It's not over. Chargers given time to woo San Diego

League will toss in $100 million to sweeten the pot

Those wanting the San Diego Chargers ongoing drama to be ended this week will be disappointed: the National Football League is giving the team another year, at most, to get San Diegans to give the team a fat stadium subsidy

It was a surprise compromise worked out at a huddle of 32 National Football League (NFL) team owners — most of whom are billionaires — in Houston. The St. Louis Rams will move to the stadium that owner Stan Kroenke intends to build in Inglewood. The Chargers will have the option to join the Rams in L.A. as early as next season. If the Chargers, who will get a $100 million payment from the league, lose a vote, or opt not to file for one, they can join the Rams in L.A., either as tenants or as a team with a piece of the equity in the stadium.

If the Chargers turn down the opportunity within a year, the Oakland Raiders — the third team bidding for an L.A. slot -- will have an opportunity to join the Rams.

Dean Spanos, chairman of the Chargers, put out a statement: "My goal from the start of this process was to create the options necessary to safeguard the future of the Chargers franchise while respecting the will of my fellow NFL owners. Today we achieved this goal with the compromise reached by NFL ownership.

"The Chargers have been approved to relocate to Los Angeles, at the Inglewood location, at any time in the next year. In addition, the NFL has granted an additional $100 million in assistance in the event there is a potential solution that can be placed before voters in San Diego. I will be working over the next several weeks to explore the options that we have now created for ourselves to determine the best path forward for the Chargers."

It is a cold statement. Sports authorities have said that the Chargers could raise their asset value by $1 billion through a move to L.A. Also, the Chargers have insisted all along that they get 25 percent of their market from the Los Angeles metro market, and would take a big financial hit if a team or teams relocate there. Such a relocation is now a sure thing.

The $100 million sweetener is not persuasive. The stadium proposed by the mayor's task force will cost more than $1 billion. Some in politics want to put a downtown combined stadium/convention center expansion back on the table. But such a facility would be several blocks from the current center — something that convention planners say attendees do not like. What's more, combined stadium/convention facilities have not worked well in other cities.

A big roadblock is the team trying to renew good terms with San Diego. To convince the league that San Diego was not giving the Chargers a sufficient subsidy, the Chargers strategy was to insult the city. Now, if it wants to try for a subsidized stadium, it has to cozy up to the city it spurned.

The Chargers' strategy has been based on a falsehood. The team claims it has tried repeatedly to get a stadium in San Diego. It fiddle-faddled around with cockamamie proposals in Chula Vista, Escondido, Oceanside, and Mission Valley, but never presented a workable solution.

From the time the city and the team signed the contract in 1995, the Chargers have preferred to get to L.A. The contract gave it a direct route out of town, by permitting the team to look around for another home at intervals. Savvy San Diegans know that the Chargers always preferred to go to L.A., but wanted to keep San Diego in its pocket. The strategy failed.

The Chargers are likely to opt for L.A. before there is ever a vote in San Diego, according to more than one person who has followed this greed-driven drama.

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So I guess the question is how much pubic funding do we want to spend for the vanity of being a NFL city?

Oh well I recall that San Diego was considered a great destination world wide for several reasons, none of which was the Chargers. Just speculation but if we spent the amount on money proposed for the welfare football on Balboa Park as a city and as a population we'd all be better off.

MichaelValentine: You realize that Dean Spanos lost big in this so-called compromise. He had publicly stated he wanted nothing to do with the Inglewood site. Now Kroenke, owner of that site, is in the catbird seat. He can demand big bucks from the Chargers -- and frankly, the Spanos family probably can't afford what Kroenke will ask.

The Chargers were thrown a lollipop by the league after they lost the stadium battle. Now the team is backed into a corner.

There is a way out. The Spanos family can sell the team to a billionaire (or maybe several) with money burning a hole in their pockets. Those billionaires could probably match Kroenke's demands. The only alternative is the Chargers renting space in the stadium from Kroenke. But he is in position to squeeze a tenant, too. Best, Don Bauder

The lesson I take from today's events is that money talks. Many pundits were going on and on about how well liked Spanos was, and how disliked Kroenke (sp?) was. But Kroenke had the money to threaten to build his stadium even if he didn't win the vote - and he threatened a lot of lawsuits if he didn't get his way.

