NFL team could play in L.A. in 2016

Goodell upbeat on L.A. at S.F. meeting

The Associated Press is reporting today (May 20) that a National Football League team could be playing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the 2016 season. The window for applications would be moved up to very late in the 2015 regular season, and then the owners would vote shortly after that, according to Eric Grubman, NFL vice president who is handling the L.A. move issue.

The news came out of the NFL meeting in San Francisco yesterday and today. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, "We're significantly farther than we have been on any relocation in the recent past."

Grubman said there has been enough progress "to the point where we think there could be at least one, and maybe two relocation proposals available to act on in time for the 2016 season. It's not done, so I don't label it as certain."

This may raise speculation in San Diego that the league is accommodating Chargers owner Dean Spanos. The Chargers and San Diego seem to be playing hopscotch. For example, the city task force that is trying to plan financing of a subsidized Chargers stadium put out its suggestions earlier than expected yesterday. Then the Chargers announced they were hiring Carmen Policy, a longtime NFL operative, to handle the joint plans of the Chargers and Oakland Raiders to build a stadium in Carson. The pushing of the L.A. date forward may be considered a way to deflate the task-force suggestions, which in many cases require time to pass muster and go into effect, particularly if there is an election, as mayor Kevin Faulconer wants.

The team or teams that move to Los Angeles might play temporarily in the Rose Bowl, the L.A. Coliseum, Anaheim (where the L.A. Angels play baseball), or Dodger Stadium, before a stadium is built, said the Associated Press.

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"The pushing of the L.A. date forward may be considered a way to deflate the task-force suggestions"

Another deflate-gate!

ImJustABill: I chose the word "deflate" deliberately. Best, Don Bauder

I resent every penny of tax money being spent on this. Government's business is public health and safety, NOT lining private pockets.

Twister: We made the same argument when the Petco scam was on the table, and ultimately before the voters. And look what has happened. San Diego has a recognized $2 billion infrastructure deficit that is certainly far more than $2 billion. The city ignored infrastructure and neighborhoods by spending so much money on Petco subsidies.

If San Diego approves the silly plan put forward by the task force, and the Chargers can't get to L.A. and decide to stay, and the subsidized stadium goes forward, the infrastructure will rot at an accelerated rate. So will the neighborhoods. Best, Don Bauder

That infrastructure deficit is growing, not shrinking. That is due to the fact that the city (and in same cases the county) isn't even keeping up with the deterioration going on now. If the city wanted to make a herculean attempt to make up that deficit, it would require decades to do it. First would be a need to just spend enough, and spend wisely enough, to stay even. Then more would be needed to begin catching up. And the political will to keep spending on infrastructure and not on police and fire pay raises and fat pensions would have to be steadfast through a couple generations of local pols. What's the likelihood of that ever happening? Very slim, or vanishingly small, I'd say. BUT, it needs to be attempted, and it needs to start "yesterday." All this whoop-de-doo about a new and unneeded stadium just distracts all the players from the things they need to be doing. And while this is front-page news, little or nothing will be done to start the repair work.

Visduh: Right on. Not only is the infrastructure deficit growing, it is understated. Realistically, you can double that $2 billion deficit. Every time your car needs a repair after you run over a pothole, you can blame the Padres, if you live in the city.

If this goofy deal goes through, you can blame both the city and the county. Best, Don Bauder

Don: If San Diego approves any plan, it will undoubtedly be even worse for the taxpayers than the initial CSAG plan. And I'm not saying the current CSAG plan should be approved--only that the Chargers are going to demand MORE concessions that will cost the team even less (if anything at all).

aardvark: Again, that is the strategy that NFL teams follow. First, understate the ultimate costs. Then, hide many of the costs so taxpayers won't realize the burden is being shifted to them. Best, Don Bauder

This strategy isn't limited to the NFL either - true for many if not most publicly-funded projects. Do you know how much we are still paying on bond service for Qualcomm, Petco & the first Convention Center expansion? All out of our General Fund, too, if I recall correctly. Why should be add more costs for a replacement stadium we're still paying off on especially when we have such huge deficits in basic City infrastructure and facilities such as Balboa Park?

The Chargers in the Rose Bowl? Maybe some of the legendary football games played there will rub off on them.

MichaelValentine: The people who live near the Rose Bowl will probably protest if one or two NFL teams play there while awaiting the finishing of a new stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Just going by memory--I believe the Pasadena City Council has previously authorized any NFL team moving to the LA area to play in the Rose Bowl temporarily (if they wish) while they build a new stadium in the region. I also believe that Pasadena city residents already have that approval tied up in court.

