Gridiron Grates

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The city of San Diego must buy unsold tix to Chargers games because the stadium lease guarantees at least 60,000 seats will be filled each game. The city's ticket tab stands at $3.34 million halfway through the season. Still, the city and team fight over some 600 disabled access seats which the city says cannot be sold readily to the public, so it shouldn't have to buy them.

(via Fark)

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  1. All that aside, the real question is, can I get a beer under $40 at a chargers game?!?

  2. As a non sports fan, I have to ask the question is the gurantee of attendence normal or just stupidity unique to San Diego.

    It seems to me they got the deal completely backwards. The city should have asked for a samll cut of every seat in exchange for it’s $upport for the stadium being built, and it should be the team guranteing a level of attendence.

  3. Is it just me, or does a public-private deal just make things worse, than either having it all private or all public?

  4. In Massachusetts, the owner of the New England Patriots played chicken with the Commonwealth, and lost. If he wasn’t offered a $300 million deal, he’s relocate. The Speaker of the House said “See you,” and got excoriated in the press – until the Patriots’ deal with Connecticut fell through. In the end, the Pats built their own stadium, with the state pitching in a little over $70 million and using its eminent domain power. Not exactly a libertoid fairy tale, I know, but on a strict cost/benefit reckoning, a pretty good economic development investment.

  5. Merovingian,

    You got it. What they did, essentially, was to create a public utility with a guaranteed rate of return.

    Same principle applies to faux “privatization” (really contracting out). Public-private partnership, in English translation, is “crony capitalism.”

  6. I know this is complete off-topic, but did libertarians realize that the “Heaven’s Gate” cult had a link to a libertarian webpage on their webpage?

    http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/heavensgate_mirror/link.htm

    Here’s the original mirrored site:

    http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/heavensgate_mirror/index.html

  7. That’s rich. Our masters have no problem mandating that private businesses put in handicap access parking and facilities, but starts arguing that (a) it shouldn’t have to pay for such amenities under its contracts and (b) such amenities are in fact overbuilt and unmarketable when it has to foot the bill.

  8. Gene Six-Pack:

    Not sure if it is the best example, but the Green Bay Packers have an interesting ownership structure.

    http://www.newrules.org/sports/packers.html

    -Sabas-

  9. San Diego should have ceased all building and growth in 1965. It was an absolutely perfect city and that point.

  10. I think San Diego should have stopped building in 1980, because that’s when I was in my early 20s and single. Also, rock and roll reached perfection in 1975, since that’s when I was in high school and really cared about music. Furthermore, America lost its innocence in 1971, because that’s when my family moved to the big city and I got really interested in girls.

    It’s amazing how well sweeping sociological and political changes correlate with my own personal development.

  11. We’ve only been paying on this for 6 years now. This is not “news”. This is “olds”.

    Andy in San Diego

  12. This is easy: San Diego’s City Council needs to adopt a “Start Doug Flutie Ordinance.” Seats full, problem solved.

  13. Wow, joe, that’s the first thing you’ve ever said that I totally agreed with. ^_^

    Football: bringing people together.

  14. The neat part is that this clause gives the Chargers management an incentive to price their tickets higher than they might if they simply wanted to maximize sales. In this case, a higher price and fewer ticket sales means that much more revenue from the city.

    Were city officials and their lawyers and accountants really this dumb, or was corruption involved?

  15. The city should give the tickets to the homeless…

    The team will renegotiate quickly.

  16. Hey, you sports buffs out there. Has any city, as compensation for an arena deal, demanded a share of team ownership?

  17. I live in the Tidewater area of VA. The area is comprised of a number of medium sized cities including Norfolk, Va Beach, Chesapeake whose politicians are incessantly belly aching about how “WE” need a major league franchise in “OUR” area to stimulate the economy. In fact they often use it as a case for “regional governance” in the Tidewater area. If I want that knid of “stimulation”, I’ll sign up for a lengthy prison term wearing spandex shorts!!! Major League anything = Major League $$$$$$$!! And we know from whose pocket that $$$$ will come!!!

    NO THANKS!!!!

  18. sm asks “Were city officials and their lawyers and accountants really this dumb, or was corruption involved?”
    The answer is YES.
    The mayor and city council (then and now) are a bunch of bumpkins that have no clue on how to run a city with over a million people and a large budget.
    Then-mayor Susan Golding was more interested in building a monument to herself than anything else, hence the Chargers deal and a failed attempt to build a $120M library downtown. The entire city council was clueless back then. I mean, really, really clueless and they got OWNED by the Chargers legal team. It would also not surprise me that some got some small kickbacks, too. Ex-council critter Valerie Stallings left office under a cloud for receiving less than $2K in gifts from the owner of the Padres. So, not only was she on the take, but she was too stupid to make it worth her while. Etc. Etc.

    The Chargers are now in for a much rougher time of it though, now that everyone knows what a scam the Chargers deal was and the council is very reluctant to drop more money down the well since the peasants have made it clear that they don’t want city $ going to the new stadium that the Chargers “need.” The only reason that the council is wise now is that they don’t want to get voted out of office, not some high-falutin moral stand against giving money to businesses/sports teams.

  19. To be a true contemporary Californian, I should call for everyone who came here after me to go away. I came here in 1936. The rest of you late comers, scat!

  20. Since anywhere you lay your hat can be home, I think homeless is a poor term. Outdoorsmen, urban campers or even extreme pedestrians seem to work better.

  21. Andy writes: “Even the vagrants (I refuse to call them “homeless”; people whose houses got burned up in the fires are homeless) can’t get stoned enough to sit through 4 quarters of what the Chargers refer to as “football.” :)”

    True, but they would have easy access to bathrooms and running water. And I suppose they’d be asking people for money to buy food and beer.

    Other spectators might not be real happy about the guys giving themselves sponge baths in the sinks.

    Which was the sort of thing I was getting at.

  22. Even the vagrants (I refuse to call them “homeless”; people whose houses got burned up in the fires are homeless) can’t get stoned enough to sit through 4 quarters of what the Chargers refer to as “football.” 🙂

  23. Russ writes: “We could just feed the homeless to the hungry and kill two birds with one stone.”

    The Chargers could play against the homeless and actually win.

  24. Depends on who’s starting.

  25. “Other spectators might not be real happy about the guys giving themselves sponge baths in the sinks.”

    I take it the new stadium doesn’t have trough urinals then.

    At the old Chicago Stadium (and elsewhere) people will pee in the sinks, so if some spectators want to take a sponge bath in one, that’s their own problem.

  26. We could send them the Feways troughs to use as bath tubs.

  27. Okay, back to the original story. Let me see if I’ve got this right:

    1. Taxpayers spend in the hundreds of millions of dollars to build a stadium for a privately owned team

    2. Said privately owned team stinks the place up with its horrible play

    3. As a result of horrible play, taxpayers don’t want to show up for the games

    4. Privately owned team doesn’t care because the taxpayers are forced to pay for the empty seats anyway

    (BANGING HEAD ON KEYBOARD)

  28. We could just feed the homeless to the hungry and kill two birds with one stone.

  29. Joe forgot to add, “For the homeless”

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