Whoever replaces Fabiani...

Chargers' counsel knows getting the team to L.A. is his job

Mark Fabiani
  • Mark Fabiani

A column by Chris Jenkins today (November 30) in the Union-Tribune should be a case study at Harvard Business School. It's a story quoting Jeff Marston, a former public relations man for the San Diego Chargers.

Marston relates how he tried to convince Dean Spanos, head of the Chargers, that the Spanos family, if it wanted a stadium in San Diego, had to let the community know of the good deeds that it does: the team had to build community goodwill. "Dean sat there and smiled, almost laughed, then he fired me," lamented Marston.

Marston deserved to be fired. He did not understand that the Chargers did not want a stadium in San Diego.

In 1995, the team signed a contract with San Diego that, as Bruce Henderson said at the time, "was a roadmap out of town." It was clear back then that the Chargers wanted to go to Los Angeles, and that contract was the perfect route. As Henderson says, the Chargers "needed to convince the National Football League that they could leave San Diego without creating political and and public relations problems."

The team preferred L.A. but didn't want to alienate San Diegans. The team made several laughable attempts to get the public to believe it was searching for a San Diego home. The mainstream media assisted by telling the public that the team was shelling out big bucks in this effort. Ha ha ha.

The 1995 contract "created the opportunity for the team to terminate the contract" with the city, says Henderson. Indeed, the contract had incentives for the Chargers to leave, but few listened to Henderson at the time.

Since 1995, the team has wanted to go first to L.A., but to keep San Diego in its pocket. It is completely understandable that Dean Spanos would hire Mark Fabiani as the front man. Fabiani knows how to play such games.

Right now, there is a chance that the Chargers will not get to L.A., at least yet. The team may have to try and rebuild relations with the public — a very difficult task, because Fabiani has done his job alienating the public so well.

If L.A. is out of the picture for the next couple of years, Spanos will have to fire Fabiani, who knew from the beginning that he would have to fall on his sword if L.A. was unattainable, and no doubt worked that possibility into his extremely remunerative contract.

Whoever replaces Fabiani will have to understand that corporations communicate with winks and nods — yes means no and no means yes. If you don't understand management's objective, you do not deserve to be a spokesperson.

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Fabiani has alienated many in San Diego, but has he really done any harm to the link 'tween the fan(atics) and the team? The die hard fans don't give up easily, and many don't pay attention to the posturings of that mouthpiece (or for that matter the owner) when he goes out of his way to insult the local pols. We have the spectacle of the new "mare", Kev-boy, being willing to accept all the insults and just come back for more with his proclamations that he'll get that new stadium, "somehow, someway, someday." What he should do is tell Deano to take his team and shove it. But Kevbo doesn't know how to sell the locals on that sort of idea. So he spends his days on this Quixotic search for a way to keep the team (against its will) by bribing the Spanos gang with a new and unnecessary sports palace.

The Light News today has a front page story about Deano and how he has managed to hide out in plain sight, letting others speak for him. He's a smart guy, and knows that paid mouthpieces can do a better job of spinning his story than he could ever do. So, he has that stone face and the ever-present Ray-Bans that hide his bloodshot, beady eyes.

My take is that Deano would love to sell the team at a big gain. After the inept Clippers were sold for $2 billion, will the settle for less? So, that means that to move to LA is also to cash out. Real estate mavins like him know there is a time to buy and a time to sell. He's angling for the right time to unload the team for, well, why not OVER $2 billion. That's my opinion and others will have opposing opinions.

Visduh. What we are saying now is the difficulty of saying you want San Diego but actually pursuing L.A. The Chargers were forced to admit they wanted L.A. Earlier than they hoped.

Now only a few fanatics accept the truth. However, I think there is a good possibility the team will not get L.A. In the next couple of years. Can the team appease San Diego? I question that, because it will be obvious the Chargers still prefer L.A. Best, Don Bauder

I very much doubt that Dean Spanos engaged in a 20 year plan to "get out of San Diego". And, IIRC, 1995 was just after the Rams and raiders had left... talk about a very long way from the best time to try to get in!

