All the talk opposing the Chargers’ plan for a new convadium in East Village now is turning into political action.

A new committee called “No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First” is getting ready to launch a political campaign against the Chargers ballot measure, which has not yet qualified for the November ballot. The principals of the group include Rob Quigley, the well-known architect who designed the Main Library in East Village. Lani Lutar, a lobbyist and former CEO of the Taxpayers Association along with April Boling are also principals. More may join.

Wayne Raffesberger, an attorney and Point Loma neighborhood activist, is working with the group as well.

Raffesberger confirmed he’s working on the plan but would not share much else. He had also helped organize the so-called East Village People, a group of architects, developers and urbanists who gathered to present an alternate village of housing and walkable streets for the area the Chargers are eyeing. The group is planning to hire Tony Manolatos and John Hoy as spokespeople and consultants. Hoy has run campaigns for years in San Diego, mostly for Republicans and Manolatos was the mayor’s spokesman for his task force on the Chargers problem.

“It will be an official political campaign committee, and will be backed by a very broad coalition of groups, including non-profits, neighborhood associations, property owners, tourism industry folks, urban planners, business groups, architects, taxpayers groups, etc,” Raffesberger wrote in an email.

April Boling is also helping organize the effort. Boling is the treasurer for most right-of-center political campaigns in San Diego and has been an outspoken critic on social media and in op-eds of the Chargers plan.


We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?

“Yes, we’re trying to organize a coalition and it’s turning out not to be as difficult as we thought. It’s a pretty diverse group of people. There’s a lot not to like about this plan,” she said.

The Chargers ballot measure would increase the city’s hotel-room tax from effectively 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent. All of the extra money generated by the increase would fund construction of a $1.8 billion facility many of us are calling a convadium because it would, in theory, serve not only sports interests with a stadium but could also hold conventions and large gatherings.

“I just don’t think it’s a good deal for San Diego,” Boling said. “I’m not opposed to a subsidy for a stadium. I’m not opposed to a reasonable increase to the [hotel-room] tax. But we ought to get the project we want, not what the Spanoses want.”

The Spanos family owns the Chargers and did unilaterally decide on the East Village location for the site. Since then, a smattering of congressmen and one of the largest labor organizations in town – the Building Trades Council – joined the effort. And it was that alliance with labor that generated more opposition from contractor groups opposed to project labor agreements – deals for major construction projects that provide for local-hire guarantees, a baseline standard for benefits and funnel the workers through union halls.

“The Chargers not only want to build a stadium, they want to build it exclusively with an agreement that discriminates against the nonunion workers that stand behind me,” said Eric Christen of the Coalition of Fair Employment in Construction at a recent press conference. Christen’s group is expected to work with the opposition to the Chargers plan.

“The efforts of this anti-stadium group are both dishonest and baseless and these contractors have a history of creating bad jobs and cheating their workers,” wrote the Building Trades union’s business manager, Tom Lemmon. He got into a confrontation with the leader of the Republican Party at Christen’s press conference.

But Lemmon’s support wasn’t enough to bring progressive politicians on board the stadium plan.

Most politicians who have taken a stance on the plan have not just declined to support it but actively attacked it. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has yet to take a position but it seems unlikely he will support it.

U.S. Rep. Scott Peters got on the radio, however, to make the case for it. He said he sees the same potential for it as what came from Petco Park, and he touted what freeing up the Mission Valley site of Qualcomm Stadium might mean for the universities in town or development.

“We all ought to be thinking now about how should the convention center look? How should the street front look? How can we make this a really great project?” he told the Mighty 1090.

He said since it was likely going to be on the ballot, politicians and other leaders should work to make it the best possible project now, even if they don’t support it. He also directly took aim at anyone who frames it as a question of priorities in the city.

“What great city sits around and says: ‘Should we keep the Bears or pave the streets? Should we keep the Red Sox or pave the streets?'” he said.

Boling said it was wrong to let the Chargers dictate so much of what should happen with a major public investment and East Village just isn’t the place for the project.

Chargers fan groups have taken to assuming opposition to the plan is generated by a so-called “hotelier cabal.” Boling said if hotels were the only ones concerned with the plan, she wouldn’t worry about it.

“It’s the wrong location, too much public subsidy and I just think it’s a bad idea,” she said.

