National Football Post picked up the NFL.com story about Qualcomm stadium needing $80 million in repairs, further muddying the waters about the Chargers long-term presence in San Diego. Furthermore, the Union-Tribune is mentioning the city is projected to lose $10 million annually, just to run the stadium through the end of the current lease (2020). The “independent” report on the stadiums’ issues, cites the following:
“It is important to note that Qualcomm Stadium operating at a loss is not a unique example of a major stadium with an NFL franchise operating at a deficit and receiving city funding,” the report said. “Many city-operated, NFL buildings receive some form of public funding on an annual basis.”
Herein lies the problem..
An annual update of San Diego’s debt policy shows the city floated $431B in bonds over the last fiscal year, a 5.4% increase over the same period a year ago. With the appetite for ANY new tax levy @ an all-time low, how is it conceivable to think the public will bail out a stadium that hosts a handful of events annually? What the report does not site, however, is the amount of money the Chargers are subsidized to keep the team’s 10+ home dates a year and what the team actually kicks in. For what it’s worth, no one (except the team) knows those figures, which is @ the heart of the NFLPA’s argument to open the books. The facility had a $27 million bond issued in 1965 and floated over 30 years and has been operating in the red, seemingly, ever since. The sellout of naming rights removed Jack Murphy from the front of the building and most other revenue sources have dried up. The hue and cry will be for the Bolts to kick more money back to the city, which will ultimately fall on deaf ears, as LA will be dangling carrots in front of this horse. So a stadium that is projected to lose $10 mil a year and a team that can hang Los Angeles over San Diegans, is a recipe for an “Irsay”-like move in the middle of the night. Ultimately, ownership will reward fans of the team with their best Ron Burgundy and end up taking their talents to Redondo Beach.
Also, Bill Williamson of ESPN speculated this week the Bolts could be in the hunt for Panther wideout Steve Smith. Williamson goes on to mention Smith is not the type of player AJ Smith is keen on adding.
This reminds of when linebacker Joey Porter mentioned he wanted to go to San Diego last year because it was near his home. That was fine. But the feeling wasn’t mutual.
I could see that being the case here. Smith doesn’t seem like the type of player San Diego general manager A.J. Smith would bring in. San Diego has solid footing at receiver, anyway. I don’t see the fit.
This has Randy Moss written all over it. Smith, the ultimate diva wideout, is signed for the next two seasons for $14.75 million and near impossible to deal, which will fall on the veteran to restructure (no matter where he ends up). With little endorsement dough and an uncertain labor future, is it conceivable Smith will forego some cake to get this done? He’s a California kid and Philip Rivers will be the best QB he’s ever played with, so maybe. But, speaking from the Moss experience, a long-term commitment to Smith would be outright idiotic @ 32 years of age, as he’ll never see the end of an extension and will shoot his way out of town @ some point.
Finally, as a UConn fan, I have unabashed man love for Jordan Todman. Forget where the Bolts took Todman (sixth round), because he’s better than that. I don’t care what conference you play your college ball, a near 1,700-yard season is almost impossible to do. On seven different occasions a year ago, Todman carried the load more than 30 times a game, the last of which came against Oklahoma in the almost defunct Fiesta Bowl. He is a one-cut runner that finishes every carry hard and with power. With the state of running backs becoming more Swiss Army knife and matchup-driven, Todman would be dangerous in any capacity. Now if they can only ensure he doesn’t show up @ your house, with flowers, ready to take your daughter to her prom, you’ll really have something.
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