I just hope that the days of "the taxpayers must provide NFL football stadia, they simply MUST!" are ending. Let stadia be built by willing private interests where the market suggests they can make money. And if it isn't possible to operate a mega-stadium at a profit, NFL teams need to play in the same stadia as everyone else.

Jnojr. Trouble is, stadiums are not profitable, particularly pro football stadiums. That is why billionaire owners use extortion to get the public to ante up. Best, Don Bauder

I think one could make an argument that building a stadium would provide a positive return on investment to an ownership group. If a team spends $1B on a stadium the value of the franchise may increase by more than $1B. I think the "Jerry's World" Cowboy stadium may be an example. Of course any return to the municipality is small so it's clearly not a good investment for taxpayers. But I think in a lot of cases a stadium could potentially be a good investment for owners.

ImJustABill. But that Cowboy stadium was highly subsidized. Best, Don Bauder

Well, I'm saying even if the stadium wasn't subsidized then it still might have been a good investment.

Say Jerry puts in all $1.2B to build Jerry World: Cowboys' value increases more than $1.2B.

Of course, if you can get others to invest money and yet you still keep the profits then that is a big win. That's how a lot of the wealthy got to be wealthy.

ImJustABill. After Boston and Massachusetts would not come up with the funds, the Kraft family built the Patriots stadium, although governments paid for infrastructure. I do not kniow if it is profitable. If it is, the NFL will do its best to cover it up. Best, Don Bauder

Gillette stadium only cost Kraft $325 million and $150 million of that came from the NFL's G3 grant/loan program. That stadium is very profitable.

I know the cost of steel and other construction materials has skyrocketed in the last decade but the price tag of these new stadiums is out of control.

JohnnyO: How do you know the stadium is profitable? NFL teams don't reveal their finances. NFL teams, and the league itself, can make any statements they want on financial matters because they can't be checked. Best, Don Bauder

I know because the Green Bay Packers are publicly owned and their financial statements are available to the public. I've read a few years worth, again you have to read the source documents. Most of the NFL's revenue is shared equally and all of the Patriots data that needs to be substituted in is readily available, that's what they get for running such a high profile business.

Financial analysis doesn't get any easier than this because usually the data is hard to find, especially for a privately held company. Any first year intern should be able to handle this simple task.

don bauder The figures I have seen put the city of Arlington's contribution at 28.6%, about $325 million. The NFL provided $150 million in financing and Jerry Jones was responsible for the rest. I wouldn't necessarily call 28.6% public participation "highly subsidized".

Just my opinion.

Opinions vary.

Danfogel. It is not as much as the average 70 to 80 percent y ax payer participation, according to Judith Grant Long. She counts thiNgs such as lost tax revenue that others do not count. If we used her methodology, the Arlington stadium would probably be significantly more than 28.6 percent. best, Don Bauder

Don, your numbers are ancient history. The Colts stadium was the last NFL venue with a public contribution over 50%. That's the old economy before the 2008 economic crash, those days have gone the way of the dodo.

Also, make sure you differentiate between public funding and public financing.

JohnnyO: How do you differentiate between public funding and public financing? Do you say, for example, that taxpayers picking up the tab for infrastructure is public funding and a straight subsidy is public financing? Best, Don Bauder

A bank financed your home loan but they aren't giving you that money you have to pay it back. The general rule is that the "taxpayer picking up the tab" is considered public funding. That's the NFL's coveted baby.

The 49ers Levi's stadium is a great example on the difference between funding and financing. Santa Clara put in $114 million of public funding from their former RDA and other local taxes. This is their total public funding, allegedly.

The Santa Clara Stadium Authority borrowed $950 M, a $450 M short term bank note @ 2.19% and a $500 M long term loan from the 49ers which the team secured through Goldman @ 5% and then lent to the SA @ a higher rate.

"Gregory Carey, the managing director of Goldman Sachs investment banking division, which led the refinancing, said Friday that the 26-year bond to pay back the construction cost of the stadium will now carry a flat 5 percent interest rate, down from last year's estimate of at least 7 percent. The interest rate for a smaller bank loan is also decreasing from 3.44 percent to 2.19 percent."