ImJustABill: One of the reasons I said from the outset that Carson was a phony was that Kroenke has the bucks, and the NFL is ALL about money. (Kroenke and his wife are worth about $11 billion,) There was no evidence that the Spanos family, or Oakland's Davis family, had the money to take a significant stake in Carson. The deal counted inordinately on personal seat licenses, and who would pay big bucks for PSLs for a couple of lousy teams? L.A. residents are't that stupid.

I think the mainstream press got taken on this one. First, Kroenke has the option of offering the Chargers an equity stake in the stadium or pay rent. But stadiums per se are losers. That's why billionaire owners get the sucker public to pay for them. Kroenke doesn't have to give the Chargers a piece of the surrounding development. That's where the money is. Who would want a piece of the stadium without getting in on the surrounding development?

Since Spanos belittled the Inglewood deal -- a stupid strategy -- Kroenke can try to soak the Chargers on rent. Unless Kroenke figures that having a second team can bolster his bottom line, so he doesn't drive a hard deal, the Chargers should remain in San Diego, where they are already making a bundle. (The contract is up in 2020, though.) Best, Don Bauder

and don't forget their plan to keep the voters from deciding on the money issue.

Murphyjunk: Watch the mayor. If he waffles on a vote, San Diego taxpayers may be screwed once again. Best, Don Bauder

waffles end up being done on both sides

Murphyjunk: But you put the butter and syrup only on one side. Best, Don Bauder

and still a sticky mess when it come times to clean up

Murphyjunk: That's what you should have a dog for -- licking up the leftover syrup after eating waffles. Best, Don Bauder

Per Steve Hartman's (1360 AM) comments after speaking to Fabiani and Spanos tonight (after the decision was announced) the Chargers are already starting to negotiate with Kroenke to be tenants at the Inglewood stadium. Although Spanos didn't want to be a tenant sharing an Inglewood stadium with the Rams, it sounds like moving in with the Rams is still preferable to the Chargers leadership than staying in SD.

ImJustABill: Yes, I think the Chargers are negotiating with Kroenke on rent. If they are smart (and I wonder if they are), they will also launch negotiations with St. Louis (now without a team), London and San Antonio. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: Good point. If the Chargers move to L.A., where there would be two teams, would the Raiders want San Diego? Would the NFL want three teams in Southern California? Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: Hold your nose. It's possible, but not probable. The Raiders would be better off where they are. Best, Don Bauder

No! GO! So we don't get more rhetoric and threats by the Spanos empire and Chargers holding our city hostage? And then our so called elected leaders will be maneuvering all over the $idelines to make deals. Then the so-called independent news media will be cramming some new deal down our throats. This is the time to file divorce from the Chargers. The Spanos' can go grow Greek olives in the hills, and stop harassing us each day with their mobster-like lawyer. They demonstrated little loyalty to Chargers fans, so now is the time to cut our losses (emotionally and financially).

Darren: I agree. San Diego should cut the cord. But local politicians, knowing how rabid football fans make up a voting bloc that has muscle, showing up at the polls in huge numbers, will capitulate. Best, Don Bauder

At the very least, let's hope the Spanos cartel fired Fabiani by now. Now that would be divine justice (at least for a few days).

Darren: Fabiani has known all along that he would be fired if the Chargers had to come back to San Diego, tails wagging between their legs. Don't feel sorry for him. He has plenty of clients, including Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas casino magnate. Best, Don Bauder

Hi Don, did you ever view the movie The Devil's Advocate? If not, I recommend it. Fabiani is in there somewhere. Take care Don!

Darren: Did not see that one. But I did see The Big Short and can say it is among the best movies I have ever seen. Best, Don Bauder

Just as I suspected all along, the Carson Deal was a complete bluff that had very weak financials and little or no chance of happening. I thought all along that it would be the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood.

I can see a scenario where the Chargers move to LA and Rebrand the team. San Diego City and/or business community retains the Chargers name. Then, either the Raiders or Jacksonville Jaguars move to San Diego and are rebranded with the Chargers name.

It happened in Cleveland when the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. Then Cleveland landed a new team and retained the name Browns for the new Cleveland NFL team..

