably $150 at each one. So would those prices be a scam? They are way more expensive the most places and one could certainly cook the same thing for much much less. But you know what it is going in and are willing to pay the price for what you get AND you get what you want...a GREAT meal.

As I said, if you want to call exorbitant price for food, drink, etc ANYWHERE as scam, knock yourself out.

I just happen to disagree.

danfogel: We shall agree to disagree. The Padres said they wouldn't raise prices (tickets, concessions, etc.) if taxpayers gave them a stadium. Taxpayers anted up and prices soared. It happens in just about every subsidized stadium deal. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: It is not just awareness of the unfairness of these deals. There is increasing awareness of the basic dishonesty of the deals. There is definitely a healthy skepticism that was missing in 1998. Best, Don Bauder

interesting how they managed to shift the focus away from a public vote.

Murphyjunk: A major objective of the task force proposal is to get the project underway without a public vote. The task force fears the public will figure out what a scam the proposal is. Best, Don Bauder

There are some great comments in this thread. Good work all around. I completely agree with the perception that even local sports talk radio is slowly coming around to the reality that a publicly financed stadium is the scam of all scams. When the local sports talk radio programs start to show doubts about stadium financing...that is when you know the citizens are really getting the shaft. The loss of tailgating and gouging for the concessions is a great point as well. And anyone who was down at Comic-Con last week may have noticed the $30 Ace Parking lot fees. Well double that, and you may get what a parking space to attend a Chargers game in the East Village would have cost, or perhaps even in the new Mission Valley location, since more fans will have to park off-site since plans call for a massive development of retail, condos etc on much of the current parking lot. In John Oliver's stadium piece, he highlighted how in the most current version of the Madden NFL videogame, you could act as an owner and choose concessions prices etc. That is the true game being played here. Football is just the front. If owners could pull this scam with professional badminton games they would do it. No matter how much people love their NFL teams, they are basically enthralled with something that is leased to their city. There is no connection besides the city's name on the jerseys and the geographic location of the stadium. The new facet of the game is the drive to replace stadiums at an almost dizzying rate. It may be the ultimate undoing of the current system. Once enough cities go into major debt in an effort to retain their football teams, other cities will become reluctant to make the same sacrifice. It's already happening here. People have seen the data. They know what is up. If the Chargers get rejected from playing in LA (which they obviously without a doubt are intent on doing now) they have to crawl back to San Diego looking like the awful guy who is trying to make nice with his great ex-girlfriend who he dumped to pursue a fashion model. It's not gonna be all rainbows and lollipops when they get back together. As for the bigger picture of stadium financing, if the NFL is going to keep asking for public money to fund stadiums, they are eventually going to have to cut cities in on the profits. I have always thought letting the stadium take all the ticket sales and giving the cities all the parking proceeds would be a great system, but getting owners to give up any of their take seems like an almost impossible bargain at this point.

Dryw Keltz: You make excellent points. The Chargers have coveted L.A. for about a dozen years. Now the heat is really on, and the team's spokesman, Mark Fabiani, is deliberately trying to alienate San Diegans so the team can tell the National Football League that San Diego didn't want it. The city is making a fool of itself wanting a quickie EIR and quickie vote. Best, Don Bauder

The Ace Parking mafia will no doubt be the "winner" of any parking deal with any Chargers deal. Funny isn't it, something as low-tech and basic as parking lots... only Ace seems to have the know-how to collect fees for a parking space. Why no competition? Why no competitive bids when handing out the cushy parking fee collection deals?

Ponzi: Are these no-bid contracts? Best, Don Bauder

No. But they may as well be sole source. I know the Port District put the airport out for bids. But Ace somehow wins the bids (as if they knew what the opposing bid contained) or they offer a bunch of things they fail to deliver during the contract term. Much like Delaware North, they always seem to win even though they are not a popular vendor at many venues. RFP's are often "wired" to a preferred vendor making it challenging for a competitor to win. The bids don't always win based on last and final cost.

Ponzi: Delaware North has dubious friends in high places. Best, Don Bauder

The NFL has created a monopoly (which has been exempt from anti-trust laws since the 1960's) for a product that has a strong demand that a lot of people have a strong emotional attachment to. The NFL (as with other sports leagues) has shamelessly used every manipulative trick in the book to try to maintain leverage over cities.

The owners' game is to make as much money as possible from this system and they're doing a great job of it.

ImJustABill: Yes, the NFL is greedy and ruthless. Ask former players who feel the league is responsible for head injuries about which they were not warned. They have gotten less than they deserved.