The public is financing $950 million but the 49ers are paying off those loans with revenue from PSLs, naming rights, and annual rent. The Stadium Authority claims that the city of Santa Clara is protected from any liability on this debt but I'm not a lawyer so I'm not going to touch that.

All of the $531.5 million (TAX FREE) from PSLs goes towards paying off the SA's loans and those buyers who have to finance their PSL purchase get to do so @ 8.5%.

"(Levi's) will pay $220.3 million to the city of Santa Clara and the 49ers over 20 years. The deal calls for the revenue to be split 70-30 between the public agency created to build the stadium and the 49ers."

The 49ers annual rent is $24.5 million


Here's the Stadium Authority's preliminary report from last spring. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2015/03/san-francisco-49ers-levis-stadium-debt-license-sbl.html

I hope this explains what I 'm talking about. What the NFL really wants is public funding that the team doesn't have to pay back. St. Louis and the State of MO are providing about $400 M in funding for the Rams new Riverfront stadium. That's free money that Kroenke isn't going to walk away from and Stan gets all of the revenue from PSls and naming rights and will receive a $200M g-4 grant/loan from the NFL.

JohnnyO a. Yes, the NFL a wants maximum funding from the public. The NFL motto is Other People's Money. Billionaires want to bilk the public to the max.

As to personal seat licenses: the Santa Clara stadium uses them very heavily. Some think the public will get wise to the PSL scam. Best, Don Bauder

The public hasn't wised up yet. The Giants raised about $400 M from PSLs, Jets $325M, Cowboys over $400M. I didn't believe the 49ers would meet their $500 million goal but they beat it by $31 M.

My estimates for the Chargers and Raiders are well below the NFL's combined $800 M figure. I wont be surprised if they beat my estimates.

2 sets of PSLs and the Naming Rights income will top $1 Billion. The tax hit on just these 2 sources of Income would be near $500 M for a privately owned stadium. Do you understand how that's a deal breaker?

IJohnnyO. I agree the public has not yet wised up to the PSL a scam. But I think it will at some point. Best, Don Bauder

I doubt if the Chargers expected it to take 20+ years but they never did anything close to the big P.R. push the Padres did to build Petco Park. So I don't think they were trying all that hard to get SD to build them a new stadium.

I certainly agree that pro sports teams should pay for their own stadia - but I don't think that will happen unless federal antitrust exemptions are reversed and cities without teams can sue the NFL for antitrust violations.

ImJustABill. From 1995 on, the Chargers have been trying to get to Los Angeles. why do you think the original contract permitted the team to leave town? Best, Don Bauder

I think the Chargers had much better negotiators than Mayor Golding and moving to LA was always at least a strong plan B - maybe plan A from the very start. I think they were probably thinking more like a 10 year plan than a 20 year plan however.

ImJustABill: The Chargers didn't make a big PR push because they preferred L.A. San Diego was always a second choice for the Chargers. They pretended to be looking for a San Diego site because San Diego was the undesired possibility if they couldn't swing an L.A. deal.

First, the Chargers failed to make a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) when it was talking about building a stadium surrounded by other development in L.A. But a deal with AEG fell through. (So did the plans for a stadium.) Now there is a chance the team will not make a deal with Kroenke to be the second occupant of the Inglewood stadium. The L.A. market may not be ready for two teams yet, and Kroenke may have come to that conclusion.

That leaves the Chargers with a dilemma. They may feel they can get to Inglewood in a couple of years. But what do they do in the interim? They have alienated San Diegans. Already, many tickets are sold to visiting team fans. That might be the Chargers' major market if they are holed up in a hostile San Diego for a couple of years. Best, Don Bauder

Many NFL teams have large fan bases in Southern CA - certainly the Raiders but also Cowboys, Steelers, Broncos. This years' MNF against the Steelers (for which the majority of fans at QCOM stadium were Steelers' fans) may become the norm.

But I don't think the Spanos' really care what team their customers are rooting for. As long as the fans are buying tickets, food and merchandise the Spanos' and the NFL will be happy.

