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New stadiums worth it... to the owners

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    NFL stadiums worth high cost — to owners
    By Dan McSwain

    I’m a frugal guy. But if you offered to pay for 60 percent of my next house, linoleum might just become terrazzo, and a saltwater lap pool could suddenly seem necessary for my health.

    Such is the gilding power of Other People’s Money. This concept isn’t the only reason why NFL stadiums have become astonishingly expensive, but it surely plays a major role.

    In 2004, the Chargers proposed a “state-of-the-art” stadium costing $400 million in construction costs. Today the team wants a venue costing $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion if it stays in San Diego.

    This doesn’t include costs for land or the tax subsidies inherent in public financing.

    Inflation explains some of the increase. The same Mission Valley stadium costing $400 million in 2004 would cost about $600 million today, according to the federal index that measures nonresidential construction costs.

    Clearly, the Chargers don’t want to build the same stadium. In important respects, they want double. Although a new venue would probably have slightly fewer seats than Qualcomm Stadium, the amenities — and revenue opportunities for the team — would be much greater.

    I should note at this point that no major stadium architect or project manager would talk to me about rising costs. They were all presently or potentially involved in California projects.

    In most industries, this would be none of our business. But the Chargers expect the public to fund 60 percent or so of the project. Cost is very much our business.

    So what’s going on? The best answer boils down to keeping up with the Joneses, quite literally.

    In 2009, near the depths of the Great Recession, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opened what’s now called AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

    It cost about $1.2 billion for construction that can fairly be described as palatial.

    “The guy giving the tour was bragging that some of the tiles were 25 bucks a tile,” said Robert Trumpbour, author of The New Cathedrals: Politics And Media in the History of Stadium Construction.

    Some of the frills, such as 120-foot-tall moving glass doors, amount to Texas-sized ostentation. But others have come to define what NFL owners call the “fan experience.”

    There are multiple levels of luxury skyboxes, close to the field. Aside from showing replays on one of the world’s biggest HDTV screens, more than 3,000 lesser screens ensure that no fan waiting for a beer must miss a play.

    The stadium has since been upgraded with wi-fi technology and walls of screens so fans can share selfies during the games.

    Here’s the best part, from an owner’s perspective: The stadium was a cash gusher from Day One. Jones got somebody else to fund nearly all the costs, while keeping nearly all the increased revenue.

    First the public anted up $498 million backed by higher sales taxes and fees on parking and ticket sales. Next, the Cowboys raised $590 million from fans through sales of “personal seat licenses,” an upfront fee to secure the right to buy season tickets.

    Put it all together, and Jones collected $1.1 billion from fans and the public for his $1.2 billion stadium, and borrowed the rest.

    Then fans produced $290 million in annual revenue at the new stadium that Jones didn’t have to share with other NFL owners, according to a 2010 analysis by John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University.

    The point wasn’t lost on other owners: AT&T Stadium isn’t a boondoggle, it’s an oil field with free drilling rigs.

    However, if everything is bigger in Texas, it’s also cheaper. For $1.2 billion, Jones built a palace with 3.1 million square feet of revenue-generating space.

    The most recent competitor, the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, cost $1.3 billion for 1.85 million square feet. And the structure is nowhere near as luxurious.

    Chargers officials have carefully studied the cost and financing of Levi’s, where taxpayers chipped in barely more than $100 million in direct subsidies. They want far more public support, concluding San Diegans could spend less than $100 million on seat licenses, compared to $530 million from 49ers fans.

    In exchange, the public would receive the intangible benefits of living in a major league football city, as they have for more than 50 years. And the fraction that attends games would enjoy good food, unobstructed views and larger, fancier luxury suites.

    If the public doesn’t go for such a deal, the Chargers plan to build a $1.7 billion stadium with the Raiders in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, betting that Angeleno fans will be more obliging.

    One question is whether smaller markets than Dallas, San Francisco and L.A. can support today’s twice-as-fancy stadiums.

    When the average, inflation-adjusted cost of house doubles within a decade, we wonder if a housing bubble is forming. Nobody can know if or when the NFL will overshoot the capacity of its markets to pay.