The Jacksonville Jaguars will not be moving to San Diego. Shahid Khan also owns Fulham F.C.. Jacksonville will be the team that relocates to London, in all likelihood to Wembley, probably within five years. The Cleveland Browns are an inappropriate example. The Browns' intellectual property was kept in suspended animation by the NFL. The current Browns are an expansion team.

danfogel: Yes, Cleveland got an expansion franchise after Modell took the team to Baltimore, and Cleveland lawyers threatened the league with legal action. Cleveland kept the name Browns. The joke around Cleveland is that the team was named after the Cuyahoga River. (That is the one that burned back in the 1960s.) Best, Don Bauder

SportsFan0000: That is certainly a plausible scenario. San Diego is the nation's 17th largest metro market, although it is only the 28th largest media market. Even with losing much of its market to L.A., San Diego is still a moderately -- stress "moderately" -- good pro football market.

(St. Louis, whose metro market is almost as large as San Diego's, is a larger media market -- 21st -- and TV is the big enchilada now in pro football.) Best, Don Bauder

Never underestimate the stupidity of Charger fans and the politicos currently in office. No doubt they will be wooing the City and stupid County to spend big bucks on a stadium-by-the-sea or whatever. We the taxpayers still owe fifty million on the Q and no matter what happens the taxpayer is on the hook for the maintenance. I will never support the Chargers and I am happy that Spanos got screwed.

AlexClarke: The city still owes on the Q but I don't offhand remember the amount. Yes, there will be a big campaign for taxpayers to bail out the Chargers, and doltish politicians will lead it.

On the other hand, the Chargers may elect to go to Inglewood before any such campaign could get rolling. Best, Don Bauder

What Spanos should do is accept being Kroenke's junior junior junior junior partner in LA, move there as quickly as possible and enjoy a $2 billion football palace along with whatever additional revenue the LA location provides.

What Spanos will do is go back to Mayor Faulkner and Supervisor Roberts and pretend that he has more negotiating leverage (I'm really going to move this time unless you hurry and give me more money) in a ploy to get San Diego taxpayers to assume a larger of the costs of a new stadium here.

And, unfortunately, San DIego taxpayers are going to have City and County employees wasting lots of time and money on the "civic emergency" of the Chargers possibly leaving.

A great city does not require an NFL team. A great city is one that is clean and safe, with good roads, good parks, good schools, good water delivery and sewage systems, etc. That, of course, is where the focus should be.

It will be disgusting when the Mayor capitulates and spends our money on a new stadium where it will cost $1,000+ for two people to attend a game.

RookBeyer: Very well stated. "A great city is one that is clean and safe, with good roads, good parks, good schools, good water delivery and sewer systems, etc." That's where the money should be spent. No great city subsidizes billionaire sports team owners. Best, Don Bauder

interesting the announcement was timed to coincide with the President's state of the union speech

Murphyjunk: That is the oldest trick in the book. Companies and institutions give out their bad news on a big news day when the story is likely to get buried. Best, Don Bauder

and here I thought the oldest trick in the book involved hookers and politicians . I stand corrected/

Murphyjunk: Since prostitution is the world's oldest profession, you may be right. Best, Don Bauder

Greedy Dean and his attack dog Markie just got their lunch handed to them. Karma is a bitch ! The city of San Diego needs to just sit back and wait to hear from Spanos and hear what he is going to put into the pot. There is a new driver of the bus! I love it............

boemac: But if Kroenke gives the Chargers a reasonably good deal in Inglewood (and that may not happen), the Chargers could be gone before finding out what Spanos is going to put in the pot in San Diego.

Here's the bottom line: Spanos will put very little in the pot in San Diego. He has fouled his own nest and knows it. San Diego has never been a very good market, and with the Rams in L.A., it's even worse.

One of the most likely scenarios is for the Spanos family to sell the team for big bucks. The buyer would have the money to bargain with Kroenke. Best, Don Bauder

Greedy Spanos does not have enough money to be a 50/50 partner in LA. It would take 500 million just for a 25% cut and he does not have that money. If he goes to LA he will be nobody. He is done, thank God. Toast!

boemac: I don't think anybody has said the Chargers would be 50/50 partners in Inglewood. That can't happen. Spanos family doesn't have the moolah. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Don't forget that there would also be a hefty relocation fee also. Last night, one of the reporters I was watching said one of the owners confirmed to him that Kroenke will pay a $550 million. He was give the option of paying $64 million a year for 10 years, but he told the committee he would just right them a check for the $550 million.