The Rose Bowl does not have easy access to/from the freeway system. A game at the Rose Bowl ties up many Pasadena streets - not to mention nearby freeways - for hours before and hours after the game.

A lot of old money lives around the Rose Bowl. Money that could afford to tie things up in court - or tie things up in the legislature - for a long time.

That's true, but their city council apparently thinks an NFL team playing there on a short-term basis will make the city millions to pay for needed improvements of the Rose Bowl. Obviously, the residents--especially the ones living near the Rose Bowl--want nothing to do with that. And I can't say that I blame them.

aardvark: That's the con game they all play. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: I have gone to only one Rose Bowl and that was my thought: how do Pasadena residents put up with this? Best, Don Bauder

I've been there at least a few dozen times - mostly for UCLA games but I saw a concert there once and a soccer game once.

I think it's incredible venue to experience a tailgate and a game at.

But I also wonder how the residents put up with it.

ImJustABill: I thought the sight lines at the Rose Bowl were awful. But maybe it was just where I was sitting. I also fretted about these extremely narrow entrances, used for both exit and entering. If there were an earthquake, people would get trampled fighting for those narrow exits. Best, Don Bauder

I agree with ImJustABill. I've been to the Rose Bowl countless times, not just for football games, but for many other events as well. I also think it's a great place to watch a game. Having seen many Charger games during my years in San Diego, I would much rather watch a game at the Rose Bowl than at Qualcomm. Perhaps your single experience, 15 or more years ago, is too small a sample. BTW, as for that concern over the earthquake, I have always felt that if you spend too much time worrying about things like that which might happen, you miss the beauty of whit is happening.

danfogel: Yes, one game does not represent a good statistical sample. I also went to one Chicago Bears game -- back when they played at Wrigley Field. Awful sight lines for football, not for baseball.

I only went to one Chargers game and had a horrible seat underneath the scoreboard. Could only see one-half the field. But I saw a lot of Holiday Bowls and most of the time had a good seat. We saw lots of Padres games and always had good seats. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: More than a decade ago, I followed the internecine battles in Pasadena. But I really don't know the situation now. It should be easy to look up. Definitely, many of the neighbors are unhappy about the bowl's overuse. Best, Don Bauder

Originally, the local residents there were willing to put up with it once a year, on New Year's Day. Now they get that and the UCLA home games, and those run about six Saturdays (or Friday eves) a year Supposedly there are other uses of the site, if not the stadium. I wonder why they are willing to put up with it, because the whole area is gridlocked. I'm told that traffic fixes have made it less congested, but a stadium that holds 90,000 butts, mas o menos, generates many vehicles to park, and funnel in and out.

Visduh: Is there mass transit there? I suppose there may be buses. I don't remember having seen mass transit in the one Rose Bowl I attended around 15 years ago. Best, Don Bauder

There are busses running into and out of the Rose Bowl parking lot - I think most of them are chartered but I imagine it's pretty easy to get a bus to any major transit hub in the greater LA / San Gabriel valley area.

I know there's light rail running along the 210 fwy now through the San Gabriel valley - I imaging one could hop on a bus from the Rose Bowl to a transit station somewhere in Pasadena.

Still it would be a pretty involved process. Considering LA traffic + Rose Bowl congestion it could easily take 2+ hours each way to get to the Rose Bowl from many parts of the LA metro area - whether by mass transit or by private car.

ImJustABill: Two-plus hours is a long time. Best, Don Bauder

You can take the gold line to the Memorial Park Station in Pasadena and there is a Rose Bowl shuttle pick up a couple of blocks away. Once in a while, we would stay in Old Town Pasadena for the weekend and would sometimes take the train from San Clemente up to Union Station and then out to Pasadena. It usually took about 3 hrs total, but we weren't in a hurry, so no big deal.

danfogel: Are there enough hotels and motels in Pasadena for those who get sloshed at or after the game and dare not drive home? The Padres make money off the L.A. drinkers who come down for a game, and are too stinko to drive back. The hotels welcome them. Best, Don Bauder

The Pasadena residents lawsuit was filed a couple of years ago. The courts found in favor of the city , so the residents filed an appeal which I believe is to be heard this summer. The lawsuit was based on claims that the EIR was inaccurately done and most opinions I have read give the appeal little chance of succeeding.

danfogel: Courts are reluctant to get involved in civic matters such as this, especially when the government is challenged. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: I scanned that analysis earlier today, but didn't study it enough to be able to comment on it. But from a broad point of view, taxpayers paying $1 billion of the $1.3 billion tab (or $1.1 billion if you don't include land) is in the ballpark (pun intended). Best, Don Bauder

Columnist on cbssports.com passed along a message today that NFL "sources" apparently want to put on the table: Message is that Spanos has out-politicked Kroenke, and owners are leaning toward approving Chargers/Raiders move and Carson stadium, but NFL is worried that Kroenke will force a fight in court.