    In the New York area, lifetime waiting lists for season tickets vanished when the Jets and Giants launched programs to sell $400 million each in seat licenses. And those who bought licenses have seen values fall since the initial public offering.

    “There does seem to be a hint of the end of the NFL honeymoon,” said Vrooman, the sports economist. “Somewhere the euphoria will finally vanish when the fans realize that the vogue new venues are more of a nice place to eat than to watch a ballgame.”

    However, Vrooman hastens to add that soaring ticket prices have done little to dampen overall demand. Sure, attendance has been falling for a decade. But the NFL’s ability to extract ever-more cash from TV contracts, sponsorship deals, club seating and luxury boxes appears to have room to grow.

    My sense is the Chargers are merely trying to keep up in such a league, in contrast to other deals that seem ego-driven.

    And it’s clear that San Diego could renovate Qualcomm or build a great new stadium for less than half the proposed cost, as many college teams have done recently. But if I was a local leader pondering negotiating strategy, I wouldn’t bet on keeping the team with less than a lavish venue.
     
  2. jackfrost

    jackfrost Well-Known Member

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    Had a few "views" BLEW, but no reply's might suggest it's all a little too hard for the average "grassroot" fan to decipher ?.................or maybe that should read ..... "care anymore" ;)

    It's becoming more and more obvious that the ownership want out if they can't get their "Downtown stadium" built, if they were interested at all in giving the Murph a makeover from the ground up, they'd have done that a half dozen years ago.

    Luxury Box's, Corporate Suites and PSL's ....................... those are the options you'll have folk's.

    Good luck getting a seat for under the average working man's wage for that particular week.

    NFL Ticket will be as close as the Joe Blow's of the world will get to an NFL stadium shortly. ;)


    Then again, maybe it's because everyone is more interested in the current FA signings and goings ? ;)
     
  3. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Arguing this in a vacuum I fully agree. I don't think the taxpayers should be furnishing new stadiums for the owners. We don't raise taxes to buy Wal-Mart a new store, why do we do so to buy a new stadium for football teams?

    But....in the real world, if San Diegans don't help pay for a new stadium then they'll find another city who is willing to do so. Then it comes down to what's more important to you: the team you've spent your whole life rooting for and investing a lot of time, emotion, and money in staying in your hometown or your tax money not funding their stadium.

    If the latter is more important that's certainly understandable. I'm simply clarifying my personal viewpoint of the entire matter.
     
  4. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    The Chargers Carson stadium project is being funded by Goldman Sachs. Why can't they fund them a stadium here?
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    That is quite simple... The city does not own the Walmart store. Should Comic-con build SD a new convention center so that they may have the honor of leasing it?

    The Chargers have already spent millions to try and stay in SD. SD from the get go has never wanted them to stay. Now in the final hour they got a commission together to try and get it done? I think that is so the Mayor can have plausible deniability and say 'I didnt lose the Chargers to Carson'...

    The fact is it will be SAN DIEGO'S stadium. Not the Chargers stadium. To expect the Chargers and the NFL to build SAN DIEGO a free stadium out of the kindness of their hearts is just silly...
     
  6. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Because Goldman Sachs feels they'll make more money in Carson than they would in San Diego.
     
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  7. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    You make some good arguments up until the last line. It wouldn't be out of the kindness of their hearts, it would be out of the desire to make money....just like any other business venture.
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Bull. Your argument seems to be that the Chargers/NFL should build the city of SD a new stadium. For free?

    If that is the case, then you are asking for it out of the kindness of their (NFL/Chargers) hearts. That is what free, in this case is. You want SD to be given a state of the art venue without having to pay a dime, if I read your post correctly (hopefully I do not).

    Why should the city be given anything? Would they hesitate to tax anyone? Would they give anything out? Why does the city need charity from the Chargers of NFL now, when the Chargers offered to build the stadium before, and asked for a land exchange, and the city council poo-pooed it?

    Would you expect if you were running a business, to build a structure for it, to give it to someone and then pay rent on it? How does that remotely make sense?
     
  9. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    That's not my argument at all. It may be the end result of what I'm saying should happen, but it's not like the team wouldn't have anything to gain in doing it like you're painting it as.
     