ImJustABill. If most fans are from out of town, the Chargers can convince the NFL that it has little local fan support. Best, Don Bauder

Don the Chargers move to LA will be approved in a matter of weeks.

JohnnyO: I think it is likely that the L.A. move of either the Chargers or Raiders will be approved in a few weeks. But -- and this is key -- what happens if the Raiders get the nod? Also, Kroenke is not granting the renting team as much income as it might expect. That could be a deal breaker. So several factors could throw a monkey wrench into the deal.

The worst thing for the Chargers would be having to return to San Diego, and having to rebuild goodwill. If the Chargers fail to get L.A., they might consider moving to an open market, such as St. Louis. The NFL will want to tie up all these details before voting for the departure, but things may not proceed so smoothly. Best, Don Bauder

The Raiders and Chargers are moving to Carson, you really need to do your research on that project.

JohnnyO. I think Carson is a phony but I do not KNOW it is. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy. being abrasive is part of Fabiani's current job description. If the team cannot get to Los Angeles within the next couple of years, and will have to remain in San Diego for awhile, or maybe for a long while, Fabiani's replacement will have to be smooth. Best, Don Bauder

MF (appropriate initials BTW) plays the bad cop to a T. His job is to make San Diegans hate him more than they hate the Spanos family. If the Chargers are "stuck" in San Diego (MF's words) than I agree the Spanos will need to get rid of MF.

ImJustABill. True. Nobody knows that better than Fabiani.My guess is that this possibility was written into his contract. Best, Don Bauder

Here's my sense of where Chargers fans and local media (at least XTRA 1360 and 1090 AM) feel we are. This is based just on my interpretation of a few local radio shows - esp the "Loose Cannons" on XTRA.

  1. The Chargers clearly want to move to L.A. and have wanted to move to L.A. for quite some time. Everyone in the media are well aware of that.

  2. Everyone hates MF. I don't think that will ever change. XTRA 1360 keeps playing a soundbite of MF getting viciously booed at the NFL's town hall meeting. And XTRA keeps playing a soundbite about MF mentioning how the worst case for the Chargers would be "stuck in San Diego"

  3. Most Chargers fans hate the Spanos's at this point - both for wanting to move to L.A. and for failing to fire non-successful GM's and coaches. If the Chargers somehow end up staying in SD and somehow manage to go deep in the playoffs at some point in the future the fans will love the Spanos family.

  4. The rah-rah taxpayer stadium crowd is tentatively behind Falconer and feel that he is trying to keep the Chargers in SD and the Chargers (esp. MF) are the bad guys. But they also think Falconer might know they are gone and is merely putting on a show. The sports media believe the myth that losing a sports team is a nail in the coffin of any politician's career so they believe Falconer will try to save the Chargers.

  5. There are increasing rumors (wishful thinking) about building a stadium to lure another team (Raiders, Jaguars) to SD. Seems like a long shot at this point.

ImJustABill: If the Chargers are "stuck in San Diego" (apparently Fabiani's words), they have several options: 1. Move to St. Louis if the Rams move to Los Angeles; 2. Remain in San Diego; the tiny crowds and hostile city could convince the NFL the Chargers aren't wanted in San Diego (just as the team planned in 1995), permitting a move to, say, San Antonio; 3. Try to bring a team to San Diego. However, that would require a new stadium, and I doubt the Chargers will get one from the taxpayers.

The Chargers rolled the dice by openly courting L.A. and may well have lost. The value of the team will decline -- almost unheard of in the NFL. Best, Don Bauder

I don't think the LA deal gets done until the NFL gets a sweet taxpayer subsidy set up for the odd man out of the 3 teams. They will lean hard on Oakland, SD, state of MO, possibly San Antonio.

The NFL will use the "We're going more to LA" leverage against taxpayers as long as it can, which means until there are only 2 teams without new stadia.