danfogel: I have not heard that story, but it is plausible. Is there a typo in there, or was Kroenke's choice to pay $64 million a year over ten years ($640 million, not including time cost of money) or $550 million right away? In that case, he might have made the right decision. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder No typo. He knew the relocation fee was going to be $550 million. The LA committee offered to let him pay it over 10 yrs, albeit at a cost, hence the $64 million per year, in lieu of an up front payment in full. What the reporter said he was told was that Kroenke told the committee that it was no problem and would write them a check in the morning.

danfogel: Kroenke had to do some quick arithmetic: is $550 million now cheaper than $64 million a year over ten years? Apparently he took the former. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I also just heard a report that Spanos is said to be seriously considering the Los Angeles proposal. Apparently, the NFL would "supervise" the negotiations in order to make sure the Chargers get a fair deal.

danfogel: If the NFL will supervise the deal with Kroenke to make sure the Chargers get a fair deal, then I would think the Chargers will snap up Kroenke/Inglewood. I still believe that the reason Spanos publicly said he didn't want Inglewood was that Kroenke asked for more money than the Spanos family could afford. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder That could be. I could also be that it was just more than Spanos wants to pay.That being said, I don't see Spanos getting a new stadium in San Diego without a significant participation by the Chargers. Almost everything I have seen reported over the last 2 days says Spanos is now "seriously" considering making the move. According to Fabio, they are looking at the framework of the deal. Perhaps Spanos has decided the cost of moving to Los Angels would be less than the cost of participating in the construction of a new stadium in San Diego, possibly as soon as next season.

danfogel: I don't think the cost of moving to L.A. would be less than the Spanos contribution to a new San Diego stadium. But the value of the team would rise sharply in L.A., and not that much in San Diego. There is also the risk factor: the Inglewood stadium is all set to go; San Diegans could vote down a Chargers stadium subsidy. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, as I noted below, most, if not all, of the teams revenue streams will increase with a move to Los Angeles, not to mention an increase in the value of the team. It seems obvious though, that an increase in value would be less with the Chargers as a tenant as with them as an Equity partner. Perhaps I should have used the word expense instead of cost. The actual dollars might be close, but when you have a greater income to defray those dollars, then it might not be as expensive. For example, to someone with a net worth north of $7 billion, a $2 billion dollar stadium wouldn't be as expensive a s it would be to a family worth "only" $1.6 billion.

danfogel: The revenue streams will increase if Kroenke permits them to increase. And Kroenke doesn't know what the revenue streams will be. He is taking a risk, too. What if L.A. turns out to be a lousy pro football market? (The Rams and Raiders left in the mid-1990s.) Maybe both the Rams and Chargers will have difficulty in the L.A. market. It's not likely, but it is possible. In the 2015 season, both teams did poorly. Best, Don Bauder

boemac: Spanos all along has said he doesn't want to go to Inglewood with Kroenke. In my opinion, the reason is that the Chargers can't afford to go to Inglewood. Kroenke has $5 billion or $6 billion and his wife has almost as much. The Spanos family has about $1.5 billion and most of that is the value of the Chargers. Kroenke has Spanos by the testicles.

I think it boils down to this: If Kroenke wants a bundle from Spanos, the Chargers have two choices: 1. Sell the team or 2. Continue playing at Qualcomm, where they are making a bundle of money. However, their attendance will dwindle when an L.A. team or two comes online.

Importantly, the Qualcomm contract expires in 2020. Spanos will have to count on another ridiculously easy contract from San Diego -- low rent, high returns from naming, ad rights, etc. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, As I said above, the NFL has said it will "supervise" any negotions, be it San Diego or Oakland, having to do with either team sharing the stadium with the Rams. Here's a thought. By the 2019-2020 season, the teams will each receive in excess of $300 million from the TV contracts alone. The capacity of the new stadium will be at least 80k and possibly up to 100k. This past season, the average cost of an NFL ticket was $85.83. The Chargers average was $84.55. The highest average tickets were New England at $122.00 and San Francisco at $117.00. By 2019, I simply cannot see a stadium in Los Angles not have an average price of at least $125.00, minimum. You can do the math. Even at 66,772, which is what the Chargers drew this year, that's a home team share of over $5million per game. vs the $3.3 million their share was in San Diego. I'm sure they could work out an agreement with Kroenke using the home gate as a revenue source. My point is this. An NFL team has many revenue streams. I would imagine most, if not all, of these will increase by moving into a stadium in Los Angeles. As a tenant, not an equity owner, it should be affordable. That is IF Spanos is willing to accept a smaller share of the revenue increase.

