In the days before the climactic Tuesday NFL owners meeting in Houston, I predicted the Rams project in Inglewood would prevail and the Chargers would join them there. I wasn’t the only one who did that.
I made the point that Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to persuade the NFL to block a move like that had failed.
I’m not quite sure how wrong I was. The Chargers did get that spot in Inglewood — they can be equity partners with the Rams in what’s being touted as the greatest NFL stadium ever conceived.
But Chargers owner Dean Spanos was clearly and deeply disappointed. His demeanor indicated he had great hopes his plan for Carson — developed with the Raiders and later with Disney CEO Bob Iger — would win approval.
I thought that they would have anticipated this outcome, planned for what they would demand and then, if they got it, take it. Apparently they still have a lot to work out.
The chair of the Republican Party of San Diego, Tony Krvaric asked if I had egg on my face.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Scott,if you think there was ever any chance Spanos would not have been given permission to move, just recheck some of the things NFL suits have said about the Q.No more Super Bowls, disgrace, decrepit, etc. Spanos would have us believe he lost, and I agree with him in a sense. At Inglewood, whatever Kroenke agrees to, you can bet the Chargers will be numero dos. At Carson, they had a chance to be the lead partner because Marc Davis is even more “destitute” than Spanos.
And how would you like Donald Trump for a business partner? With Kroenke, Spanos will have sleepless nights wondering what Kroenke will come up with next. Remember, this is, in effect, a trust fund baby, a guy who never had to look for and hold a real job, and it explains his chronic indecisiveness. Check out his resume’ in Wikipedia. He must be terrified of Kroenke.
This decision gives San Diego a lot of leverage if Faulconer will use it, assuming we really want this sorry excuse for an owner. Let’s put THAT to a vote.
Watch out San Diego, our Mayor is not qualified to negotiate at his level. He continues to spend our funds to get something he believes is an agreement. The NFL owners are a very tough group and our Mayor thinks he can outsmart them. Not going to happen. A fair deal is in the eyes of the one who gets the money and the way the Mayor is going that will not be San Diego. He promised a vote, well where is it. Just because he believes he can use funds to promise money to NFL, he is wrong. If I were going to negotiate with NFL owners I sure would not hire the Mayor and City Attorney.
By the time this issue reaches a negotiated settlement between Spanos, San Diego pols, and Krone, the nation's economy will be much weaker than is it today. The tax money inflow into San Diego will have peaked, pension requirements will rise as stock prices continue to fall, and demands for infrastructure improvement will increase as El Nino destroys more public assets. Spanos will go to LA if its still available.
Time to move on.
@Kenneth Thygerson He can't afford LA; that's the problem.
Our civic manipulators have been telling us (for years) we can’t have a vote on public financing for a stadium until there’s a plan on which to vote.
Now we have a plan.
It’s been printed in a glossy brochure; made into a PowerPoint; published in the Union-Tribune; presented in New York, and is the basis by which the NFL decided what to do with the Chargers earlier this week.
The plan says we the people will give $350 million of our money to build a stadium.
Even his emptiness, our mayor, has repeatedly said he will not support spending more than that amount -- $350 million is, apparently, the limit.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s vote, at least on the limit.
Surely, each side wants to know where they stand; each wants an end to the wasteful and acrimonious negotiations, or as Goodell clearly put it, “certainty.” Let’s give it to them.
You’re an insider Scott. We read your site for insight we can’t get elsewhere. What’s going on? Why are we still getting back peddling, side stepping and shucking and jiving from our civic cheerleaders when it comes to a vote, which they’re now claiming can’t happen at least till November?
I’m not asking for a Jan Goldsmith rendition of the technical hurdles. That’s his smoke and mirrors. I’m asking for commentary on the politics: What’s Faulconer scheming? Whose interest is he protecting and why? What does he know about how a vote will go that he isn’t saying?
Curiously, Faulconer “vowed” in his speech last night to pursue a ballot measure to expand the San Diego Convention Center on the waterfront, saying a lawsuit holding up the project is costing the local economy tens of millions of dollars.
