San Diego Raiders...how does that sound?

NFL commissioner suggests not enough stadium subsidies offered

The National Football League issued a statement on January 9, published by the L.A. Times, that says the plans for government stadium subsidies for Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego are "unsatisfactory and inadequate."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that each of the cities was given "ample opportunity but did not develop their proposals sufficiently to ensure the retention of its NFL team." This is another way of saying that those three cities have supposedly failed because they put infrastructure, help for low-income neighborhoods, and aid to the homeless and helpless ahead of subsidies for billionaires. (The majority of the 32 NFL team owners are billionaires.)

The NFL did not give any hint on which of the teams will be favored for relocation to Los Angeles. The betting now seems to favor the St. Louis Rams locating to Inglewood in the stadium being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, with the Chargers as a second tenant — either a renter or having a modest piece of the equity. Some think Oakland will then want to move to St. Louis or San Diego.

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The wild card matter is if St Louis will go ahead and build the new stadium that it has planned and approved, if/when the Rams leave. If that struggling city has any collective smarts, it won't spend a penny on it--the current one they have being completely serviceable--and just bide their time.

Kroenke has (or hasn't, depending upon your definition and who reports on it) broken ground in Inglewood. Reading between the lines of the LAT, it appears as if he's spent money on site work, but hasn't let any contracts for a stadium. The site work could support other uses if the league refuses to allow the move. Money talks, and he has plenty of money and clout, too, and so I expect the NFL to give him the nod. The rest of the picture is still fuzzy.

Odd, or not so odd, is the penchant of the Light News to keep running stories about the Chargers on the front page. One week they're bidding the team a so-sad-too-bad farewell, and the following weekend give massive space to an away game. Today's edition has the story of what is happening with the NFL meeting right out on the front page again. This protracted agony about the team must be good for readership, or so the editors and publisher believe.

If all this were not so idiotic and potentially tragic, it would be hilarious. Will any of those die-hard fans, the ones with the costumes, painted faces, dyed hair, etc. really die if the team leaves? I'd guess that there are a few who will.

Visduh: Remember that the LA Times is now running the Union-Tribune. That will influence editorial coverage, even though, of course, the paper will deny that L.A. has any influence. This also applies to San Onofre. The LA Times stays snug with Southern California Edison. Best, Don Bauder

As Don has suggested repeatedly, the concept of taxpayer subsidies of billionaires is puzzling.

Most cities impose a tax on hotel guests (which is also puzzling), but the same illogic could be used to tax foreign sports/entertainment enterprises. Every city in the US that is host to a sports or other entertainment business with owners/participants from outside the city should be entitled to impose a tax on that business.

The justification is obvious: city resources are necessary to accommodate that business- transportation, police & emergency personnel, etc. Less obvious is the drain on the local economy: owners, players and advertisers who participate in these entertainments are taking money from local citizens and moving that money to outside economic bases.

This reversal of subsidies could be a wake-up call to the NFL and its ilk, and improve the economics of most major cities. There seems to be some recent intent to encourage Hollywood to do more filming in San Diego- they too should be expected to pay us for the privilege. The same is true of concert promoters from outside the city, etc. If the ticket sales are not kept in San Diego, they should be taxed by San Diego.

swell: Yes, pro teams with giant stadium subsidies are a definite drain on a city. The money that goes into the ample pockets of billionaires should be going for infrastructure and other things that are proper functions of local governments. Best, Don Bauder

Just what San Diego needs the Gangbanger Idol Raiders. It would be fun to watch the gang wars in the parking lot. Sounds like a plan to me.

AlexClarke: I saw one commentator pontificated that the Raider fan persona would not fit in other cities. The only city I can think of where the Raider fans would feel at home is Youngstown,Ohio, or maybe Las Vegas. Best, Don Bauder

AlexClarke: Detroit and Chicago already have pro teams. However, you may be right: both cities are broke. That makes them ideal for the Raiders. Best, Don Bauder

Don: But being broke apparently is just a minor inconvenience in Detroit, as they are somehow spending $627 million on a new arena for the Red Wings.

aardvark: Yes, and as I recall, the announcement for the subsidy came right about the same time as the announcement of the bankruptcy. Chutzah. Hubris. Best, Don Bauder

I suspect the Rams will move back to L.A. HKS, Inc. is designing the stadium and other facilities around it called the "City of Champions Revitalization Project." Hollywood Park Land Company, Stockbridge Capital Group and Stan Kroenke want to create a sports/entertainment venue that will win the 2024 Olympics bid for Los Angeles. Kroenke is also the largest shareholder of English football club Arsenal. He also owns (with his family) Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

Just commenting because I don't read many stories that have the 2024 Olympics angle. It sounds paranoid, but I feel people would feel safer in L.A. than attending such an event in Paris or Rome.

On the original topic, I know San Diego has Raiders supporters, but I don't think they could ever get a stadium built here. That would just be too crazy for the Charger fans to endure.

