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City: Chargers keep moving the goal posts

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    City: Chargers kept changing rules
    Team criticized for creating stadium obstacles; Fabiani disagrees
    By David Garrick
    JUNE 19, 2015


    SAN DIEGO — San Diego officials say a frustrating part of this year’s stadium effort has been the Chargers’ habit of frequently changing what they want or making new demands every time one of their complaints gets resolved.

    Examples include the Chargers asking for an early public vote and then dismissing it as impossible, which officials say was one of many times that the team has “moved the goal posts.”

    They also suggest that it could be evidence the team, which halted negotiations last week, would rather move to Los Angeles where momentum continues to build behind proposed stadiums in Carson and Inglewood.

    Other examples include the Chargers demanding a full environmental impact report this month and then rejecting a city plan to complete one; saying a Mission Valley stadium could work and then slamming that choice a few weeks later; and asking the mayor’s task force to accelerate its work but disregarding its plan even though that demand was met.

    “The Chargers have made many requests and we have diligently worked to meet those,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “We’ve shown our ability to be responsive and stay within their timelines and that’s how we’ve approached this all year, one thing after another.”

    Chargers consultant Mark Fabiani disputed whether city and county officials have truly met several team requests, especially regarding environmental problems, and said the Chargers haven’t wavered since January from wanting a stadium built in San Diego as soon as legally possible.

    “The problems we identified in January when the task force was appointed have not been solved, and in fact they’ve been exacerbated with the passage of time,” Fabiani said.

    Councilman Scott Sherman, whose district includes the stadium site, said he considers such comments unbelievable based on the team’s actions.

    “In the beginning I thought all of the obstacles they kept throwing at us were just positioning to get the best deal possible from us, but now I think it was just more reasons to have things not happen so they could get to the end and say we couldn’t perform quickly enough,” Sherman said.

    Sherman said he thinks the Chargers were surprised city and county officials had so much success solving all of the problems presented by the team.

    In addition to meeting timeline requests, he said the city and county managed to quickly form a partnership, hire experts with extensive experience getting stadiums built and present the team with a financing plan that wouldn’t require approval from two-thirds of voters because it included no tax increases.

    “I think we pushed them into a corner when we overcame every obstacle they could come up with,” he said. “The Chargers probably said ‘they have real solutions and they’re committed to getting this done — that’s not what we really want.’”

    Fabiani said such criticisms are misguided and inaccurate.

    He said the team’s primary problem with the task force was the delay it created, explaining the request to accelerate its work was in lieu of asking to have it eliminated altogether.

    A Dec. 15 vote would have been easy to achieve if the city began working on an environmental impact report in January, he said.

    Fabiani said the Chargers would have welcomed a Dec. 15 stadium vote, which would have been just before the NFL is scheduled to make decisions on franchises moving to Los Angeles in January.

    But he said holding a vote so quickly isn’t legally possible because of problems with the notoriously rigorous California Environmental Quality Act.

    “They said they would do an earlier vote, but in order to do that you have to comply with CEQA,” Fabiani said. “Saying you will do something and actually doing it are different things.”

    City and county officials proposed several ways to meet CEQA requirements that their experts deemed safe and legal, but Fabiani said each was either legally dubious or required a lengthy environmental impact report that couldn’t be completed in time.

    In response to that complaint, the city crafted an around-the-clock schedule this week for staff and outside consultants that they say could allow completion of an EIR by Oct. 15 and a public vote on Jan. 12.

    “The reason that was the last option they came up with is because it’s the worst idea of all — you can’t do an EIR that fast,” said Fabiani, noting that they typically take roughly a year. “There are so many issues that need to be studied by outside experts that the process of identifying the experts and getting them under contract can take months.”

    County Supervisor Ron Roberts said he was highly confident in the opinions of the city’s experts, especially CEQA expert Michael Zischke, who wrote a two-volume analysis of the law that is cited frequently by California courts.

    “Zischke is as good as it gets and to have his extremely sound advice completely disregarded is frustrating,” Roberts said. “When your negotiating partner does something like that, you have to ask ‘are you trying to wreck the train or get it on the tracks?’”