More speculation from the article: Chargers might move to NFC West with Arizona Cardinals moving into AFC West; Rose Bowl will only permit one NFL team to play there temporarily and the other would presumably play at the LA Coliseum.


Counter-take on the above. The LA Times NFL writer, Sam Farmer, responded with this comment:

"You might hear some reports that the NFL has already decided the LA site/team(s). There is a scientific word for reports like these: Bogus."

Matt101: I did not hear that the NFL owners have decided on a stadium site. I agree with Farmer on that one. Best, Don Bauder

I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL owners have already decided the LA site(s)/team(s). I would be surprised if that information got out. These guys are all masters of bluffing, misinformation, and manipulation.

ImJustABill: You may be right, but how can anybody pass judgment on the Carson site when the financing is so hazy? Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: The landfill underneath could be something civil lawsuits zero in on. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder here's my take, my own reading between the lines, as it were. As pointed out below, there are environmental issues with Carson. Assuming cleanup starts by early next year and assuming it takes only the 18 months as claimed, construction won't begin until mid to late 2017, at the earliest. An Inglewood stadium could be more than halfway complete BEFORE stadium would even begin on a Carson stadium. This week, Goodell said Los Angeles would be eligible to bid for the 2020 Super Bowl if an NFL team is playing in a new stadium there by 2018.. To me, this says 2 things. First I don't believe that Goodell would have even commented on the possibility unless it had been decided there would be a team, or teams, playing in a new stadium in Los Angeles by then. Second, there is no way a stadium in Carson is ready for use by the beginning of the 2018 season. With probably minimum of 24 months before the Carson site is ready, if indeed the EPA ever certifies it as ok, that would leave not much more than a year to build. That's not going to happen. In Inglewood, on the other hand, if we are to believe what has been reported, groundbreaking for the stadium could take place in December. The conclusion that I draw is that that Rams are moving back to Los Angeles and the new Los Angeles Rams stadium, with or without a tenant team, will be awarded the 2020 Super Bowl. My guess at this point is that if there is a second team, it will be the Raiders.There are no viable stadium options on the table in Oakland, while the Chargers, from a certain perspective, do have one. Mark Davis will go wherever he can without having to a - continue playing in the OACC and b - shell out much of his own money( which he doesn't have anyway).

Just my opinion.

Opinions vary

danfogel: That is a credible scenario. If the Raiders are the second team in Kroenke's stadium, there are several options for the Chargers: 1. Back to Qualcomm, which might be fixed up; 2. St. Louis. Its stadium could be used for almost nothing and it is a large metro area with hungry fans who would have been cuckolded twice. The trouble with this is that Dean Spanos loves California (the whole Spanos family does) and Dean likes to travel to nearby Vegas; 3. San Antonio. But same trouble as St. Louis; it's too far from California and Vegas. 4. New stadium in San Diego. The task force plan is b.s., but the team may be able to wangle a stadium that is 70 to 80 percent financed with taxpayer money. I would imagine that would require a vote, which would be hard to win. The Chargers have themselves to blame for that.

Most likely scenario if Raiders get second slot at Kroenke's stadium? Chargers back to Qualcomm. And probably doing poorly there for two reasons: 1. The team alienated the local fans, and 2. There will be some significant loss of fan base if there are one or two teams in L.A. Best, Don Bauder

Matt101: I doubt that Dean Spanos is more respected among owners than Kroenke. The latter has much more money, and money is what this is all about.

I would like to know what Goldman Sachs's role in the Carson stadium may be. My guess is that it is simply helping figure out financing -- that's it. I can't believe it is willing to pay for any Chargers losses for the first few years -- a rumor that has been going around. That isn't Goldman Sachs.

Look: the reason billionaire owners hoodwink taxpayers into financing stadiums is that stadiums are NOT profitable. The losses are being shifted to taxpayers. How do you think these guys got to be billionaires? Best, Don Bauder

Don, you're right, stadiums are not profitable.

For the 49ers stadium, Goldman Sachs loaned $850 million, and GS then got their loan refinanced with bonds floated by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, which I assume means that GS got their money back plus interest and fees when the bonds issued.