Gee, you’d think a guy with this much interest in the financial welfare of San Diegans would be screaming for a stadium vote, if not personally tallying votes door-to-door.
Actually, Spanos is in a tough position! First, cracking a deal with Krone will not be easy, as the man is a shark. Kronke holds all the cards in a negotiation and he knows it. Secondly, by all accounts, Angelinos appear to have an allegiance to the Rams, and the Chargers would have to compete in ticket sales against that, even if they can make a deal in L.A. The Chargers San Diego alternative has major risks. If the Chargers wait for a Stadium vote here, the Rams would be playing in L.A. for at least a year by that point, further building up fan allegiance. Going to L.A. in 2017 or 2018, after a failed San Diego vote (which is likely) or lawsuit (even more likely)), could be disastrous for them. Thus, the likely scenario is for the Chargers to crack a not so lucrative deal ( relatively, as everyone makes money in the NFL) with Kronke within the next 6 weeks, thereby facilitating their move in time for next season. Good Night and Good Luck!
@bgetzel What sort of deal do you have in mind? LA is totally out of Spanos' spending comfort zone.
That is a problem, and Kronke is no pushover. However, if the Chargers chose SD, and the voters do not support the deal or there is a lawsuit to stop the stadium, Spanos is in pickle. My guess is that he will strain to raise the cash required for the L.A. deal, rather than risk nowhere land in San Diego.
Spanos has zero leverage in any future negotiations with the city and people of San Diego. It's over. Any remaining Charger games at Qualcomm will be home games for the visitors.
Spanos got $100 million to stay in San Diego. He lost the opportunity to get filthy rich, that went to Kronke. Goldman Sachs is gone. Why be a tenant or, worse, owner of only the stadium? Aren't you the one always telling us how stadiums are not profitable? Spanos is coming back to the negotiation table and pretend he has all the leverage. He doesn't. He knows it, the Mayor knows it and, no matter your propaganda, the fans know it. As I've said since the beginning, the Chargers are staying. Stop the spin and deal with it.
The NFL hosed Spanos in two separate and distinct ways: 1. They(NFL) killed Carson for good and 2. established the entry (relocation) fee to LA to $550 Mil. To speak of a Spanos LA option is not serious talk. Spanos is trapped in SD.
To say that "Spanos is in strong position" means you have no clue about negotiations.
Regardless of who won this round, please tell me you aren't concerned about anything that comes out of Tony Krvaric's mouth. That's pure comedy right there.
Another good piece from Scott. Just some clarity/additional details. The resolution said the chargers have to let the league know by annual meeting (right around March 20) where they will be playing in 16-17. Given the lead time required to market tixs and to figure out details for 10 additional Sundays somewhere in LA I think it fair to predict that we will have a clear signal of which way the winds are blowing well within 4 to 6 weeks. Plus the Chargers will want to let free agents know (I believe the window opens March 1) where they will be playing. Given all the above, unless Kronke asks for the moon they are gone.
@Erik Bruvold Spanos said that he only wants to be an equal partner w/ Kroenke in LA. Kroenke's present stadium design per the LA Times is estimated to be $2.6 Billion. To be an equal partner Spanos must pay 50% of the cost or $1.3 Bil. + the relocation fee of $550 Mil. Such amount would place Spanos out of LA contention.
Scott, you may not be able to tell who really won this round, but why do I have this sneaky feeling that the tax payers will end up being the losers?
@Grammie We already are, because of decisions made long ago by politicians long gone. We're actually paying the Chargers to play in a stadium we own and maintain, and if they leave (and I hope they do), the taxpayers are stuck with a stadium with tens of millions of deferred maintenance and over 40 million owed on the ill-conceived and poorly executed remodel. We either decide we don't want pro football and eat these dollars, which I can personally live with just fine because they are finite, not pie in the sky. Or, we can find another team if the Chargers leave. If there's a third option, let me know.