  10. NYCharger

    NYCharger BoltTalker

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    So just let the Chargers pay for it and own it. Problem solved right?
     
  11. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I think you're missing the point Conc.

    The fact is that any new stadium built will predominately be for the benefit of the Chargers, not the city. It will be a football stadium, before anything else. Sure, there's talk of joint use, but that's just to sell the idea. In reality, there just wouldn't be enough other events that would need a stadium like that to make it worth the city's expense to get it built.

    Remember, the Chargers home games and a few bowl games don't amount to that many events. You'd have to book a LOT more large events to make it even a break even possibility for the city if it has to pay 60% of the costs. I haven't heard anyone realistically say how the city would profit from such a huge expenditure.

    You seem to be very sympathetic to the Chargers business, but blind to how it's a poor business deal for the city. There are many other costs in a big project that extend beyond the actual construction costs. The city got burned before on that terrible ticket guarantee deal, so I don't blame people for being skeptical about building a project with that kind of hefty price tag.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I'd like to see how serious the NFL is not only for the Bolts but even to play the SB in San Diego. I will say this though, if I were the NFL and the Bolts I'd want to be damn sure the County of San Diego is running the show. If it wasn't for the City of San Diego, the County of, would be so much more than what it is.
     
  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I am not sympathetic to the Chargers business. I just have no tolerance for people wanting the city to be given stuff for free. And don't give me that line that only the Chargers and two bowl games is all the stadium is used for, you know that is false so stop saying it.

    If you guys want to champion the Chargers owning the stadium do so. Stop championing that the stadium is only for the Chargers so they should give it to the city for free then lease it.

    I honestly don't care about the ticket guarantee. That is not even in the conversation here, and the City agreed to it when they should not have, that is on them.

    In short, if you feel San Diego cant afford to build a stadium so be it. Then dont whine when they leave. If SD wants the Chargers here, then they need to find a way to make it happen. That is the bottom line.
     
  14. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I never said the Chargers and the bowl games were the only thing at the stadium. What I said was that it would take a LOT more than that for it to be worth the city's investment. And I don't mean the current level of extra events at Qualcomm..... a LOT more would be need.

    How do you know the Chargers would even be satisfied with a new stadium in Mission Valley? Fabiani keeps harping about downtown being the preferred site when anyone with half a brain knows that has zero chance of happening. Why continue to talk about something that won't happen. Do YOU want to stay in San Diego, or not? Because Mission Valley is the only shot you've got. Otherwise, you'd better start packing up those trucks for Carson.
     
  15. NYCharger

    NYCharger BoltTalker

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    I don't see why the city even cares about owning the stadium. It's not like the parts are worth anything, and if they need to build something for SDSU and a few monster truck races they can do so at a much lower cost. If the only obstacle is that the city would own the stadium then let the Chargers own it and call it good.
     
  16. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    And they could pay for the repairs and upkeep. But that might cut into their profit stream. ;)
     
  17. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I honestly dont care if the Chargers stay in SD at this point.
    I would like it but I think the city has flipped them the bird for too long. The Chargers have tried to get things done and the City council has not been interested until this Mayor started to worry that he would lose the team to Carson.
    The Chargers have tried and tried to work out a deal and the City has stepped on its dangler time and time again. They could have had Spanos building them a new stadium out of his pocket (for land, yes but when you are talking 800 million dollars for the stadium and infrastructure upgrades that is an equitable trade IMHO), and the Council said no. Why? Donna Frye wanted to turn qualcomm into a park. I cant blame the Chargers if they have said enough is enough.

    If SD wants them to stay, they need to figure out a way to help make it happen. I doubt that will occur, I think we will see the Carson Chargers soon...

    If SD loses the Chargers they will never get another NFL team, bank on it. They are on the verge of losing the Comic Con, so what will be left to them?
     
  18. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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  19. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/16/spanos-speaks-chargers-stadium-acee/2/?#article-copy

    I honestly think the Chargers will move... The money just is not to be had, even with selling naming rights to a new stadium...

    800M on the city is what the Chargers once offered to rebuild where the Q is... What could have been...
     