The Chargers declined to comment via special counsel Mark Fabiani.

Correction: An earlier version of the article reported that Wayne Raffesberger was the chairman of the group. That was incorrect. The article has been updated with the actual principals setting up the official campaign committee. Also the description of a project labor agreement was slightly tweaked to clarify they set a baseline standard of benefits. 

    This article relates to: Chargers Stadium, Convadium, Politics

    Written by Scott Lewis

    I'm Scott Lewis, the editor in chief of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

    48 comments
    Bob Stein
    Bob Stein subscriber

    The good news is someone is taking action.

    The bad news is this group will address a symptom (The Chargers Plan), but not a cure (quashing public funding for a stadium regardless of where it’s built). 

    I say this because of the appearance of Tony Manolatos.  Manolatos is a widely known Faulconer front man.  His involvement suggests this committee is a proxy for the mayor and his hotel sponsors, by extension.  Both believe in public subsidy for tourist-related activities.

    A surrogate committee will not fight for total defeat of public funding for a football stadium.  It will mount a campaign whose message gives Faulconer the leeway, should the Chargers Plan lose, to reintroduce the Mission Valley plan.

    Here’s how it can work.  Take these two different advertising campaign lines: 

    One says, “Say Good-bye to the Chargers.  Vote no to their plan.” Another says, “Vote no to new taxes for a stadium.  Vote no to the Chargers Plan.” 

    The first one is a kick in the ass to the Chargers.  If successful, it is easily interpreted as voters rebuking the team, their plan and the use of public money.

    The second line is a weasel.  Even if successful, it can be interpreted to mean voters have only rejected a TOT tax hike and a downtown stadium with a convention hall annex, and not the Chargers or public funding.  It leaves the door open for Faulconer to reintroduce the Mission Valley plan with its host of now satisfactory benefits:  no new taxes, no walling-off of the East Village, and no unwanted convention annex. 

    See where this is going?  

    Bill Bradshaw
    Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

    Get me an address to send my check. 

    Dean Cunliffe
    Dean Cunliffe

    Divide and conquer, seems like the order of the day, and for many years now. Stirred up by special interests, prodded by the media, and social media, both at a local and national level. Common sense has become uncommon.

    I well remember the debate over Petco park, well, how'd that work out?

    Next time you're at a game, ask an attendant if their buying a house this year, when their done laughing hysterically and telling you how many other jobs that they have to do to make ends meet, maybe you'll be a little smarter next time...

    I've learned to look past the flash & rhetoric about most anything these days, and I'm very disappointed in the lack of clarity on a number of issues. The few who vote, are often uninformed, or misinformed about what's at stake. The Chargers initiative, and the Citizens initiative are equally crap. In no way, can either of them avoid soaking taxpayers.

    Worse still, is the Huge impact on the surrounding communities!

    I live on National avenue, and every event at the convention center, and Petco park, prompts an invasion of people looking for a place to park for free. All this at a time when when Barrio is finally coming into its own, and has an amazing opportunity to show off the cultural heritage and really genuine people who live here.

    Both initiatives would stunt that growth and destroy what's been done already..

    Both these initiatives double down on screwing the taxpayers, and the local communities!

    Vote NO on both!

    Jerry Hall
    Jerry Hall subscribermember

    The traffic gridlock nightmare,  sacrificing the Maker's Quarter and East Village renaissance,  the multi-decade commitment to a significant muni (taxpayer guaranteed loan) and the enormous tax imposed on an unknown (lack of guaranteed) tourism market - are each a major red flag for any city.  All of them,  each a requirement or consequence of any downtown plan - and combined no less  - should be triggering an 'oh,  hell no!' from any San Diegan planning on being here the next few decades.  Opponents should take heed...  the Chargers marketing machine is formidable and rich.  They understand this is simply a marketing problem that will tug at every heartstrings of any 'patriotic,  God fearing,  Apple pie-eating American'... who simply' must' keep the Chargers because it's the (add guilt-induced reason here) thing to do. Defining counter arguments and building grassroots understanding of the importance of a well thought out community plan (not rushed by a profit motivated individual) and why the burdens of collective traffic,  transit,  competitive show and tourism market,  and long-term bond market burdens -all matter. After somewhat freeing ourselves from the yoke of the 90's GOP convention and the 20 year financial nightmare it put on this city we would be wise to illustrate we can have that yoke put on us again...  but,  potentially for three decades... not only painful for today's taxpayers but also upon our county's 500k children sitting in our schools.  Every San Diegan is at risk with whatever deal ends up on the ballot.  The risk of region-wide pain is far greater than the importance of the sentiments of loyalist fans (no disrespect) or greedy owners.  