Ponzi: If the Chargers couldn't get a stadium built in San Diego (and, frankly, they were only trying halfheartedly, if at all), the Raiders would not succeed in getting one. Best, Don Bauder

David Crossley: As things appear to be set up now, if the Rams moved to L.A., and the Chargers and Raiders stay put, the owners would split the $550 million relocation fee. If the Chargers or Raiders moved, too, at least in theory, the owners would split $550 million times two. The NFL owners are unconscionably greedy. Which do you think they would choose?

(I am assuming that the $550 million relocation fee is for real.) Best, Don Bauder

Don: I still can't believe the relocation fee will be that high, but that number is being used all the time now. And since you did point out the owners are quite greedy, another $550 mil split 30 ways probably has them salivating.

aardvark: As of this morning (Monday, January 11) the relocation fee has reportedly risen to $650 million, but will be paid over a number of years. See my post above. Best, Don Bauder

How about Fan-atics? They could go up against the Lions.

Flapper: Generally speaking, the fans are most fanatical in cities that have fewer participation sports or other outdoor entertainment to offer people. San Diego has mild weather, so potential fans may prefer to participate, not be spectators. This will be true of L.A. when the teams or team relocate there. Best, Don Bauder

Are you accusing San Diego spectator fanatics as being a bunch of couch-potato yahoos who haven't got the guts to play themselves but would rather cultivate guts with beer and hot dogs while forcing the rest of us to pay billionaires millions to build stadiums so they can pay billions to watch millionaire real players bash each others brains into mush and commit suicide?

Flapper: Your summation smacks of verisimilitude. Best, Don Bauder

Been a Raider fan all my life - and,,,,, never been a gang banger.

Would love to see Raiders here, yet, I must admit San Diego Raiders just doesn't have the same ring as Oakland Raiders.

Ponzi: Maybe anniej enjoys going to a game and getting into a rumble. Best, Don Bauder

anniej: In San Diego, there would be a name change: Raiders to Vaders. Best, Don Bauder

seems like a lot of todo ( hype) over contrived entertainment.

maybe keeping it in the news is part of the plan

Murpbyjunk: It's contrived entertainment (although I am not saying most games are fixed. Just some, actually.) But pro football consistently gets very high TV ratings -- most of all, the Super Bowl.

The NFL is a veritable money machine for owners. That's why their profits are kept secret. Best, Don Bauder

Bruce Forman: I hope you are right that San Diegans don't give a damn about the Chargers. Then maybe the city can start spending money where it is desperately needed -- particularly infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

David Crossley: The prudent course would be for the NFL to put only one team in L.A. to start. If fans herd into a stadium, then the league could put a second team in the same stadium. But then it is likely that the Chargers would return to San Diego but still keep its eye on L.A. It would be interesting to see how Fabiani would finesse that one with San Diegans. Best, Don Bauder

Agree, but this IS the NFL we are talking about. The sooner the other owners can get their hands on 2 relocation fees, the better they will feel.

aardvark: The NFL owners are definitely greedy bastards. It's interesting that they are portrayed on TV as saints. Best, Don Bauder

Gabriel Orozco: "Greed with no oversight or accountability." Very well said. (Go see the movie, The Big Short.) Best, Don Bauder

Monica Fay: How right you are. The owners are billionaires but demand taxpayer subsidies. It is sickening. Best, Don Bauder

Scott Graham: Agreed. The thought of the San Diego Raiders is repugnant, just as the concept of taxpayers living with lousy infrastructure so they can subsidize billionaire team owners is repugnant. Best, Don Bauder

With respect to government, how is it that any city can put fat cat welfare above public health and safety--its primary duty.

Reporters should keep asking this question: "Mr. Mayor (or other official), are there any public health and safety expenditures that are needed before you authorize tax money, direct, indirect, hidden or otherwise, to subsidize commercial enterprises like spectator sports?"

The government is owned and operated by the fat cats. They want to get rid of all social programs, safety nets, employee rights, medical care, pensions and the middle class. Follow the money and you will find who owns and operates our useless politicians. We the people have no voice. It is Government by the Wealthy of the People.

AlexClarke: Yes, we have a plutocracy -- government by the affluent. We also have a plutonomy -- an economy that is designed to take money from the middle class and the poor and redistribute it to the pockets of the super-wealthy. A plutonomy feeds off spending by the rich. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: The billionaire stadium scam succeeds in almost every city. How does that happen? There are a bunch of rabid fans who vote as a bloc. Also, billionaire money is slipped under the table to elected officials. Politicians are acutely aware of both phenomena.

Because they want to stay in office, the pols vote to put subsidies to billionaires ahead of public health and safety -- the two things they are elected to provide. Does this stink? Yes, terribly. Best, Don Bauder

The NFL shell-game is to "sweeten" the pot just enough to tip the scales in favor of a subsidized stadium.

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