As Americans, we spend much of our treasure on things that entertain us. From games to movies, music to theater, the average expenditure on all things amusing is 5.6 percent of our hard earned wages, or $2,827.
I didn't think that was a very high figure, considering that my cable and internet bill alone is almost that much. Reading The Chant counts as entertainment right? According to the survey from which I took those figures, entertainment costs included audio and visual equipment and services; pets, toys, hobbies and playground equipment; fees and admissions; and other entertainment spending. I'm not sure if "services" above include cable and internet though, as they might be considered utilities. If not, add an additional $1920 per household- for an entertainment piggy bank worth $4700.
In the Tuna household entertainment consists of cable, internet, maybe one movie every couple of months on average, the occasional book from Amazon on my Kindle, one NASCAR Race within driving distance, and we usually hit one or two Padres games each season. We used to spend a lot more on movies, but our tastes have changed. My kids still see more than me and my wife, but not by much. They've learned that if it’s not a movie we all want to see, Dad’s not going, so Dad’s not paying. Therefore, they choose their movie watching carefully. That’s what allowances are for anyway. I don’t know if I can say our entertainment interests have grown more sophisticated, but it seems like there’s a lot of drivel coming out of Hollywood which doesn't appeal to us.
|MCAS Miramar's Bob Hope Theater- a piggy bank friendly venue|
My cousin, who divorced very well, has season tickets to the Old Globe Theater here in San Diego. I admit I enjoy the plays, although it took some getting used to. I wouldn't have gone anywhere near the joint, at least not regularly, if the cost hadn't been heavily discounted. And by discounted, I mean free. She refuses to take any money for the tickets she gives us- she would rather go with us than save the money and attend by herself.
So it sounds like I'm a cheap bastard- free movies on base or while flying the friendly skies, theater tickets I don't pay for, and you may have noticed I said nothing about Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services- which I don't have. However, I just don't see the value in spending more of my hard earned money on those, and other forms of entertainment...
Including the NFL.
Don't get me wrong, I love sports, nearly all of them, and I enjoy watching my Chargers and following the NFL season, but I do that from the comfort of my living room. I just don't think that the experience is worth the cost, which has skyrocketed since I last paid for a ticket. The amount of money in the NFL is staggering:
This year revenues for the National Football League will be somewhere just north of $9 billion, which means the league remains the most lucrative in the world. But NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, wants more. Much more. He has stated that he wants to reach $25 billion in annual revenues for the league by the year 2027. S
I tend to believe that watching the NFL at home on a large screen HD TV, with snacks at the ready and a fridge with beer that doesn't have a line, or an $8 surcharge, is a much better way to experience a game than the alternative. I know that most people don't live in a city with an NFL team, and if it wasn't for those fans here who put up with the alternative (and the considerable cost that's in it), I wouldn't have a local team to root for either. The NFL's goal of ever-increasing revenue, figuring out how to separate us from even more of our discretionary dollars, is why I've gathered you all here today.
It's been 20 years since the Rams and the Raiders fled LA for supposedly greener pastures. Whatever penance the city was given for allowing those teams to leave has been served and the NFL is now fully on board with getting not just one, but two teams into the greater LA region, and it's willing to fork over a bunch of the cash, and hold other cities hostage, in order to do so. LA is home to nearly two dozen Fortune 500 Companies, and the amount to be made from corporate boxes and personal seat licenses is crazy money. The San Francisco 49ers just opened their new stadium up in Santa Clara and charged a whopping $80,000 apiece for their PSLs, and a ludicrous $60,000 per game for luxury boxes.
Theses luxury suites have become one of the key driving forces behind teams' demands for new stadiums as they mark one of the biggest sources of revenues that teams don't have to share with the other teams. SourceUnfortunately, but not surprisingly, there's been much talk here in San Diego about my
|Chargers proposal downtown|
|New stadium on existing site|
|Another Chargers design downtown.|
|Potential redevelopment near existing site that could bring in new tax revenue|
The owners of Chargers are threatening to leave for the more lucrative LA region if we don't fork over up to 1.4 Billion for a new stadium like the ones above. Why are stadiums costing in the billions now when just 10 years ago they were closer to between 500 and 800 million? I'd guess that stadium developers want a larger piece of the NFL pie. In all fairness, the Chargers and the NFL are businesses - a couple big fat rich greedy business, but businesses all the same. And they've tried to work with the city on a new plan for 14 years. If I was the Spanos Family, I'd be doing the same, and loyalty to a city just doesn't fit well into the mix. The Chargers could have moved several years ago, but they either wanted to work with the city, or there just wasn't a good market elsewhere. Now LA looms large and that money is enticing.
If you believe the article here the NFL is using the NFL cities and their fear of losing a team to help their owners to get even richer.
Los Angeles is best understood not as a potential destination for an NFL franchise, but as an exceptionally large bargaining chip to help the NFL get what it wants. Namely, new stadiums in St. Louis, Oakland, and San Diego.I don't want the team to bolt to LA, but I'm not sure the Mayor's newly appointed Stadium Task Force- chartered to pick a site (downtown or at the existing site) and figure out a way to pay for it, can come up with a workable financing plan. They've already determined that tearing down Qualcomm is easier and cheaper- the city already owns it and no relocation (and buy out) of existing businesses is needed. The financing is what gets tricky, and is the part I hate about the whole thing.
In LA, the Chargers say they can get a stadium with no tax dollars whatsoever. I'm not at all a fan of taxpayers building a home for a billionaire so he can just get richer, but I also think the 8th largest city in the US should have a stadium, not just for NFL games, but for the San Diego State Aztecs (which play in Qualcomm), large concerts, soccer matches, moto-cross events, and so on. It would be great if they can come up with a plan that uses zero tax dollars, redevelops the current site with a mix of retail, residential, and hotels, cleaning up the San Diego River, possibly with a Riverwalk like in San Antonio, OK City, Austin, Jax., bringing in a whole mess of new taxes to pay for it all. We just can't give the Chargers the land for them to redevelop, and take all that revenue away from the city, but that might be an option since the city has so many other unfunded liabilities - up to $10 Billion for infrastructure and capital improvements, and over $1 Billion for its underfunded pensions. Those are making this more likely.
Are there many more important needs for the City than a new stadium? Absolutely. However, the Task Force wasn't formed to come up with "it's too hard." The die-hard and voting fans of the Chargers are a very vocal bunch, ones that don't necessarily care if the city doesn't pay to fix potholes, or get its pension house in order- they want their bread and circuses. And the Mayor doesn't want to be the one in power when and if the LA Chargers become a reality.
If the Chargers do accept the recommendations from the Task Force (Spanos has previously stated the downtown site is the only viable one), we will be entertained. We should know something by Memorial Day- the recently accelerated schedule after the Chargers stressed the urgency (gotta get there before the Rams do!)
I'm part of the problem- I'm either too
But I think there just isn't enough money here in San Diego anyway- not enough big corporations, celebrities, etc. And when money talks, the Chargers walk.
It was nice knowing you.