danfogel: I believe you are right that the average ticket price in Inglewood will rise to $125. The arguments generally fall in favor of Inglewood on income/asset value. San Diego is not likely to raise ticket prices much. San Diego does not have enough superrich to ask for personal seat licenses or have many luxury suites. San Diego's business base (heavily biotech) is not suitable for luxury suites. L.A. has the superrich in spades and the right business mix (entertainment.) Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I don't think it's just the entertainment business. Los Angeles has far more super wealthy and ultra wealthy with homes there than San Diego does, and many, if not most, have nothing with the entertainment business. Of the top 25 billionaires in Los Angeles, I would guess than less than 25% of them are in the entertainment business.

danfogel: I have no idea how many of L.A. billionaires are from the entertainment business. But I would think 25 percent is a pretty high percentage. There are a lot of real estate plutocrats there, too. Best, Don Bauder

Michael Mulrenan: Yes, the Chargers will be sucking hind teat in Inglewood. I would certainly hope that San Diego doesn't agree to build the Chargers a stadium. It that happens, the city would be a laughingstock nationally. Best, Don Bauder

Tyler Chance: Actually, the Chargers have done better in recent years than the Rams have. But it's true: Inglewood will get two losers if the Chargers strike a deal with Kroenke. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: But the Chargers can't afford to pay San Diego for the privilege of playing in the city. Besides, the NFL would never allow it. Best, Don Bauder

James Slater: Good philosophy. If the Chargers move to L.A. in 2017, "Screw 'em." Best, Don Bauder

Dallas Martin: I see your point, but I think it is a lose-lose for Spanos. First, there is no guarantee that Spanos can pay what Kroenke might demand in Inglewood. Second, happily, there is no guarantee that San Diego will build a stadium for the Chargers.

I resent every second that the Mayor spends on anything but public health and safety, especially including the time staff at all levels spend on non-governmental issues.

Just what in the City Charter authorizes such squandering of taxpayer money on private business? What justification is there for diverting resources from public health and safety to such scheming?

Flapper: You make an excellent point, but corporate welfare doled out by cities is not just for sports moguls. Shopping centers, hotels, auto dealerships and the like get taxpayer money, too. In theory, the community gets it back in tax payments. But what one community rakes in comes out of the pockets of another community, and of the public generally. Best, Don Bauder

CORRECT! But why is it that only you shout this from the rooftop of your doghouse?

Flapper: It's because I am constantly in the establishment's doghouse. Where else would I shout it from? Best, Don Bauder

How you survived all those years in the San Diego Onion is some kinda miracle. To be a hero, you must suffer mightily, I guess.

Flapper: Even before my battling the stadium rehab and 60,000 seat guarantee, and then the ballpark scam, I was in trouble because the financial section was doing tough reporting and incurring the wrath of the business establishment. The establishment did not want scams exposed. Yes, I paid for it in performance reviews and salary, and my health, but I would do it again. Best, Don Bauder

Everyone in SD should be aghast at Kevbo's constant hammering on keeping this ingrate ballclub in town. He himself admitted during his campaign and at his inauguration that the need was to start working down the huge, multi-billion backlog of infrastructural maintenance. And he was absolutely right on that. But as soon as he took office, this Charger drama took center stage, and has held it ever since.

The condition of streets in the city is deplorable. Yesterday on one of my unfortunate forays into SD, I was driving northbound on Camino Ruiz in Mira Mesa. In the block or so just beyond Mira Mesa Blvd, I hit a pothole that I didn't even see that slammed my car worse than any such bad pavement I've driven in twenty years. Just a little bit of rain, and the crummy patched asphalt crumbles massively. Any sign of a street repair crew? LOL

He also needs to tackle the police department and the fire department. Of course, trying to placate Deano Spanos, the bandit, keeps all attention, and so SD burns.

Every resident of SD should resent this squandering of resources, especially in light of the backlog of things needing attention and funding. But what he's doing has been going on for so long that wrong now feels right for the city clowncil and the "mare."

Visduh: Absolutely. Infrastructure comes first, along with health and safety. It is utterly disgusting that the NFL denigrates Oakland, San Diego, and St. Louis because the intelligent people want to repair the rundown city rather than give money to billionaire sports team owners.

