Posts Tagged ‘L.A.’

The inevitable finally arrives.  Dean Spanos leaves San Diego and takes the Chargers with him.  This was as likely as a slow commute on the 5.

Mr. Spanos is worth approximately $2.5 billion.  That is a lot of millions to get to those billions.  Yet, Mr. Spanos refused to gather his bankers, use his lines of credit and reach into his deep, cavernous wallet to self-finance the stadium of his choice.  Rather, Mr. Spanos insisted that San Diego’s hotels and motels finance his downtown dream stadium via a tax increase to be demanded of visitors flocking to America’s finest city.  Of course, the San Diego voting public said, “Nay”.  After all, Arizona folk need an affordable place to stay during the summer.

Mr. Spanos’ best bet was to remain in Mission Valley, knock down the Q and build a shiny new stadium a few feet away.  Alas, this practical resolution was not his dream.  Now the moving vans and trucks are full of football gear, Spanos’ household goods and the disappointment of Chargers’ fans.  The last item is quite heavy.

56 years and adios.  Love ya, miss ya, bye.

Mr. Spanos chose to pay a $550 million relocation fee, host NFL football in a 30,000 seat soccer stadium for a minimum of two years, pray that Chargers fans motor north for three hours to watch bad football and three hours south to complain about bad football, become a tenant-renter-occupant of the Rams for who knows how many years and in the end fail as a L.A. franchise, thus forced into some forsaken section of Orange County.

Now for the good news.

San Diego State University football is no longer attached to the coattails of the San Diego Chargers.  Aztec football journeys alone and is relieved to do so.

SDSU has long embraced the proposal of reshaping Mission Valley.  166 acres of cracked asphalt can at last be transformed into SDSU West, livable space and sizable green belt.  As for the Q, renovate or build a smaller version.  Either option works.

Regarding the expansion of SDSU as a university, I dismiss the morons who have yet to discover or acknowledge that the university engages in biological research, embraces engineering and interdisciplinary sciences and has risen in national academic stature dating back to the days of Dr. Stephen Weber as president of the university and carried forth by Dr. Elliot Hirshman.  SDSU entering Mission Valley offers substantial opportunity to the city, county and regional economy.

Yet, let me not drift from Aztec football.  Whether we partner with the rumored Major League Soccer franchise (paraphrasing the MLS commissioner Dan Garber, “San Diego is more attractive to us” given the Chargers exit) or enjoy the support (money) of the city and county of San Diego accompanied by the influence of CSU and the state legislature leading to an exclusive SDSU football stadium, one is the other.

As for athletic director John David Wicker’s concern regarding seating capacity of 30,000 in the instance of MLS partnership in a new or renovated stadium, let me remind him that portable seating sections have been in use at the Q for decades, so employ that, um, technology to boost Aztec seating to 35,000.  Revolutionary.

The Chargers bolting (sorry, could not resist) provides a rare opportunity for Aztec football.  The long-held complaint of we-need-a-campus-based-football-stadium is soon to be addressed and solved.  The reality of an Aztec football stadium also opens doors long closed to, at the very least, actual consideration of joining another conference.  No, I’m not stating that any such invitation is in the near future.  But, the business of conference realignment is nowhere near complete.  The photo of division one football in 2016 will not resemble the near future reality of division one football as ESPN, FOX, CBS and NBC broadcasting contracts begin to expire.  SDSU football will be best served with a stadium home to Aztec football.

Here’s to the immediate future.

 

 

 

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So much is wrong with recent developments.  Let me strike at the obvious piece of idiocy:  The Chargers and Raiders sharing a stadium.  Why not have the Red Sox and Yankees share a stadium?  Yes, beyond stupid.  Beyond the one hundred yard stare and bucket of drool.  The Bolts and wanna be Pirates share the same division.  They play each other twice a year.  The LAPD would need the assistance of the National Guard to keep fighting, looting and rioting to a minimum prior to game time.  Then the real trouble starts.