There is now talk that the Chargers have a better chance of being a renter in Inglewood. Supposedly, they will get modest income. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder

" Late last week, Rams owner Stan Kroenke sent a letter to the six-owner Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities, saying he would be willing to partner with a second team on the Inglewood stadium. He was willing to propose an equity ownership, 50-50 ownership in the stadium — that they would be equal partners in the stadium," Goodell said. "I think that was received well by the membership. That's something they will certainly consider."

danfogel: This is not my understanding. What I have read is that Kroenke dictates the terms and the second team will be a renter, not an equity partner. But the account you offered may be correct. Who knows of the wheeling and dealing? Another possibility: the other team may have 50 percent equity in the stadium but no role in the surrounding development. This would be a screw deal. Who wants 50 percent of a stadium that, per se, will probably be a loser? The money is in the ancillary things. Best, Don Bauder

Danfogel. farmer has done a good job covering this story.bbThat does not mean he or anybody else is always right. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill. Leaning on SD and Oakland will be very difficult. Miissouri has internal battles going on. Other Texas teams may try to block San Antonio. Best, Don Bauder

Cathy Mulcahy. you mean the former CEO of United Evinces more arrogance than Fabiani? He missed his calling. Best, Don Bauder

Cathy Mulcahy. Good faith? Disagree. Best, Don Bauder

so far the only clear winners are the "study groups" that got their hands into our tax money ( with the direction of their pals on the city council)

when/if the chargers leave san diego, I hope this is pointed out repeatedly (rub their noses in it)

Murphyjunk. You must be referring to the consulting firms that are hired by cities to make a purported end study of whether the city should build a subsidized stadium or expand. A convention center. These outfits are hired whores, recommending whatever the organization paying the bill wants. Best, Don Bauder

Don, you are making a huge mistake assuming that Carson is not a real alternative. Not only is it a real alternative, it's the only realistic NFL stadium project LA has had since the Rams and Raiders left in 1995 and it has the support of most of the owners. A single team simply can't generate the revenues required to make a $1.7 to $1.85 billion stadium a reality. It will take two teams, just like the Giants and Jets in their shared $1.6 billion Metlife stadium. The Carson stadium plan will get the approval of the necessary 24 teams once the St. Louis Board of Alderman pass their funding bill which is only weeks away, as long as they don't screw it up and fail at the finish line. Not likely since the union has already signed their labor agreement. It's bad for dems to vote against union jobs. The NFL's ultimate goal is for all 3 teams to get new stadiums, no team is left empty handed stuck in their current market, this is the only way that will happen.

Read the Carson and Inglewood initiatives, yes I read the 300+ pages, and you will learn that the Inglewood plan is a farce. The absolute most important factor for building a 100% privately funded $1.8 billion stadium is to get a city, county, or state to own the stadium for the $100s of millions worth of tax avoidance. The team gets all of the revenue regardless of ownership, that's the NFL's way. Read the real reports on the topic from economists list Vrooman and ignore our ignorant sportswriters and sports radio hosts. The 49ers were able to avoid all taxation, including Federal and State Income taxes, on the sale of $531.5 million worth of PSLs by selling them through the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and those funds are still considered the team's contribution. Same for naming rights, vending rights, and any other - or a portion of other - revenue streams dedicated to paying for the stadium. That's the NFL way.

Carson's initiative gives the City the power to create a Stadium Authority that will own the stadium and the Inglewood initiative has no provision for a public entity owning the stadium. The Inglewood initiative does change the zoning to allow for a giant Retail Center with a 99,999 square foot Walmart to be built instead of a stadium. A Walmart that the Inglewood residents spent years fighting to keep out of their neighborhood. Do you know who sold the 60 acres in Inglewood to Stan Kroenke? One guess, his wife's maiden name.

Oh and the Inglewood initiative created an open ended tax reimbursement plan which gives HPLC $100s of millions with or without the stadium.

I realized most people might not understand the importance of a tax avoidance scheme worth $100s of millions but everything else is in the initiatives that pretty much no one bothered to read because that's the American way.

I have have zero sympathy for Chargers fans or the residents of Inglewood who are too lazy to read the fine print. Ignorance deserves to be punished.