    Bernadette Butkiewicz
    Bernadette Butkiewicz

    Building the stadium is a job creator not killer. 


    Eric Christen represents contractors of the Associated Builders and Contractors who have worked on plenty of Project Labor Agreements across the county, currently Interpipe Contracting Inc.  is working under a Project Labor Agreement with Southwestern College.  The agreement allows for fair and open bidding while protecting the construction worker and his or her family.


    Tom Lemmon of the San Diego Building Trades says it best when he states:


    "The San Diego Building Trades Unions and the Chargers are committed to ensuring that workers’ rights are protected with good-wages and benefits and successful, effective apprenticeship programs"


    http://sdbuildingtrades.com/?page_id=1896


    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Bernadette Butkiewicz It is not the function of a city to go into a huge amount of debt to be paid for by tax payers in order to provide an opportunity for private contractors to make huge amounts of money for which they can then employ people to build things that are not needed by the general public for which the city is obligated.  Yes workers should be paid a fair wage.  But any organization or political power who uses that in order to enrich itself at the expense of the general public is simply obscene.  Playing those political games with tax payer money is nothing short of organized political corruption and it is why so many find the actions of many large union bosses no different from organized crime syndicates.  It sends the wrong message about workers rights.  Building huge projects just to satisfy the needs and wants of a very few powerful political organizations does nothing but harm to the overall labor movement.  However in a corrupt city like San Diego this is business as usual.  Hence this is why we had the huge government employees pension disaster.  Buying political power via corrupt political activities has only destroyed much of the reputation of the labor movement.  Now it is a joke.  

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    This article says that the group opposing a Chargers/city convadium downtown is busy working on a plan to create  an alternate village of housing and walkable streets . April Boling is quoted saying "There’s a lot not to like about this plan." What plan? As far as I've read, no detailed plan for the neighborhood has been developed beyond what is in the decade old downtown community plan update. Developers and architects have had ten years to produce such an alternative plan, which would have to include a financing component to cover moving the bus yard, but to my knowledge, despite several well publicized public planning workshops, no such alternative plan for the community has been published and made public. It would help if VOSD would obtain a copy of this alternative plan, if one exists and put out articles detailing what is in it. Voters are more likely to respond to arguments that "we can do better" than a convadium, if the opponents actually produced a complete, detailed plan showing their alternative vision and how they propose to finance it.

    I don't think voters would be impressed if they thought the only real alternative to a convadium is just more bland apartment complexes that take up whole blocks. That alternative might provide more work and profits for developers and architects in the neighborhood, but it would no provide a compelling reason for voters to turn down the Chargers proposal. Downtown doesn't need more sterile streets, and yet more cheaply built, unimaginative blockbuster apartments.

    my2centz
    my2centz subscriber

    @Don Wood The Chargers plan is no more tangible than the "alternative plan" in fact other than a few fancy drawings and an initiative to steal potential tax dollars by jacking up the TOT to the limit there is no plan. Bland apartments would be better since there is a housing shortage in San Diego .I'm sure that there will be a detailed "alternative" plan well  before we get any details on the Chargers white elephant. It does take time though since it is a grassroots group that has only just formed and must secure their own funding and donate their time.

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    That's my point. The property the Chargers are proposing to build on has been ignored for thirty years. The East Village People group was formed only when somebody else (the Chargers), proposed to use the land for their convadium idea. Why didn't this same group of developers and architects get started on detailed planning for this site earlier, before the Chargers showed up. Be that as it may, I am not a big fan of a downtown convadium, nor am I in favor of business as usual, which to date has involved a lot of marketing chatter about creating a new "innovation district", but so far all we've seen are more el cheapo apartment blocks. Downtown provides such an opportunity to build something

    great, but so far the mountain has churned mightily, but only produced a mouse. Today I see nothing downtown that could stand up to what you see in great cities like San Francisco, or Paris, or London. We're still like Iowa on the Pacific. Block after block of chunky ugly apartments, design to maximize developer profits, adding nothing to the fabric of the neighborhoods.  

    my2centz
    my2centz subscriber

    @Don Wood It can sit there another thirty years as far as I am concerned. It is occupied currently by the bus yard so is not just wasting away. I guess the alt plan people feel that the city and developers are bound and determined to build something there. So they may as well put their two cents in. 