    Roberts said any concerns the Chargers had, if they were truly genuine, shouldn’t have been significant enough for them to leave the negotiating table.

    david.garrick@utsandiego.com (619) 269-8906 @UTDavidGarrick
     
  2. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    Why has the blame suddenly shifted completely to the Chargers? I hope fans don't forget these politicians have done squat since this task force begin.
     
  3. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Exactly what have the Chargers done, except shoot down everything the task force has suggested? The only progress on the Chargers side has been related to Carson.

    It doesn't matter what the city proposes, if the Chargers are already set on moving, which seems to be the case.
     
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  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yeah... You are right... I mean jeesh, 14 years trying to get a stadium! The Chargers have clearly never tried to stay and San Diego has bent over backwards to accommodate them!
     
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  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    That's irrelevant to the current non-negotiations. The mayor (or the task force) is not responsible for what happened in the past. Either you're serious about finding to find a way to stay in San Diego, or you're not. I don't believe the Chargers are interested in staying at this point. They've already made up their mind that they can't allow another owner in the LA market, unless they move there too.
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I completely disagree.
    Businesses do not make decisions in the here an now. They are plans, made in advance, reviewed, studied and funded. An NFL team is a business. The fact that they have been trying for so long to get a deal and have been stymied at every turn up until this last ditch effort IS RELEVANT.
    Good, the Mayor now wants to look like he tried to keep the Chargers here, he wants a vote without getting the impact statements... good. Seems odd to me that he only became interested when the Chargers made solid plans to move.
    In fact you indicate that you feel the Chargers are not interested in staying AT THIS POINT. I agree, and cant blame them. 1.5 decades of trying and failing, why shouldn't they move?
    The Chargers have been serious. They have offered to build new stadiums out of the Spanos' pocket, in exchange for land.
    They have dealt with Dona Frye who wanted to turn the Q into a park. You can try and ignore that, but you know that is the issue heart of the issue now. The Chargers had to make plans.
    Now fan want to have them put everything on hold, and trust a city that has refused to work with them for 14 years...
     
  7. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    The only thing that changed, is Kroenke moving into the LA market. If not for that, there would be no compelling reason for the Chargers to suddenly give up after all these years (as you say).

    And no, Dean Spanos doesn't plan things years in advance, or he wouldn't have been caught flat-footed and forced to cobble together that terrible Carson project. If we've learned anything, it's that Spanos is not a good businessman. He's not a leader, he's a follower.

    The NFL has no legal standing to block Kroenke from moving to Inglewood, so Dean will have to hope that he's in a sharing mood. Maybe, the other owners can convince Stan to be magnanimous. :D
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    You have learned nothing (john snow?).
    You take banter from fans and seem to consider them facts. You appear flavor your opinions with a heady distaste for the Spanos. That is fine, you don't have to like them.

    However, you have no idea what plans are made when, what the Spanos' and Chargers do from day to day...
    I have seldom seen a family with poor business sense as you attribute to the Spanos, who keep their money...

    Are you saying if you were in the Chargers shoes, you would put everything on hold in order to see if the City was finally dealing with you with serous intent? Is that how you would run things if you were in charge? You know, ignoring history because it somehow is not relevant today... If that is the case, then perhaps you and Deano have more in common that you think...
     
  9. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    LOL...... any NFL owner who loses money is doing something SERIOUSLY wrong. Dean may not be a good businessman, but he'd have to be a total buffoon to not keep his money. He's only gone from the ticket guarantee, to free rent. He may not have maximized his money by staying a San Diego, but he certainly was in no danger of losing it. The NFL is a cartel which shares it's revenue. It's the cushiest business someone can be in..... including a guy like Dean who just inherited the franchise.

    Any dislike I have of Dean Spanos is purely based on how he's conducted his business as the owner of the Chargers. The whole Marty/AJ debacle was purely his own fault. Any real leader would've sat those two down and set then straight. To allow that level of disfunction to run unchecked in the organization showed what a poor owner Dean Spanos is.