In previous columns I have shown how historically, owners have had multiple ties to gambling and organized crime. Scions of those original families still own teams. Is their greed any surprise? Best, Don Bauder

COUNCIL VOTES TO SPEND $2.1 MILLION ON QUICKIE ENVRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT. WAIT UNTIL THE COMEDIANS GET HOLD OF THIS ONE. The city council voted 6 to 3 today (July 14) to spend $2.1 million on a rush-rush Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a Mission Valley stadium for the Chargers, even though the Chargers will have nothing to do with it, for the very good reason that a bang-bang report will not pass muster legally.

For more than a dozen years, the Chargers have shown that they would rather move to Los Angeles than stay in San Diego. That bias has intensified loudly in recent months. The team has deliberately alienated the community with its piercing rhetoric.

The city claims that the National Football League approves such an expenditure. The sum includes $1.2 million for a private consulting firm. The league and such firms have historically had a snug relationship.

Comic John Oliver has a biting satire (you can see it on this blog item) on the fatuity of cities building stadiums for billionaire team owners. This vote will give more ammunition to Oliver and his fellow comics. Best, Don Bauder

So, who voted for the waste of public funds? Who voted no? That roster will tell us all plenty about values, whom to believe at reelection time, and who is a craven fool. That vote reflects the fear of the third rail, even though it makes no sense at all.

Visduh: The three intelligent council members who voted against this fatuous waste of public funds were Marti Emerald, David Alvarez, and Todd Gloria. Each is to be congratulated. Best, Don Bauder

"The city claims that the National Football League approves such an expenditure."

One take I heard on the above fact is that the NFL wouldn't really have any reason not to approve of the expenditure. It's not their money so why should they not approve? Maybe the NFL just doesn't care. I know the NFL is powerful but I don't think they need to approve a city spending money on something.

The NFL approves of anything that makes them more visible or attracts more attention to the league. Why anyone in city government would make an utterance about that says too much about this implied blackmail.

Visduh: Amen. The NFL approves of anything that makes them more visible, preferably in a positive way. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: The NFL does not have any role in such an expenditure. But it may have told the mayor to go ahead and make it. There is no teeth to this advice. Best, Don Bauder

It would be interesting to know what is going on in the NFL meetings. The Chargers are acting as though they are very confident that they will be allowed to move to L.A.

ImJustABill: I agree. For a few months now, the Chargers have been acting confidently, as well as snottily. This is one more reason why I suspect there is a deal cooking for the entire team to be sold, or perhaps half the team. I am beginning to think that is the only way the Chargers can afford to get to L.A., or, if they can't get there (quite possible), to patch up relations in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

I somehow found the stomach to listen to entire Mark Fabiani interview yesterday. MF (heh,heh kind of an appropriate set of initials) seems very smug and arrogant and makes no bones about the fact that the Chargers want to move to L.A.

I think if the NFL doesn't allow the Chargers to move to L.A. then the Chargers will have to turn on the charm again.

ImJustABill: Yes, as I have been saying for some time, the Chargers are deliberately fouling their own nest in San Diego, so NFL owners will be convinced the city doesn't want the team.

Yes, the Chargers seem super-confident. If I had to guess, I would say a significant portion, or perhaps all, of the team will be sold to a multi-billionaire, whose money will make it possible for the team to join Kroenke in Inglewood as the second team playing there. There is a chance Kroenke will sell the Rams and buy the Chargers -- but that is not the most likely scenario. Remember, that is just a best guess at this moment. The best guess could change. Best, Don Bauder

Chargers would be smart to change their name to the Southern California Chargers. San Diegans wouldn't feel like abandoned children; it would feel more like a Brady Bunch situation.

Visualasylum: A name change to Southern California Chargers makes sense, except some team (or teams) will occupy L.A. Maybe the Chargers could make that name change, then play half their games in Orange County where the baseball Angels play. Best, Don Bauder

Maybe they will try to get 2 stadiums built - one in LA and one in OC. I can't imagine the esteemed gentlemen of the National Football League would lower themselves to playing in a mixed-use baseball / football stadium.

ImJustABill: The Raiders are the only, or one of the only, teams playing in a mixed use stadium. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder The Blue Jays share their stadium with a CFL team and there is a college bowl game played in Tampa Bay's stadium.

danfogel: If you are right (and you usually are), the Raiders would be the only NFL team sharing a stadium with a pro baseball team. It appears the Blue Jays would be the only baseball team sharing a stadium. I would think there are several college bowl games played in stadiums in which pro teams play. What about the two bowl games that are staged in Qualcomm? Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, my response was a "trick" response, as opposed to a trick question. Being that the Raiders left and came back, while the A's have been there all along, I would say that it is the Raiders who are playing in the A's stadium. That said, Toronto is the only other MLB team sharing a stadium with a pro football team, albeit a CFL team. Extrapolating a bit further, Tampa is the only MLB team "sharing" a stadium with a regularly scheduled college football game, albeit a once a year bowl game. Having a college game, or even a high school game, played in an NFL stadium is a regular occurance in many, if not most NFL stadiums. Being that it would be a football game being played in a football stadium would preclude it from being called mixed use.