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    Here is the thing. There is no such dilemma as "keeping the Chargers or paving the streets".


    The reason is that Spanos is check mated into staying in SD no matter what. 


    Most likely outcome: convadium will lose and Spanos would be playing in the existing Q for some time to come. He is actually making more money this way for the short and medium terms.


    I would not be surprised at all if after 10 years the Chargers would still be playing in an un-renovated Q.

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    Here is a perfect example of the long term corruption mentality that has ruled over this city for decades.  Basically a couple of special interests with political power which normally  put together a deals to screw taxpayers out of millions has now turned into a deal to screw taxpayers out of billions.    In this case it seems Spanos is trying to get backing from the big construction unions to align themselves with the the major land owners in this area of downtown who see they will benefit from this $2 billion plus project.  They have now been able to get Scott Peters on board because he too can smell the money coming to him. It is how corruption works plain and simple.  They know most San Diego voters are just too plain stupid to see that they will be paying well  over $100 million of tax payer money every single year for the next 30 years for this horrible structure.   Without apathy and stupidity this type of corruption could not exist.  That in a nutshell is why San Diego is known as 'Enron by the Sea'.   Spanos has been getting 10's of millions of taxpayer dollars every year for nearly the last 20 years.  Now he sees he can increase that by a multiple of 10 times.  For him it is like taking candy from a baby.  In this case a very stupid baby.


    It's funny because the Jack Murphy stadium deal which led to Qualcomm and  probably over $25 million in direct subsidies to Spanos including millions in ticket sales guarantees still has bond  balance of well over $50 million which the tax payers of this still owes to the bond holders and that deal went down nearly 20 years ago.  This deal new deal will completely destroy any opportunity to bring San Diego's crumbling infrastructure to a manageable level.  Plus we will see all type of taxes increase and services decline.  Corruption on this scale here in San Diego can only exist in the wake of wide spread voter apathy and total stupidity.  

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @Phillip Franklin Actually this is the pro forma way to get stadium deals done all over the US. Usually the pro-stadium coalition has about 30% of the vote and knows that most likely  will lose the 50%+ referendum requirement. So, they team up with labor unions  as partners to get over the threshold. The reason such tactic will not work here is that even with the unions on board the 66% approval requirement is a barrier which can not be breached in CA.

    Tommy Wright
    Tommy Wright

    @Phillip Franklin Do you have any data to support the idea that San Diego taxpayers will be paying $100M annually if the Charger proposition passes?


    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Dean Plassaras @Phillip Franklin Dean I hope you are correct in that the SD voters will turn this proposition down.  But  if our own local history is correct stupid voters here in San Diego are easily manipulated by the likes of Spanos & company.  I do however agree with you 100% that Spanos will never leave San Diego because he will never get a deal like he is currently getting here.  


    Keep in mind Spanos could not even manipulate his NFL owner buddies  when he thought he could pull off some kind of private financial bonding scheme to build a Charger/Raider stadium in Carson.  Once Paul Allen pointed out to the other owners that if that financial scheme went sour the NFL would be left holding the bag, they dumped Spanos's request by every owner in the league and voted for the most hated owner's (Stan Kroenke) proposal to personally fund his deal in LA.  Spanos just came back to to San Diego and demanded the city give him over $1.2 billion and build the stadium on city property where he directed.   


    He says he will move to LA and work for Stan Kroenke?  Nothing could be more funny.  First Spanos will never pay the $500 million relocation fee (no even in the next 500 million years).  Second he would never be willing to pay rent to the likes of Kroenke.  Never, Never Never.  San Diego has been his endless supply of cash now for all these years.  Spanos is a greedy pig and he knows where his bread is buttered.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @Phillip Franklin @Dean Plassaras The Chargers already agreed to terms on sharing the Inglewood stadium with the Rams and the NFL never published the relocation fee.  The $500 million figure is only a rumor not a fact and the NFL may have agreed to waive any fee if the Chargers referendum fails.  A giant relocation fee that would make it impossible for the Chargers to move would hurt the NFL's ability to screw the next city out of public money.  I'm against any public funding for a stadium but you two are making a bunch of baseless assumptions and you're not making sense.