    You conveniently gloss over the fact that the Chargers had previous chances to move to LA, if that was their desire. The reason why they're panicking now is because of Kroenke. He's doing something that they couldn't, and Dean is forced to try to counter him somehow. If is wasn't for the fact that the other owners like Spanos (because he's a "good soldier"), and dislike Kroenke, he'd really be out of luck. They certainly don't care about helping the son of Al Davis, but they might help Spanos get into LA.

    I get why Spanos thinks he has to move now. What I'm saying, is be a man and stop jerking people around. If you think you "have" to leave, then say so. Don't trot out Fabiani to do a dog and pony show and insult people's intelligence.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
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  10. ETicket

    ETicket Well-Known Member

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    Jon is not learning anymore:(
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I am not glossing over anything. I think it is obtuse at best to think that it is all about the Rams, and not about plans in motion. You choose to look at it however you want. SD had a chance to work with the Chargers before the final minute to get the to stay. SD has not cared...
     
  12. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Or, San Diego was not willing to pay the NFL's ransom..... it all depends on your perspective.

    The Carson plans didn't get "in motion" until after Inglewood got going. That parcel of land in Carson was owned by a third party, not the Chargers (or the Raiders). Fabiani said that using his quotes from "before January 2015" is unfair because Kroenke's announcement changed everything. It was reactionary, not proactive planning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  13. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It's sad to think of the Chargers calling LA. home but it seems more likely than not at this point. I just hope the Aztec football program doesn't suffer due to the fallout of this big arsed mess.
     
  14. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Well, yes, but not really. I'm not saying that the San Diego politicos haven't been a major impasse in the road to the a new stadium over this period (hell, even Faulconer still sounds like the token politician hitting his prescripted talking points and coming back to them at every conceivable opportunity). But Dean's never been liquid enough to fund a new stadium out of pocket - even if he didn't have to incur the cost of the land. Spanos' "interest" in sourcing the development funds himself coincided - almost to the month - with the earliest involvement of Goldman-Sachs' involvement NFL stadium development/redevelopment (2002 with the demolition of Foxboro and building of Gillette Stadium). Where this is relevant is that Goldman-Sachs practices are rarely (or at least for the absolute minimum length possible) to have their own funds on the line. Instead, G-S is used as an intermediary that allows the NFL and team owners to exercise specific tax-loopholes and circumvent local votes necessary to gain access to city/county/state general funds - effectively passing the debt of the new stadium or stadium improvements onto taxpayers whether a bond was approved or not (and often leaving them having to approve one in the aftermath in order to make things more manageable).

    Also, it's a bit simplistic to say that Dean "just wanted the land," he also wanted the development contracts for the existing Qualcomm site so that he could profit off of that too.

    There are a lot of people to spread the blame around here, all deserving. Faulconer, even if he is well-intentioned, came into a situation of playing against a stacked deck because the relationship between the Chargers and local government had been crapped on well before he got there - and, something that NFL fans in other states don't ever seem to grasp, state funding is simply not an option in California the way it is in other states like Minnesota and Georgia, because Northern Californian taxpayers are never going to agree to foot additional taxes for a stadium they'll likely never see or use (and the same could/would be said of Southern Californians for the monstrosity in Santa Clara, likewise).

    I'm numbed to all this because, I've been through this before (yes, folks can feel free to blame me as some sort of bad voodoo charm if it makes them feel any better, I've got thick skin) back in the 90's when I watched the team of my childhood (Rams) follow a similar course because once she inherited the team, Georgia Frontiere was hellbent on relocating them.
     
  15. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    To compound onto what Blue has said about the business end, the NFL business model is designed such that you have to go well out of your way to lose money (i.e. not make a substantial ROI) and even then it's a less than 1% probability. Revenue-sharing ensured that. Frontiere went full-blown "Major League" on the Rams in the 90's (trading away or even just outright releasing key players still in their primes, firing successful coaches/front office personnel to install puppets, and demanding full-funding of a new stadium from sources she knew couldn't deliver) and still when she tried to use "losing money" as her justification for why she should be greenlit for relocation the elder statesmen among ownership (Hunt, Rooney, Wilson) told her that she only needed to look in the mirror to see why she wasn't making the kind of money she should have been in the location she was at.