I love a fastball under the chin (a woeful analogy given football as the subject), but this sudden development (I’m being polite) the Spanos family has placed before the city of San Diego is both mean and without warning.  This dance began better than a decade ago.  I applaud the full court press (again, a woeful analogy given football as the subject) applied by the Chargers lead assassin, Mark Fabiani, but the sudden announcement of the ridiculous San Diego-Oakland axis may as well cause celebration for the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Is anybody happy?

I shall back up.  Splashed across the L.A. Times 2/20/15 edition summed the frenzy of football fields:  Farmers Field, Roski’s City of Industry Field, Stan Kroenke’s Hollywood Park Field (the real deal) and now the bat shit proposal of the Chargers and Raiders sharing a field (holding hands, grooving, playing Grateful Dead tunes).  Reread that reality.  Think not twice, but thrice and dare to discover any thread of sense.

Farmers Field (an insurance gonglomo, not Billy Bob in overalls) was announced circa 2/11.  Roski’s stadium of a badly named city seeking a football team in 4/08.  Consider that time frame.  Do you remove long cooked food from a dormant oven to serve a party of twenty?  Stan Kroenke, a man with a plan and money to make the plan, hits Tinsel Town in 1/15.  Boom.  Done.  Truly done.  But, no.  The Spanos family, forever miffed at San Diego mayors (too many to count since the Spanos ownership) and hoteliers reluctant to raise overnight rates (tax), create a relationship gone bad.  So bad, in fact, that partnership with their enemies from the north, in an effort to strong-arm the locals into panic, propose a bad drive up the 5, to watch the Chargers play football.  The Carson site is another Farmers/Roski moment.  Highly unlikely.

Returning to both the idiocy of the deal and the L.A. Times refusing thought, I offer page D7 from the 2/20/15 issue, “It takes any remaining steam out of both of them (Farmers Field and Roski’s City of Industry).  Never say never in this process, . . .”).  What?  That ranks with definitely maybe.

Returning to Mr. Kroenke and his purchase of Hollywood Park, this is the return of the Rams.  The Chargers or Raiders (to a lesser extent) are not moving to L.A.  The Rams will land in Hollywood Park.  Kroenke understands the local politics (re:  Inglewood voters happily committed to the stadium and associated development coupled with a more than willing mayor and city council).  Would the NFL want to split the L.A. market with a second team?  Most doubtful.  Additionally, why give up two existing healthy NFL markets to shove two teams into one town?

As for “no public money” for either the Inglewood or Carson site, we’ll see.  I find doubtful that the ballyhooed guaranteed magic of preferred seat licenses will fill all necessary construction accounts.  Sure, L.A. has the ability to sell more preferred seat licenses than either St. Louis, San Diego or Oakland, but, past experience indicates an extended hand at some point.  However, this more than likely public assistance is less likely with Kroenke’s Hollywood Park efforts (I understand the Walton clan has spare change lying about).  The amount of financial detail missing from the Carson project is noteworthy.

Regarding the Carson project, aka, the Chargers and Raiders love fest, if this lunacy is pursued enjoy the circus that develops over the former owner of the proposed site, Shell Oil and the residue left behind.  Convince me that the Spanos family will kindly overlook the numerous and legally required extraction wells to remove methane gas from the site.  How about the nearby ground water polluted with industrial solvents?  Watering the stadium grass with that toxic brew?  The words “health risk” are not sought after in any land development.  Especially one that will seat 68,000 people.

Mayor Faulconer and the San Diego city council have received the final warning shot.  Even though the chance of the Chargers beating the Rams or Raiders to L.A. is extremely low, if San Diego wants to keep the Chargers, the time has arrived to settle on one of the two downtown areas or a reconstructed Q.  The Spanos family, if they want to stay in San Diego as stated many instances prior, need to realize that public assistance is impossible.  They have a multitude of financial options which they need to explore and develop whether from NYC investment banks, hedge fund managers or fellow rich folk searching for investment opportunity over a ten to fifteen year period.  Remember, my San Diego State Aztecs need a football field.