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Ben Adams @Phillip Franklin @Dean Plassaras Ben the NFL will not let any team simply move to LA without a huge relocation fee.  That is a fact.  Otherwise nearly every team in the league would be pursuing moving to a huge market like LA.  If Dean Spanos was not an outright liar why would he be "waiting" for San Diego to give him something for free.  He has been whining and screaming for more and more from this city since day one. He even said good-bye to San Diego forever in January.  He was offered to go to LA right away but in all honesty LA didn't want him or the Chargers.  The fact is no city of significance wants him or his team.  Why hasn't there been an offer for them to move to St. Louis?  That city  has already put $400,000,000 on the table which Stan Kroenke would not take.  


    The problem with most San Diegans is that they believe what any  crook will tell them.  Dean Spanos is liar with a reputation for lying every time he opens his scheming  mouth and whines.  He even hired a professional liar like Mark Fabiani to do his lying for him.  The Spanos family is not even trusted by his fellow NFL owners.  They all voted 100% against his Carson non-sense.  But everyone in San Diego really thought that smoke an mirrors plan made sense and took him seriously.   Spanos just is a greedy jerk who wants even more because he feels the idiots and slime politicos in this town who have their hand out for public funds will give him more and more. 


    He gets what he wants by lying and whining to idiots.  And he will continue to do just that until we send him packing.  But quite frankly I simply do not know how to get this parasite out of this town. He simply will not leave.  Once you started feeding a parasite like this they stay around until they suck the life out of you.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @Phillip Franklin It's not a fact, it's your baseless opinion.  The fact is the NFL never told the public the amount of the relocation fee, you can watch January's announcement and see the question repeatedly asked and never answered.  The fact is teams can't just up and move to LA for a number of reasons including the fact that they have stadium leases in their current markets. The fact is the NFL offered Spanos $100 million to go towards a new stadium in San Diego and if he can't get it done he can move the Chargers to Inglewood.  The St. Louis offer was never extended to the Chargers.  Believe in conspiracy theories if you want but you sound unhinged.  I have to ask you to post links if you want to debate further because you are making stuff up.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000621645/article/rams-to-relocate-to-la-chargers-first-option-to-join

    Spanos isn't a liar because he want something for free, that's just dumb and there's no correlation between the two.  There is no reasonable reason to doubt the Chargers do in fact have an agreement with the Rams to play in Inglewood.  In the end none of this has anything to do with the Convadium being a stupid waste of money.  I couldn't care less what happens to the Chargers, this is a bad deal for San Diego and I'll vote no.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @Ben Adams @Phillip Franklin Obviously you are new to this and don't know much about how the NFL propaganda works. Here are the facts.


    1. On paper Spanos has the option to move to LA but in economic terms he has none of such option. It's for appearances only.

    2. The relocation fee has been published and it's a $650 Mil. total paid over a number of years.

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Ben Adams @Phillip Franklin Ben I don't know for sure exactly what the NFL wants in terms of a relocation fee for Spanos and the Chargers but we do know for a fact that Kroenke was charged the $500 million fee because it was stated as a pre-condition to getting all of the other owners to approve the relocation.  Of course there is always speculation as to what the NFL said to Spanos.   But one thing was crystal clear  ... and that was the expression on Spanos' face when he got skunked by the owners who he thought were going to give him something.  If they were to give him a free ticket to LA that would have been leaked by the Spanos organization in hopes of scaring the crap out of loyal Chargers fans.  That is not the case.  More importantly why isn't Spanos packing up if he has got such an easy ride up to Inglewood?  He hasn't got anything.  The extra $100 million which the NFL said they would kick if the Chargers would stay in SD is nothing more than some NFL hype to get the city to spend 20x that much.  It's a con plus it is a done for good public relations after the owner of the team already said hell no to San Diego and stated that there is no way an NFL franchise can be successful here.  How many times in the history of the NFL has something like this happened?