  20. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    You're overlooking one big thing...... it's not the city that wants or needs a new stadium, it's the Chargers. That's always been the case.

    You act like the city has somehow screwed over the team because it didn't build them a new stadium. Any of the earlier proposals would still have required a substantial investment from the city, whether in dollars or land. It was questionable then (and even more questionable now) that the city would ever get it's money back from such a project.

    You think Donna Frye was a road block? Mike Aguirre was a much bigger one.

    The article I posted explained it very well. The Chargers simply don't NEED a $1.2 billion stadium to stay profitable. They are in no danger of losing money. The only issue is that they want to make MORE money, the kind of money owners like Jerry Jones make. It's not in the city's interest to make Dean Spanos even wealthier than he is already, if it doesn't likewise increase the wealth of the city. All of these recent stadiums has ended up being a bad financial deal for the host cities. I don't see how this project will be any different.

    As far as Comic Con goes, that is a separate issue all together. The powers that be locally won't allow those two projects to be joined, so the convention center expansion will live or die on its own.
     
  21. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    You have overlooked something. It is the City that is now trying to keep the Chargers. If the city wants to keep the Chargers it is the CITY that needs a new stadium. End of discussion... If they don't, then let them go north. Simple enough.

    The city has screwed over the team IMO. They have sat on their hands and refused to try and work with the team for more than 14 years. Hell other teams moved after just a few of trying this. Look at the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts, the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens, Oakland/LA/Oakland Raiders, The Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals etc... The Chargers have shown more patience than most.

    So what if a stadium requires investment. I am tempted to say no sh!t Sherlock... but wont... ;) Of course it does. If the city does not have dollars, it has land. IF the city wants the stadium it has to do its part. Period. If they want to tell the Chargers 'do it on your own, and own the stadium' fine. I am good with that, but expect them to go to greener pastures... Or Carson, which ever they choose. But if they say 'build the City a new stadium, give us the keys, pay rent, and we wont pay anything.' that I cant agree with. The deal is only questionable if you think people should give the city stuff for free. I have clarified this time and time again. You and others seem to feel the Chargers should give the city a stadium. NO. Not only NO, but HELL NO!

    Please answer - Why do you feel the city deserve charity?
    If you don't, then are you OK if the Chargers leave SD because they can no longer play in the Q?

    How do you equate needing a new stadium to stay profitable is the same as in no danger of losing money? Those are not the same thing. Nor do I recall the article you posted going into the financial disclosure of the Spanos. So did I miss something or are you just guessing that is the case? If my control of the English language is decent (STOP LAUGHING BLUE!) then I would say that if you need something to stay profitable, and you dont get it, then you would expect that if you don't get it, then you will be... non-profitable... Doesn't that mean you lose money?

    It is simple.
    IF the city of SD wants the Chargers to stay, they need to build a stadium.
    IF the city of SD wants the Chargers to stay, but chooses not to build a stadium, then the Chargers leave.
    IF the city of SD does not want the Chargers to stay, then they don't have to build a stadium.

    I am not sure how clearer that can be.
     
  22. NYCharger

    NYCharger BoltTalker

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    I have never understood your strawman where you accuse all your opponents of thinking the Chargers need to build the city a new stadium. All anyone is saying is that the city isn't going to benefit to the tune of $600 million, or anywhere close to that number, whether they own the stadium or not.

    The whole thing about the city owning the stadium is a complete red herring and it's a waste of time to keep discussing it.
     
  23. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Really?
    How is it a Red Herring?
    Has the City ever suggested they NOT own it? Please provide a link.

    Please take time and read the posts. There are several people suggesting the Chargers should build the city the stadium.

    If you dont want to discuss it, scroll on by.
     
  24. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I have to say that the very idea spouted by Dean Spanos is complete nonsense........

    Spanos said it was impossible to project whether that would be acceptable to the Chargers without seeing what is proposed.

    “It has to be able to be competitive with the rest of the teams in the league and market sizes,” he said. “This is all about generating revenues and being competitive. You want to also have a stadium in this city to host Super Bowls. There is a lot of infrastructure that goes into those stadiums that can support a Super Bowl … This is about maintaining competitive balance, and stadiums are very important to that.”