This NFL hubris will be its own Waterloo at some point, but not yet, unfortunately. Best, Don Bauder

I wish some of you folks would run for "clowncil" (thanks for that) and the mere mare (thanks again, but you are offending real mares).

When it comes to infrastructure, as soon as the stadium financing is passed, you will see bond issues to rebuild infrastructure that has suffered from neglect while money and attention has been diverted from preventative maintenance. At first, these projects will be "cheap" billion-dollar patches which will soon fail, leading to more bonds, leading to more bonds ad infinitum, because to replace the poorly-done work of the past would cost marginally more (or sometimes less, but "money-saving" will be what is crowed about).

This does not include privately-owned utilities who will charge their victims for the same kind of scheme at the corporate level. Watch--all ratepayers will pay for the poisoning of Porter Ranch and beyond, not to mention the effect on the ozone shield.

Flapper: Absolutely. Ratepayers will pay for the poisonings at Porter Ranch...at least most of it. That's how CPUC regulation works -- unfortunately. Best, Don Bauder

Bruce Gibney: The NFL is wed to the gambling industry. You may have been being facetious, but your proposal makes sense. Best, Don Bauder

If we learned anything from this entire debacle it has to be that the NFL definitely wants a football team and a new stadium in San Diego. This deal seems to have been arranged to make Spanos stay put. They could probably bankrupt him with the relocation fee, and then they toss in an extra $100 million to sweeten the pot down here. But the NFL also obviously played a part in killing Carson as well, so Spanos could be angling to go to Inglewood knowing that he would make less money just to screw both the NFL and San Diego. It is interesting that the NFL has said that it is going to supervise the Inglewood negotiations for the two teams. I don't know which one of those (Kroenke or the NFL) is currently a greater nemesis to Spanos. It almost feels like the NFL just wants to listen in so they can nix anything Spanos proposes. Or perhaps drop some more financial bombs on him such as a "$250 million NFL negotiation fee." The city should also recognize this win and immediately drop any potential public funding out of their stadium proposal. Carson was a charade all along (even if Spanos didn't realize it at the time) and the end-game was always the public shelling out the majority of the money for a stadium down here. They dangled the LA relocation over our shoulders, and the city didn't blink. Now another deadline has been set in a desperate attempt to (once again) milk money out of taxpayers pockets with the threat of leaving. The craziest part of this whole deal is that the Chargers could play an entire season of football in San Diego as this plays out. I mean that is just weird. I don't know if there has ever been such a potentially lame duck team in the NFL...yet another sign that the city called a bluff that the league wasn't expecting them to.

Dryw Keltz: I am not sure the NFL particularly cares if the Chargers to stay in San Diego. The reason for the one-year offer and $100 million bribe was to toss a lollipop to Spanos, the loser in the battle. The purpose was also to put pressure on San Diego voters to subsidize a new Chargers stadium. The NFL would be OK with the Chargers remaining if it is confident voters would capitulate. But if San Diego voters wise up, and don't vote for a massive subsidy, the NFL would be embarrassed. Best, Don Bauder

The purpose was PRIMARILY to put pressure on San Diego voters to subsidize a new Chargers stadium.

In a "special" election, most voters will be rabid, pumped up by TV (KUSI is the worst) propaganda. It's hard to get "NO" voters out.

Flapper: You are absolutely right on that. Those mendicants wanting government handouts prefer special elections, at which many voters stay home. Best, Don Bauder

Mendicants--does that mean they can't mend?

Flapper: Now you are another member of the punsters group on this blog. Best, Don Bauder

Nothing the Chargers do will stop the crooked scheming on the Stadium site. Keep your eyes open.

Psycholizard: I assume you mean that if Spanos can work out something in Inglewood, the San Diego market could go to the Raiders, and the establishment would still push for a massive taxpayer subsidy. Possibly.

Wouldn't it be nice if the San Diego establishment cared about the important things in San Diego -- health, safety, infrastructure, etc.? Alas, the establishment only wants money for corporate welfare -- in this case, for a football team. Best, Don Bauder

There are multiple schemes on the Stadium land. Michael Zuchet recently placed an article in the UT claiming that the Charger's exit was an opportunity for the the City to pull a Liberty Station, or Embarcadero type development. These examples seem like pure fraud to me. John Moores now discusses an MLS team. That name means crooked development to me.