    Spanos is a known liar along with his spokesman Fabiani.  They deal in lies, lies, and more lies.  You probably weren't around in the late 1990's when they lied and said they were losing money after Qualcomm got refurbished and were even getting millions of dollars in ticket sales guarantees.  They did that to shorten their 20 year lease agreement.  Then the city gave the team a free ticket to leave their lease and just pay a portion of the outstanding loan.  Did they make the move to LA then?  Of course not.  They just lied some more to get the city to even give them better and better deals.  It wasn't until Kroenke announced he was buying up the Hollywood track that Spanos went off the deep end with some harebrained scheme to float some Wall Street plan which the NFL would have never allowed.  Spanos is a consummate liar and is like a a Donald Trump but without the personality  and orange comb-over.


    I'm glad you are voting no on this proposal.  Of course I would expect that of any right thinking San Diego citizen.  But I think it is important to point the understanding that we are simply stuck with this parasite and liar Spanos.  We are still giving him millions in subsidies and he will never leave.  He simply will tell the citizens of this city what ever he feels will in the end get him even more money.  And that is the god-honest truth.  


    I personally would hope the NFL pays all of his relocation costs to LA and even gets Kroenke to give him a cut rate deal on the use of the new stadium there.  But there's about as much of chance of that happening as the NFL giving me free tickets for life to the Super Bowl because I am such a fine person..  



    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Tommy Wright @Phillip Franklin Tommy it doesn't take a financial genius to understand that this proposition will require that the city of San Diego would have to go into the municipal bond market on Wall Street and borrow roughly $1.45 to $1.55 billion to secure the bare minimum of $1.2 billion to fund the city's cost of the bare minimum estimate presented.  Most likely it would be higher.  In order to service the debt portion on just the principle and interest cost of that bond at an average rate of somewhere near 5% or higher over the next 30 years the actual cash to generate the payments on these bonds would be in the neighborhood of at least $80 million each and every year for the next 30 years.  Again that is the minimal cost to service these bonds.  The cost to maintain and operate this facility would probably be at least another $20 million annualy.


    What some people seemingly don't understand or refuse to understand or maybe just too ignorant or downright stupid to comprehend is that when a city incorporated in the State of California such as San Diego issues these municipal bonds they must be paid back no matter what happens.  If it means local taxes have to be raised by large amounts and city services reduced that is exactly what will happen.  These are government obligations and it is the local taxpayers who must absolutely unconditionally make good on them.  I suggest you follow what happened in two California cities recently in this regard.  Research how the courts treated both Stockton and Vallejo who both  got in way over their heads on muni bonds to build things they were left holding the bag when the revenues expected to pay the costs of the bonds did not materialize.


    Also you should study up on municipal bond financing and understand the costs to the local municipality are quite high because the risks of the city meeting their obligations can be very high at times on something like this stadium deal.  Wall Street bankers make huge amounts of money in selling and trading these bonds.  They can be highly profitable because in the end the cities who issue these debt instruments are always forced to pay because the courts have always held the tax payers liable.  Just also keep in mind the Federal or California government will not step in and bail the city out. There will be no bail outs only higher court ordered local tax increases and cuts to services like fire and police protection.  


    A good rule to follow is DO NOT SPEND WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE ON THINGS YOU DO NOT NEED.  However most stupid people don't understand this most simple rule.  And this is why Spanos is hoping he can get this huge subsidy courtesy of the stupid voters in San Diego.


    Keep in mind this is why Flint, Michigan was forced to pump lead and chemical based sewage water into the homes of that city.  You see they failed to meet their bonding obligations and the city became so poor tax increases could not even raise enough to avoid bankruptcy.  So the State of Michigan stepped in took over control of the city and basically poisoned the residents by trying to save a couple of bucks by using poisoned water instead of clean treated water.  



    my2centz
    my2centz subscriber

    @Ben Adams @Phillip Franklin Any potential NFL market is considered the property of the league. If a team is relocating or starting up in one the league wants compensation depending on how lucrative they believe it to be. As the second largest sports market in the country,La is worth quite a bit, which is where the %00 million figure came from. Billionaires aren't the hbit of giving away money especially 500 million which comes out around 40 million per owner.

