Posts Tagged ‘Stan Kroenke’

The NFL has spoken.  The St. Louis Rams win as they return to their Los Angeles roots.  Inglewood is a vision of joy via stadium construction and the rest of Stan Kroenke’s vision.

Which leads us to the Chargers.

Granted, the NFL offered Dean Spanos the opportunity to be Stan Kroenke’s junior (emphasis) partner.  File that offer under throw the dog a bone.  As Mr. Spanos considers the reality of junior partner coupled with the one year of advantage given the Rams, he would be foolish to head north.

All public and private praise regarding stadium development will land at the feet of Mr. Kroenke.  Inglewood denizens will pause in wonder at the transformation witnessed as the stadium rises into the sky accompanied by hotels, restaurants and general consumer friendly development.  Dean Spanos will have stand in jealous wonder.  Stan Kroenke becomes the older, popular, more successful brother.  Mr. Spanos will know the social sting of being “allowed” to play in Stan Kroenke’s sparkling new stadium adorned with all things Rams.  Mr. Spanos will truly know the feeling of rent.  Multi-millionaires do not rent.  Thank you very much.

Sadly, Mr. Spanos will continue to sneer at the most logical solution: the renovation of the Q along with all the impressive commercial development coupled with a ready and waiting November vote requiring a simple majority of city voters.

Yes, the NFL did toss another $100 million at Mr. Spanos for a breathtaking total of $300 million in NFL stadium subsidies.  Yet, is there such a thing as too much free money?  Why must the wealthy use their own cash?  What is next?  Driving their own cars?

In the NFL’s world, where the impossible does not exist, we are given the possibility of the Oakland Raiders moving south to San Diego.  Mark Davis finds the idea plausible.  Mr. Davis will not have the downtown obsession affliction of Mr. Spanos.  Mayor Kevin Faulconer has made the Raiders his Plan B.  Given history, this Plan B is as painful as the Yankees playing weekend games at Fenway.  However, the Chargers have not responded to any San Diego negotiation since June, 2015.  Is Mayor Faulconer to wait by the phone forever?  Perhaps Mr. Davis will call and send flowers long before Mr. Spanos returns his attention to the ignored Mayor Faulconer.  Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Mr. Spanos has a long proven reluctance to remove his wallet to spend his own money (or endure the bothersome process of instructing his financial advisors to access lines of credit and loans as other business people do on a daily basis).  That reluctance negates any chance of his delivering the approximate $550 million in relocation fees to the NFL to play tenant in Los Angeles.  A bruising spring and summer of idiocy awaits as Mr. Spanos comes to the slow (painfully slow) realization that San Diego is a wonderful place to play football and make money.




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.