Stadium Shouting Match

Posted by on June 9th, 2015  •  0 Comments  • 

Name calling….Public Spitting…Brick Throwing…it’s all become part of the on-going dialogue between the City of San Diego and the NFL-Chargers ownership.

Rancor…Animosity…Distrust…Greed….Arrogance….all thinks linked to the ongoing struggle to finance and build a NFL Stadium.

And it goes on and on, with the one constant being, nothing moves forward, because there is so much history behind..

Maybe it will change with this second meeting of constructed talks between the city and the the football team, coupled now there is a goal-line in sight, a date to get a public vote taken.

The city brought out all its key negotiating team members, while the Chargers exited without comment in a parking garage below Golden Hall.  In typical fashion, the city pushes the boulder up the hill, and the football team seems intent on laying more obstacles in front.

For at least 90-minutes yesterday, the two sides talked about structure.  Talked about having 104-days to find a solution, so City Council can approve a city-wide vote.  Then the team left, and its key people headed to New York for a meeting with the ‘Committe on LA” with Carmen Policy ready to sales pitch the league, the Chargers-Rainders tandem, in a new stadium in Carson is the best location.

So hard to know who to believe, the strong positive statements from the Kevin Faulconer team, or the actions by Dean Spanos’ group, always working on the LA situation, but not so much here.

The city has had incompetent leadership off and off for decades.  The city has had to resolve the near bankruptcy from a pension scandal.  The city resides in a state paralyzed by economic, social, and job issues.

The NFL franchise has asked, begged, demanded, cajoled, insulted its way into this corner argument now, because of who it is, an NFL franchise that has believed forever they are entitled to anything it wants, anytime, on somebody else’s dime.

It would be laughable, if it were not sad, that San Diego and the Chargers seem to be at a crossroads in contract talks, with a short timeline, and a road veering north that might take the team to Carson.

Nothing has ever been right involving this relationship, dating back to the late 1990s  expansion of seats for the Super Bowl, followed by the owner’s insulting comments three years later, they wanted a new stadium, and the NFL commissioner’s insults during Super Bowl week about never coming back here.

You can now fully understand the across the board anger, either at the Spanos family, the league, and the city leadership.

Now we have hurt feelings, Mark Fabiani’s comments about sports-talk radio, or a twitter-facebook account, that might blow up the negotiations, as if his confrontational nature hasn’t done enough damage prior.

For once somebody on the other street corner, the mayor and his CSAG group, has proposed something.  Whether it can be accomplished with all this creative financing will have to be decided by someone above my pay scale.  But at least there is a proposal, and a date for a vote if they solve all the issues..

Now we are spending so much time doing CYA (cover your ass) activities, instead of trying to find a solution to the $1.1B stadium proposal.

Maybe it’s time to fight fire with fire.  Fabiani has attacked everything as if he is a junk-yard dog, protecting the owner’s premises.  CSAG is unveiling a document that blows holes in all the past Chargers proposals for Stadiums, launching hand grenades in the direction of its constant critics.

The Chargers wanting title to all 166-acres of Qualcomm land, so they could build, develop and profit from all, asking the city to give them title to some half a billion dollars in real estate, just because they are the NFL team.

A proposal of a 50-50 share of costs, but by the way, throw in 60-acres for Team Spanos free of charge, as if there is no cost to the city by doing that.

Proposals to build on golf courses, movie theatre lands, toxic land south of the city.  All grandiose plans but somebody else had to write the check.

So here we are, two meetings into this trench-warfare battle, city on one side, the team on the other side of the barbed wire, and this is going to take lots of times.

I’ve never been a proponent of free lunches for the rich, and I’ve never been a believer in some of our leaders, some thieves, some drunks, some perverts.  But I am a believer, if this is worth keeping, then it is worth staying at the negotiating table to try, and this idea sheet is the only legitimate thing I’ve seen in awhile.

Remembering John Belushi in Animal House, ‘“Nothing is over until we decide it is!”.  I also remember one mayor calling it as he saw it, that the Spanos’ were acting like welfare queens.

Somewhere in between, they have to find a solution to the financing, the egos, and the hope all this bad history can be changed.

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