Psycholizard: I heard about his article but didn't read it. Did he actually tout more development? San Diego has to repair what it has -- the infrastructure, the inside of the convention center, etc. Particularly with the threat of a long drought still hanging over Southern California, real estate development should be curtailed. Best, Don Bauder

kearnykomet71: The Seahawks got a fat government subsidy, too, and are owned by the richest NFL owner, multibillionaire Paul Allen. Best, Don Bauder

kearnykomet71: I didn't get around to responding to your cheer until after the Seahawks had lost. Best, Don Bauder

Catfish Comstock: In essence, the National Football League was formed by gamblers associated with organized crime. The scions of some of those hoods now own and run professional football teams. The NFL pretends that it disapproves of gambling on games, but given its history, this is a joke.

Would the NFL put a team in Vegas? It is probably too early. Gambling has to be a more respectable aspect of society before the NFL would do that. At some point in the future, but not in my lifetime, there will be betting kiosks inside stadiums so people can place bets before, during, and after games.

One of our readers, who uses the name danfogel, says that the NFL will supervise the negotiations between the Chargers and Kroenke so that the Chargers can afford Inglewood. If danfogel is right -- and he is quite knowledgeable on sports -- then I think the Chargers going to Inglewood is almost a sure thing.

The Raiders will have a choice of San Diego, St. Louis, and remaining in Oakland. (London and San Antonio may not be ready yet.) St. Louis's population is only a bit less than San Diego's, and its fan base may be larger. It is a bigger media city and it already has a domed stadium that is only 20 years old. The Raiders' fan persona may fit better in St. Louis than San Diego. Staying in Oakland is not a bad option, either. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder The Raiders will not be going to London. If, or perhaps more accurately, when a team moves to London, I would expect it to be Jacksonville. It seems though, that perhaps San Antonio is not so far fetched:


danfogel: The scuttlebutt that I read indicates that the owners of the two Texas teams -- Dallas and Houston -- have the clout to block a San Antonio team. But it is scuttlebutt, not definitive reporting. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Bob McNair was on the NFL Los Angeles committee and was initially in favor of the Carson project. But by far, the loudest voice in helping secure the Inglewood plan was Jerry Jones. He pushed in from day one and I have read that the compromise was his idea. What I have read is that because of the way he pushed for the Rams to Los Angeles plan, it would be difficult for him to do much to stop the Raiders, especially if reports that Mark Davis owns land in the San Antonio area where he could build a stadium are true. And without even a lease in Oakland, let alone a viable stadium plan, I can't see the league owners saying no to the Raiders relocation, if Davis decides to go that route. Also, the Raiders met with officials in San Antonio about a possible move in 2014And as far as I know, Libby Schaaf is still saying the Raiders can afford to build a new stadium in Oakland without a direct public subsidy.

danfogel: From what I have read, the Raiders would have to have a subsidy to get a new Oakland stadium, and Oakland does not have the money for a subsidy. In the NFL, it used to be "Hate the Raiders!" Now it's "Save the Raiders!" Best, Don Bauder

Great reporting as always by Don and many insightful comments on this blog!!

Some have said that the Spanos family will have to sell the team when Alex (92) passes away in order to pay estate taxes.

Is this correct?

If so, it would seem to me that the Spanos family should find a buyer ASAP and let the new owner decide what to do. Wouldn't it maximize the net value of the team to a new ownership group if the new ownership group gets to choose the new location?

ImJustABill I'm certainly not an estate law expert, but with the Spanos kids owning 15 percent of the team each, I doubt estate taxes would have much of an impact on them. As I recall, the main purpose of transferring ownership to them was to avoid a big tax bill. With the 4 of them controlling 60 percent of the team, regardless of what mama Spanos decides to do with her 36 percent, the kids have the control.

danfogel: Yes, the dividing of team ownership among family members was a tax move. But the question is whether it was sufficient. We do know that the Chargers are the primary asset of the Spanos family. But there are other assets, of course. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: The issue of Spanos family estate taxes has come up before. I have not been able to learn whether the family has already put away sufficient money for estate taxes, or whether this will be an additional burden when Alex dies. The Chargers ownership has been split up among family members for tax reasons, but I don't know that this covers the obligation.

You are right that if the Spanos family has not put away adequate reserves for those taxes, its motivation to sell the team while the market is hot (or crazy, really) is intensified. Best, Don Bauder

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