    Matty Azure
    Matty Azure subscriber

    Anything built downtown would only profit John Moores.  Obviously, he's "convinced" Scott Peters to back the downtown location.

    Signed,

    Wonder how much that cost...

    michael-leonard
    michael-leonard subscriber

    @Matty Azure Not only that, but JMI also is part of the possible plan for re-constructing the land where the Q now sits. Moores's companies will win no matter what.

    Founder
    Founder subscriber

    This is nothing but Bait & $witch. They all are just arguing over short term jobs instead of insuring that any BIG Construction project really benefits the City (and its taxpayers) for many years to come!

    For example, why not own several parking structures near any new venue, so the City can profit from the parking, especially if the parking structure roof is designed to be an urban park when it is not being used for parking?

    Tommy Wright
    Tommy Wright

    I would love to hear Ms. Boling, Mr. Manolatos, and Mr. Faulconer explain why it was okay to pledge $350 million in San Diego taxpayer dollars for a stadium in Mission Valley, but raising taxes on tourists to subsidize a downtown stadium is absolutely off limits.  

    I'm a concerned San Diego taxpayer, and I do not understand this logic. 

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @Tommy Wright Neither the $350Mil. "offer" nor the tourist tax are acceptable as a means of financing something that the NFL should be able to cover 100%.

    Tommy Wright
    Tommy Wright

    @Dean Plassaras  As a San Diego City resident and taxpayer, why do I care if tourists from New York and Virginia and Colorado are taxed to pay for infrastructure that I benefit from?  

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Tommy Wright Tommy I agree with you in that the city should not be willing to offer any money to build a new stadium for a multi billionaire.  I'm guessing the $200 million Kevin Faulconer was offering from the city along with the $150 million which Ron Roberts was putting up from the county was more of a political ploy to tell the Charger fans to vote for them. My guess is the overwhelming Charger fan base wants the team to stay right there in Mission Valley with the abundant tailgating parking lot.  


    However it seems Spanos feels that a downtown facility will offer him an opportunity to sell  luxury boxes and PSL's for huge amounts of money similar to what is happening in places like MetLife stadium in NJ and Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.  Those boxes and PSL's are usually purchased by huge multi-national or major public corporations to supply hookers and booze to their high roller clients and customers (probably from Asia).  For his obvious greed intentions Spanos thinks he can get some of that action by being downtown plus he figures the idea of a convadium will help him sell it to the stupid voters. Spanos just represents the new viral element of greedy billionaires going after public money and power.  He is nothing more than a version of Donald Trump with out the P.T. Barnum posture.  Spanos is forced to hire his own versions of P.T. Barnum in the likes of Mark Fabiani.

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Ben Adams @Phillip Franklin @Tommy Wright Ben  the Spanos family would say the stadium could serve  as anything and everything if they thought it could help get the city tax payers to give him even more than he is already getting. Spanos has no shame and will do anything and everything to steal money from this city.  His greed has no bounds or ethics what-so-ever.  Yes he knows better than anyone that San Diego voters as a dumb as they come.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @Phillip Franklin @Tommy Wright Spanos has to tie his stadium into a convention center expansion because he knows a stadium initiative would fail miserably on it's own.  He is depending on the stupidity of the voters.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @Phillip Franklin I don't blame Spanos, I'd take $1 billion if a bunch of idiots were dumb enough to give it to me.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @Tommy Wright We can use that tax revenue for our real needs instead of wasting it on a stadium.

    my2centz
    my2centz subscriber

    @Tommy Wright The 150 million from San Diego was to come from 20 million a year rent from the Chargers and splitting the Seat license revenue. 200 million was to come from the county in cash. Read the proposal.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @Tommy Wright @Dean Plassaras You care because as a major tourist market you want to stay competitive. If you lose your competitive advantage in the major engine of your economy it means you the taxpayer would be asked to cover the loses via payment of higher taxes to compensate for lost tourism revenue.

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Tommy Wright @Dean Plassaras Tommy you are being fooled into thinking that it is the obligation of tourists to pay for this bonded debt.  It is not an obligation of tourists to San Diego to pay off this proposed debt.  It is 100% the obligation of the city taxpayers and citizens to pay off this bonded debt.  