danfogel: One way that pro teams try to woo the public into a massive subsidy is to claim that the facility will be used for many other things than pro games. It is usually a lie, as the facility is not used that much by others. This is true with Petco. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Well, OK. That's something that has been discussed many times before. But I have no idea what the relevance is to the above comment. No need to reply.

don bauder There will be no football in Anaheim Stadium. Besides the fact that the stadium has a capacity of only 45K, which is well below what the NFL would require, when the last renovation was done, the stadium was returned to a baseball only facility. Arte Moreno is on record as saying there will be no professional football played there. Now that being said, several years ago the NFL is said to have purchased a stadium sized parcel in the platinum triangle, close enough to use Anaheim stadium parking, which Arte Moreno is said to have approved.

danfogel: Would Anaheim or the county build the Chargers a stadium? I doubt that, now that L.A. has said "no public money."

The Rams played for awhile in the Anaheim stadium. I watched a bowl game there once and was not impressed. But the stadium has been altered since then. (I believe it was 1988.) Best, Don Bauder

don bauder So based on just a single visit, you have formed a negative opinion of not just the Rose Bowl but also Anaheim Stadium. WOW! I am not aware that there has been any mention, let alone serious discussions of a football only stadium being built for the Chargers, or anyone else. I simply mentioned that at one time the NFL was said to have purchased the necessary land there, demonstrating that that at least as recently as 2005-2007, the NFL was interested enough in returning to the greater Los Angeles area. I do not believe that there was a renovation either started or completed in 1988. Actually, let me rephrase that statement. There was no renovation of Anaheim Stadium done in 1988. The city of Anaheim remodeled the stadium to accommodate the Rams playing football there. That was around 1979-1980. They outfield was enclosed with three tiers of seating, a new scoreboard was installed on the outfield roof and the "Big A" was moved to the parking lot. I only saw a few games there before the Rams moved in and it was a completely different experience with the outfield open. The other renovation was done after the Rams left, after Jackie Autry had sold the Angels to Disney, and cost about @120 million. That's it. No renovations in 1988. Sorry.

danfogel: I meant to say that the bowl game I saw played at the Angels stadium was in 1988. In no way did I mean to say that alterations were in 1988. I wouldn't know that, and wouldn't have time to look it up.

Please explain this sentence: "I am not aware that there has been any mention, let alone serious discussions of a football only stadium being built for the Chargers, or anyone else." You must mean that one of the sales pitches for a Chargers stadium is that it would be a venue for tractor pulls, rock concerts, college bowl games, etc. But the Chargers would not be sharing the stadium with another pro team in any sport, except perhaps soccer.

If a domed stadium were built, promoters say NAACP basketball tournament games would be played there. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, No. What I mean is that in reference to your query as to whether Anaheim or OC would build the Chargers a stadium, since reading of the NFL purchase of the land and Arte Moreno's approval of using Anahiem stadium parking, I have heard no other mention of a football stadium being built in the platinum triangle, either for the Chargers or anyone else.

BTW, the term "NAACP basketball tournament games" sounds pretty racist to me and I find it offensive.

danfogel: Oops. It's NCAA. It's age, not racism. Best, Don Bauder

They should change their name to "The Chasers" because they think everyone wants to follow them with money.

Ponzi: There are all kinds of multi-billionaires out there with money burning a hole in their pockets. They know how obscenely profitable owning a professional football team is, and how nothing has to be revealed to a naive public. I suspect the Chargers, or at least part of the team, is on the block and will easily find buyers, depending on terms in L.A. Best, Don Bauder

New new cash funding for the $2.1 Million CEQA EIR came from the June 22, 2015 State Allocation for pre-2004 Local Agency Mandate Claims with Payments Totaling $2.7 Million that was not included in the FY-2016 Budget.

http://www.csda.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pre2004Mandates.pdf http://californiacityfinance.com/DOFmandateReimb150527.pdf

June 15, 2015 Budget BGE-2 FY-2016 Appropriations Ordinance for the City of San Diego.

$19,347,918 FY-2016 Annual Qualcomm Stadium Operation Fund, see Pages 30 and 70.

http://tinyurl.com/20150715b http://tinyurl.com/20150715a

laplayaheritage: But look at all the worthy places where that money could have gone. Best, Don Bauder

Re: AlexClarke July 13, 2015 @ 6:42 a.m.