JohnnyO: I have always believed the Carson proposal was a phony, and it now appears the NFL owners are leaning to Kroenke. I am not sure that the owners of either the Chargers or Raiders can afford Carson or a significant investment in Inglewood.

What we may see in the next few weeks is both Inglewood and Carson blowing up, and the NFL putting off a decision for at least another year. Any delay spells trouble for the Chargers, who may have fouled their own nest in San Diego.

Your contribution to the discussion is quite valuable, incidentally. Best, Don Bauder

Where are you getting you're information because it's either dated or incorrect.

First off, the viability of these stadium projects is assessed by analyzing the project generated revenue streams ability to cover the project costs. No owner is dipping into their own pockets, that's simply not how corporate finance works. In fact every NFL team who has been involved in a recent stadium deal created a "stadium builders" LLC to shield the team's assets from any stadium related liability.

The primary revenue streams are 2 sets of PSLs tax free, naming rights for a 2 team stadium tax free, and 2 NFL G4 grant/loans. The Chargers and Raiders have estimated to each generate $350M to $400M from PSLs, my conservative estimate is $325M to $350M each. The Jets earned $325M and they went on sale at the bottom of our great recession. No team is going to match the 49ers $531.5 M. The 49ers charge their fans who have to finance their PSL purchases 8.5% interest while their 26 year bonds from GS are 5%. Naming rights for Carson will not match the Farmers Field terms of $1 billion over 30 years for 2 teams. The Metlife stadium deal is $17 million a year and the Jets/Giants had a better deal with Allianz for over $20 M per year but the NYC JDL killed it. The PV of $20M per year for 30 years at 5% is about $300. Grubman says both teams are eligible for G4 money which is $200M per team and repaid with Visiting Teams' Share of ticket sales over 15 years. These 3 sources alone will cover at least $1.35 B to $1.4 B in PV terms and we haven't touched luxury suite revenues. This leaves each team with about $200M to finance that can easily be serviced from operating income.

The LA relocation fee rumors make me laugh because it's spread by a bunch of sportswriters who don't know the difference between the Oilers 1997 $29 million relocation fee and the Houston Texans 1998 $700 million expansion franchise fee. The last three relocation fees were $29M regardless of location and they've always been negligible.

JohnnyO: You are saying the relocation fee could be much less than prior ones. That is interesting. Best, Don Bauder

No I'm saying the sports reporters don't understand the difference between a relocation fee and an expansion fee.

The last RELOCATION FEE was $29 million charged to the Oilers in 1997.

The last EXPANSION FEE was $700 million charged to the Houston Texans in 1998.

Does that make sense? By their ignorant calculations an expansion franchise fee would now be $14 Billion which is ludicrous.

JohnnyO. Your view is that writers and other ignoramuses think Inglewood will win. If Carson gets it, you will be hailed as a genius. But if Kroenke wins out...... Best, Don Bauder

No Don, the problem is that they and you haven't read the documents and are ignoring the data. There's no logical reasoning or credible source behind those baseless claims. You don't think that's a problem?

You don't refute any of my points with facts. Do you think it's reasonable to expect relocation fees to jump from $29 million to $600 million. I can tell you the relocation fee for every move since the AFL NFL merger, it's a 5 second google search.

I don't understand people's lack of intellectual curiosity. How do people expect to have an informed credible opinion when they refuse to educate themselves? I wouldn't go on some engineering forum or poetry forum and act like I know what I'm talking about. If there's a topic I'm interested in I make it a point to research the facts.

It's not about being right for me it's about basing your opinion on facts instead of belief.

JohnnyO a. But you are assuming that the decision will be based on logic. I have covered business for more than fifty years and have no such confidence. Best, Don Bauder

NFL sets deadline for San Diego, St. Louis, Oakland; L.A. relocation vote expected Jan. 13

IRVING, Texas - The NFL gave officials from San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland a Dec. 28 deadline to present their final proposals to try to keep the Chargers, Rams and Raiders in place. "That's a firm deadline," New York Giants Steve Tisch said Wednesday at league meetings where relocation to Los Angeles was a main topic. NFL officials plan to meet Jan. 12-13 in Houston, and a vote on relocation is expected Jan. 13.