That points out one of the biggest questions about Carson: Can the Chargers and Raiders, two of the most cash-poor NFL ownerships, really finance a stadium with no significant public money involved?

Matt101: That's why I have been suspicious of this Carson deal all along. I don't see how the Chargers and Raiders can finance the stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Billion Dollar Bargain <--> Billion Dollar Boondoggle?

If you are the Chargers it is a Bargain or if you are the taxpayers its a Boondoggle.

BTW: San Diego ratepayers are already going to be shelling out their share of the 4-5 Billion Dollars cost of the Utility Debacle at San Onofre ( aka SanOnofreGate*), so what is another Billion Dollars?

Go (AWAY) Chargers

Lets Spend a Billion Dollars on More Water by Saying Good Bye to the Chargers...

That is something we all can drink to…

  • SanOnofreGate is the new Twitter hashtag that will allow you to keep up to date on the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff.

Some of the above posted here: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/land-use/the-chargers-stadium-plan-would-cost-taxpayers-almost-1-billion/?utm_source=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&utm_campaign=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&utm_medium=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&utm_term=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-3b827c8b86-83534677

Founder: So true. Subsidized stadiums are a bargain for owners and a boondoggle for the public. Period.

You are right: spend a billion dollars on water and infrastructure. In fact, spend $4 billion on infrastructure and get the place back in running order.

Yes: What pro sports owners do to taxpayers is what utilities and the CPUC conspire to do to ratepayers. Best, Don Bauder

When comparing this proposed Stadium to the San Francisco Stadium, we should remember that San Francisco's Candlestick Park was a disaster, foggy and miserably cold in a pleasant city, with wind conditions that disrupted play. They had real reason to replace Candlestick. No one complains about conditions at Qualcomm, only that the City hasn't maintained it. We could spend one billion dollars and get an inferior stadium. In the crazy pitchman's spiel, used to promote this new Stadium, very similar to the one replaced, they don't bother to tell us the deficiencies this new Stadium will fix. Our Stadium doesn't need to be replaced.

Psycholizard: I have read about that deal that resulted in Candlestick Park being built, but I won't swear that the account was accurate, or that I remember exactly what he said. What I heard is that the real estate salespeople selling that plot of land to those who would put the stadium there conned the potential buyers -- didn't tell them about the winds there.

I have heard -- although this may be apocryphal -- that one day when the winds were particularly strong, a punter booted one, the ball went up in the air, got caught by the wind, and landed only ten yards ahead of the line of scrimmage. I have even heard -- although I distrusted the truthfulness of the fellow telling the tale -- that one punter's ball got caught by the wind and landed behind the line of scrimmage. Best, Don Bauder

The wind often kicked up inside Candlestick about 3:30 or 4 pm, near the end of an afternoon Giants or 49ers game. It was amazing how much trash blew through there when the wind picked up. And, of course, night games at Candlestick were brutally cold.

Let's face it, there are more stupid voters in San Diego than intelligent ones. AND, stupid ones vote in greater numbers than intelligent ones. It's "bread and circuses" all over again.

Twister: There are more stupid than intelligent voters everywhere, I would guess. Best, Don Bauder

I think to get a tax increase passed they may need a 2/3 vote - which will be difficult.

So it will be a shell game by CSAG and city government to see if they can shuffle enough money towards a stadium without raising taxes.

My personal sense / guess is that Faulconer is willing to be generous to the Chargers with taxpayers money but he's got limits and I don't think he's going to give them a blank check.

Latest rumor - reported by LA sports reporter Fred Rogin (sp) on XTRA 1360 Loose Cannon interview - is that the Chargers did not want the CSAG report and recommendations released. Apparently - according to the rumor - the Chargers' mindset now is set to move to L.A. so SD's willingness to send barrels of tax money their way doesn't help the Chargers' case with the NFL ("i.e. hey other owners we pushed SD hard for corporate welfare and they didn't budge. So let us move to L.A.")

ImJustABill: I would agree with that rumor. To my knowledge, the Chargers have not yet commented on the task force report. They have had plenty of time to do so. It makes sense that the Chargers (Fabiani, Dean Spanos) did not want the task force report released. Best, Don Bauder

I hear a lot of people on sports radio questioning how Spanos can say that he is "focussed on staying in San Diego" on yet that he has "not seen the (CSAG) report". Clearly those 2 statements are inconsistent.

ImJustABill: Yes, those statements are not consistent. But I have followed NFL owners' and NFL officials' pronouncement for years. Many if not most of them are lies. Best, Don Bauder

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