    What the **** is "competitive balance"? The NFL is a cartel for crying out loud. The ONLY competition in the NFL is on the field, not in the running of the business. The NFL owners share their profits from TV and merchandizing. The only difference is in what extra a team can get from it's individual ticket sales (a portion of which they don't have to share).

    Name me another REAL business that operates in that manner. REAL companies have to actually compete with one another. If they lose out, they go out of business. There is no way an NFL owner could possibly lose money unless they're a certifiable idiot. I don't hold Spanos in high regard, but he's not that stupid.

    You need the city to chip in $800 million to build you a new stadium and you can only afford $200 million...... prove it. Open your books and show how badly you're hurting. Oh, you won't do that? Shocker. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  25. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Really? The NFL is a business is it not? Not all profits are shared, select portions of the profits are shared. The idea of small, medium and large markets is nothing new. Are you saying that SD and Buffalo are as profitable as NY or Dallas?

    Every business judges their profitability against their competition, it is called market share. Yes teams get money from the NFL pool, they also have to pay money out, do they not? I cant help but think that your opinion seems weighed on the fact that you think Spanos has money so he should not try and make money... Do you actually think that?

    I am fine with wanting to see the books. Again though, it is the Cities stadium. If it is to be the Cities (as it is, correct?) why do you fell the Chargers should pay for it?

    Bottom line Blue, can you agree to this?
    A) If the City wants the Chargers to stay, they need to pony up their portion of the money if it is to be the cities stadium.
    B) If they dont want to pay for it, then the Chargers will leave.

    I cant help but read what you are saying as this (regardless of what the backup QB fan thinks):
    "The Chargers need to buy the city a stadium. Because the city cant afford it and the Chargers are the biggest tenant of the building."
    Am I misreading your take?

    Do you know any other building that requires the tenant to build it then rent it? I can think of places that make the client lease the land long term and build their building. That is a special case, with no additional cost other than the lease of the land. There are building that are built with a main tenant in mind, that does not expect that tenant to do more than lease the building.
     
  26. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    You simply can't compare the business model of the NFL to any other business, because it's completely apples and oranges. The revenue sharing of the NFL is the main source of the teams income. If it was not, cities like Jacksonville who rarely sellout, and the Raiders who have tarps over their seats would not be profitable..... but they are.

    It's not a matter of "we need a new stadium or we'll have to close up shop"..... it's nothing like that. Its' Jerry Jones is making a ******* killing in Dallas, and why can't we do that too? Sure, the Chargers know they'll never fleece the city for that kind of money, but they'll try to get as much as they can.

    Yes, Dean owns the team and is free to do as he pleases. Take the team to wherever will maximize your profits the most. But cities beware, because these owners are looking for the best deal for themselves. They won't shed any tears if your community goes in the hole bankrolling their shiny new stadium with it's luxury boxes and PSLs. Cities pay a high price for having an NFL team, make no mistake.

    The 1% gets richer, and everyone else gets a little less. The NFL has the money to fund it's own stadiums, they just won't do it. All the owners could have a fund to help teams that need new stadiums get one built (not this $200 million figure). Sure, they couldn't do it every year, but they could have a list, and the ones who've waited the longest would go first. It is certainly within their means to do so..... but they never will, as long as they can convince cities to do the heavy lifting for them.
     
  27. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    You seem to be insinuating that the city does not get anything out of the Chargers being here. Why is that? Do you have links to anything that backs that up?

    I have stated that I would love to see the NFL start building its own stadiums... They wont.
     
  28. jackfrost

    jackfrost Well-Known Member

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    Well things have got willing in here I see ..... :eek:

    I seen the SDUT article featuring that pic of The Deaner over in the NN thread BLEW ...........................interesting to say the least, but alas, we are no closer to knowing an answer ........................by the sound of things, its still a few months away at the earliest.

    Keep some powder dry peeps, the best is yet to come remember. ;)
     
  29. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The plan from the CASG is supposed to have a draft plan very soon. I just wonder if it will matter or if the Spanos have already made up their mind...
     
  30. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Sure, they get the pride of having a professional NFL team with their city name attached. Is that worth more than a Bitcoin these days? ;)
     

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