I appreciate your information - I don't appreciate your supercilious final paragraph. Most Chargers fans - as other people - have busy lives and have many demands on their time work, family, etc which prevent them from reading hundreds of pages of fine print.

It's the responsibility of public officials to accurately summarize the fine print of issues involving spending public money to the public and to fairly advocate for the best interests of the public.

Anyone that has the time to post messages on forums or articles like this has the time to read the documents. About half of the Inglewood initiative is maps, it's an easy read.

I don't have time to debate with an arrogant jerk like you. Bye.

Cool, wallow in your ignorance, that's the American way.

JohnnyO. Seemingly, everybody is ignorant but you. You may be right. If you are not, you have the comfort of knowing that nobody knows your name. Best, Don Bauder

Don, anyone willfully avoiding information like you and Bill is ignorant. That's the definition of willful ignorance. Congrats.

I hoped you were interested in learning a thing or two.too bad.

JohnnyO. I am not willfully avoiding information. I am simply hesitant to say that something is certain when there are reso many variables gloating floating around. Ihave said that Carson is a phony, but I have said that I could be wrong, too. Best, Don Bauder

I'm guessing JohnnyO is also John Ogre, who posts here and the U-T under that name, and David Benz at VOSD.

Yeah same guy. Has posted on the Reader as David Benz also. Interesting that earlier in the year he claimed that "Spanos has already negotiated a deal with Kroenke to share the Inglewood stadium like the Jets and Giants in Metlife stadium."

danfogel: He may have been right that time. I think there is a very good chance that the Chargers will join Kroenke at Inglewood. The contract will be drawn up so that Kroenke gets the bulk of the income. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: I cannot find out who is actually writing the posts, unless that person tells me in a private message. I don't know who John Ogre, JohnnyO, or David Benz are. Best, Don Bauder

Pretty sure it's the same person. He has changed his tune dramatically since his post in February saying that Spanos already had a deal in place with Kroenke in Inglewood.

aardvark: The Chargers still may have a deal with Kroenke. In fact, with all these variables and possibilities floating around, I would give a Kroenke/Chargers deal the best odds. It will be a deal in which the Spanos family will not make big money, but they will do better than they are doing in San Diego. One problem: it may not happen right away. What do the Chargers do in San Diego in the interim? Best, Don Bauder

Don: They would play as a lame-duck team, which is something the NFL is trying to avoid at all costs. But if they allow the Rams and Chargers to relocate to LA, the NFL is really going to have to get creative to find places for both teams to play since the Coliseum can only take one NFL team on a temporary basis. Which team would draw better in the Coliseum? I suspect it would not be the Chargers.

aardvark: And then there is David Benz's spouse, Mercedes Benz. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: It isn't easy to stop a Mercedes Benz going 75 miles an hour. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: And one who is reading those documents that JohnnyO touts must realize that he or she will have to read between the lines, ignore certain proclamations, and realize that much of the prose is double-talk that only other owners can fathom. Best, Don Bauder

John Ogre. I have said all along that Carson is a phony. I think Inglewood has a better chance now. Possibly, though, this decision will be delayed. Best, Don Bauder

Delayed 2 days to Jan 30 (just announced).

ImJustABill. There could be more delays.. Best, Don Bauder

And now, stories are circulating that shenanigans have gone on in St Louis to get their alleged stadium plans approved, and that the FBI may soon be involved.

aardvark: That situation in St. Louis is indeed a mess. Best, Don Bauder

Don: But how can that be? Our regular expert (JohnnyO/David Benz/John Ogre) has already said the St Louis plan is going to be approved any day now. Of course, the plan does have a slight $450 million hole if the Rams and NFL don't contribute money to it...

Our buddy JohnnyO/David Benz/John Ogre has finally resurfaced and has started posting the joys of Carson again on the U-T website. I am taking it upon myself to let all of those posters know the fraud that he is, while reminding him of his posts back in February stating that Spanos had a deal with Kroenke to play in Inglewood. I'm looking forward to the denials.

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