Charger fans, like all fans ("fan" short for fanatic) stupidly believe that if they are loyal to a team that the team will be loyal to them. They somehow think that the success or failure of their team reflects on their wellbeing. In today's world of high finance the fan is the last consideration. The Chargers have been good from time to time but is a lackluster team overall. The fans are loyal but Spanos and his minions could care less.

How TRUE! How anybody can give a rat's a$$ about any spectator sport is beyond me, but why NO one has demanded an accounting of all the tax money that's gone into this silly circus is beyond me. Not even for a lousy couple a million for an "environmental impact study," which is nothing but a payoff for political (and actual) support.

A ship of damned fools and their money is soon parted, and rats like me are stuck in steerage.

Twister: Several economists have kept track of public funds that have gone into ballparks, stadiums, arenas, etc. Judith Grant Long had figures, although they are now out of date. Best, Don Bauder

I are so ignert that I don't even know who Judith is, but why shouldn't the figures be in the local headlines?

Twister: Judith Grant Long wrote the definitive book on sports stadium subsidies. Using irrefutable figures, she showed that 70 to 80 percent of the cost of a stadium is borne by the taxpayers. But her study only went through 2010, if memory serves me right. I would guess that economists who specialize in sports economics keep track of public funds going into stadiums, and those numbers are reasonably up to date. Best, Don Bauder

I would think the Rose Bowl is probably the top candidate for a temporary home for the L.A. Chargers / Rams / Raiders. The Colosseum and Dodger Stadium have also been mentioned. I don't think they can play football at Angel Stadium anymore.

The Rose Bowl will not have an NFL team playing there. Last week the officials with the Rose Bowl Operating Company unanimously 11-0 voted not to even respond to a request for a proposal to allow a team to play there that the NFL sent out last month. I doubt the Guggies would agree to allow an NFL team to play in Dodger Stadium, but that is just my personal view. And anyone wanting to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has to deal with USC, which anyone in LA knows can be problematic.

danfogel: Yes, I understand the Rose Bowl is turning down the NFL. The Chargers tried to get a deal with the Coliseum but couldn't swing it, according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, Really? No Chargers in the Coliseum?? That is interesting because in his most recent column I read something different:

"The NFL will have signed leases with one or two temporary stadiums by the end of the year, and the Coliseum will be one of those".

"The Rose Bowl bowed out of the interim stadium derby, but the Coliseum is still in play. The NFL shouldn't have much trouble striking a deal there, as the Chargers quietly got far down the road in negotiations with that venue last year".

"The Coliseum could be a two-year home for either the Rams or the Chargers, but USC would probably object to bringing back the Raiders".

danfogel: Sam Farmer didn't say that there will be no Chargers in the Coliseum. He said the Chargers were close to making a deal with the Coliseum but couldn't swing it. That doesn't mean there can't be new negotiations and a deal. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I know what Sam Farmer said. The exact quotes are in my comment. Read it again. Where does it say why a deal was not reached? It doesn't. In fact, specifics on the "negotiations" non existent, so one is left to draw there own conclusion. You seem to conclude that he meant that the Chargers couldn't get it done.

danfogel: It doesn't say why the deal was not reached. I did not suggest that it did. Best, Don Bauder

Wouldn't it be funny if the Chargers have to play another year or 2 at QCOM stadium AFTER the deal to move to LA is finalized?


I'm sure if the price is right one of the stadiums in L.A. will suddenly become available. My guess is that the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium will eventually agree to split the games.

ImJustABill: When the Houston Oilers team moved to Nashville, but a stadium wasn't ready there, the team played games in Memphis. Crowds were thin.

Any team planning to ditch its current location, such as the Chargers, will keep that in mind. If they get a deal in L.A., they will double their efforts to play temporarily at a stadium in L.A. That would be the economical move. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: The Rose Bowl has thumbed down NFL games for now, I understand. Best, Don Bauder

The Rams and the Raiders were already in LA. They left. They left for reasons. The Chargers fan base is in San Diego, and the historic SD-LA rivalry will prevent them from being successful there. Everyone knows this.

The Chargers are trying to use LA as a lever to frighten San Diego into building a new stadium for them. All we have to do is not fall for it. They do NOT want to leave. They will if they believe that'll result in a bigger pile of money, but they know their best long-term prospects are right here in San Diego.

jnojr: Of course they want to leave. They prefer Los Angeles to San Diego. They have since at least 2002. I wrote a column for the Union-Tribune in October of 2002 saying the Chargers were going down two tracks; they preferred to play in L.A. but wanted to keep San Diego in their pockets if they couldn't get to L.A. They have preferred L.A. for at least 13 years. Now they seem confident they will get L.A., one way or another. They are going out of their way to insult San Diego.

Incidentally, I don't think there is a two-way SD-LA rivalry. San Diego hates LA but LA simply looks down at San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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