    This is a less a discussion of money Dean is losing and more a case of "potential to earn" that Dean sees losing the opportunity to get at. His claim to the LA market through SoCal has exactly squat to do with the fans or attendance and everything to do with the corporations with principal offices or headquarters in LA - that's the money he's worried about missing out on or losing what inside track he currently has toward.
     
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  16. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Which is why Dean has no interest in staying in San Diego if another owner (Kroenke) moves to LA. San Diego doesn't have the corporate money, so even if he got a new stadium, the increased revenue wouldn't make up for the loss of fans up North who'd now be attending Rams games instead. If Dean's assertion is to be believed (that 25% of the ticket sales are from people in the LA region), then having another team move into that market would be a big blow to his profits.
     
  17. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Well... Dean's figure is a bit doctored. It's 25% in the sense that he's including LA-based ticket resale companies who buy season tickets and then turn around and flip them at higher than face-value on sites like StubHub and what-not. So technically those tickets are sold... to a buyer in LA... but it's not a private party buyer.
     
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  18. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I guess that's what's referred to as fuzzy math. ;)
     
  19. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    How are you determining that?
    I live in Riverside County, and know of quite a few people who travel from here to the games. Hell SavageLizard travels from Big Bear to them. I know several people in Orange County do the same. So where are you getting demographic numbers that would be more accurate than those the Chargers have?
     
  20. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I'm sure some people travel from up North, but I also am aware that a large chunk of season tickets belong to scalpers. That is a big part of why our stadium gets invaded so frequently. People blame sh*tty Chargers fans, but in actuality a lot of season tickets are not owned by Chargers fans. I have no idea what the actual percentages are, but I know that back when the team sucked a lot of those tickets got bought up.
     
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  21. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    And hey Conc, NEVER confuse Big Bear with L.A. :)
     
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  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I would not do that. I am just pointing that out to show that people do come to Charger games from surrounding areas. Not sure what the percentage is, but I dont personally think it is a stretch to suggest it could be 25%.

    You guy alright with the fire? Friday we were all smokey from it, down in the valley by Temecula.
     
  23. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Yeah, it's not that close to us and it's moving away. I think they are up to about 20% containment, and I saw that there may be rain tonight.
     
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  24. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Because I'm aware of the presence (and amount) of these LA-based resale companies (it's a pretty massive industry) and how many pairs and four-packs of season seats they buy in a season. They're not just based out of LA - there's actually a pretty decent chunk of companies doing the same thing operating out of Arizona.

    The Chargers base their numbers on the billing address for the season tickets. I'm not saying that there aren't folks that travel from LA/OC/San Bernardino for home games, just that the 25% figure is skewed because it is incorporating the ST's sold to resale agencies as well.
     
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  25. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Yes, that's why I get irritated when people want to start blaming Chargers fans for all the opposing fans in the stands. Yes, some sell, hell I sell some of mine, but a large portion of that are ticket resellers.
     
  26. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Yeah. The one thing to be proud of in a roundabout way is that there's only one reseller agency based in San Diego - and they're not just reselling tickets for stuff in San Diego (it's LA, SF, Broadway, Hollywood, Vegas), but they buy up a MASSIVE amount of seats for every Chargers and Padres home game and then resell at a minimum of a 30% mark-up. I get capitalism, but if the person at the helm of that company is a San Diego sports fan (or a native San Diegan at that), that's pretty low business.

    Odd thing is, and you would think the City would point this out, if they built a new stadium in San Diego, attendance by actual Chargers fans and locals would likely spike because they'd actually be able to get tickets (and ultimately, the cost of PSL's would make buying up massive amount of season tickets right out the gate cost prohibitive to all but the biggest resellers because they would likely pass the tipping point on how much they could mark-up the price and still turn enough profit to make it worth the size of investment).
     

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