    This smoke and mirrors plan simply says they will try and somehow put a 60% increase on the hotel room rates and viola the money will flow in like the water from a 100 year old  broken water main in San Diego.  If that were the case why not raise the increase in hotel room tax to 150% or say 500% .... you know it's free money.  Stupid tourists like stupid tax payers will pay it ... no problem.  I know let's just put a go fund me page on Facebook.   


    You see my good citizen Tommy Wright that is not how the real world works.  Just because you ask for something and even expect to get it is not always the case in the real world.  If you anticipate an false reality you only get what is called a wake-up call at 3:00 am asking for the money you borrowed and now cannot pay back because the foolish scheme you relied upon does not pan out.  Wanting or hoping it pans out is no different from the fool who invests every last dime of their paycheck to play the lottery.  You see there is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that this scheme will produce the amount of cash to cover this absolutely huge debt payment that the citizens and taxpayers of San Diego would be not only signing for but they will be 100% forced to pay come hell or high water.  And this being San Diego with 100 year old water mains and no protection from local flooding that might literally and figuratively be the real case at hand.


    Don't fall for the scam.  But if you feel you must believe in the scam there is nothing else I can say to you because  as P.T. Barnum would famously say A New Sucker is Born Every Minute of Every Day.  And that is simply the real world which I can not change no matter how much I try to teach gullible people like you.  Hopefully you know better than to take all your money and play the lottery.  But even if you  don't  ... please don't t suggest the tax payers of this city should do that because there is a chance they will get something for nothing.  It simply is not reality no matter what P.T. Barnum promises you.

    GretchenNewsom
    GretchenNewsom subscriber

    Love this statement by Tom Lemmon of the SD Building Trades: 


    "This is a classic case of smoke-and-mirrors. 


    Self-serving moneyed developers and contractors are sabotaging progress on the stadium by lying to taxpayers and saying they want “jobs first.” 


    In truth, the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council are the ones that have partnered together to ensure the construction of a new stadium will create good paying, local jobs for the community under a local hire agreement."


    http://sdbuildingtrades.com/?page_id=1896

    g kelly
    g kelly

    THIS IS CRAZY! If the City is going to subsidize anyone, why not the Spanos family? They have been loyal to our city for many years and deserve to have a new stadium. What are the opponents thinking? Do they think the money should go to help the homeless, fix our streets or some other prosaic program to help ordinary residents? That's just plain nuts.

    We need to do this so the Chargers can finally make some money and can continue to provide wholesome and affordable entertainment for our citizens in a new venue with convenient access and ample parking.

    And where better to have a convention than in a stadium? The small change in the room tax won't be paid by most San Diegans anyway.

    And if anyone says that we should pay for this by a tax on Charger game tickets or from excess profits from the Convention Center, they are obviously just plain stupid. Now that the recession is over and the city is back in the black, what could make more sense than a big money-Maker like this great project?

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @g kelly I really hope you are being sarcastic but I can't underestimate the voters' stupidity in the age of Trump.

    g kelly
    g kelly

    Dean asks "why would the city subsidize the NFL." Because "the city" includes political leaders, all of whom need to raise money to stay in office. And because if you're a politician, nothing could be better than being a close friend of a well-heeled entity who needs a major favor that only you can provide. And because by the time the s#*t hits the fan, the politicians will have retired or moved into higher office where their past "misjudgements" and political deals are unlikely to follow.

    my2centz
    my2centz subscriber

    @g kelly HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

    bgetzel
    bgetzel subscriber

    They will have to raise big bucks for media buys. Obviously, Spanos and the hoteliers will try to blanket the air waves with their message.

    One thing - the opposition group must change its overly long, umemorable name. How about one of the following: "Block the Stadium", "Pass on the Stadium", "Block the Field Goal".

    Desde la Logan
    Desde la Logan subscriber

    I've been reached out to by folks in the East Village since, as a Barrio Logan resident, I've been vocally opposed to the siting of a stadium two blocks from my community. But I can't, in good conscience, join forces with the April Bollings and Tony Manolatos of San Diego who actively opposed Props B&C, the minimum wage increase and anything else that could benefit my community. In this case the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. They're just enemies trying to use us with us getting nothing in return. Barrio Logan will fight this from our position and without their input or help. We don't need to join forces with people who have historically done us wrong to fight another group that wants to do us wrong.