Chargers should get stadium, but no Olympics for SD, Ueberroth says – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Chargers should get a new stadium, but San Diego shouldn’t try to bring the Olympics here, Peter Ueberroth said in a talk this morning.
Ueberroth chaired the committee that organized the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and served as the commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1984 to 1989.
“You can’t tell me San Diego can’t get a new stadium. It shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. “It’s a partnership, a partnership between private sector and public sector, and that’s how you get it done. In my view, it’s a partnership, and when you’re partners then you start working together, and you don’t have to have press conferences, but you start to figure out how to get it done.”
Ueberroth spoke Thursday at a breakfast at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego, before meeting with local media. Ueberroth, 74, is now the managing director of Contrarian Group, an investment and management company in Newport Beach. He is also an owner of the Pebble Beach Golf Club.
He predicted Los Angeles will ultimately build multiple football stadiums.
“What I think is the San Diego franchise has terrific owners (the Spanos family), and basically long term, think about it compared to any others, they’ve been very long term,” Ueberroth said. “I think Los Angeles will end up building two stadiums. You’ve got one entrepreneur Realtor (Ed Roski) and one entrepreneur oil and other business (Philip Anschutz), very successful, good citizens, both of them, fantastic, we’ll probably end up with two,” said Ueberroth, who said he is not involved with any Charger stadium talks.
When it comes to the Olympics, Ueberroth said San Diego should not bother applying to host the games.
“You’ve got so many other things, the answer is no,” he said. “You’ve got all kinds, that’s an event that comes and goes, you’ve got so many other things that you could be effective on and really be terrific, so I just wouldn’t put that on the top 10 list.”
Ueberroth spent a little more than an hour speaking to attendees to USD. Here are some of his other key points:
On Major League Baseball:
Baseball is healthy, it hasn’t figured out how to expand beyond its borders and it should and could. All other sports split major television revenues evenly, so Green Bay, a tiny little community can compete with the two New Jersey teams. (laughs from crowd). There is a New York team, it’s the Buffalo Bills.
It’s unfair and they need to do that (share revenue).
The other thing is the danger for baseball is it has a lot of something that none of the other sports have, and it has a lot of families. There are more families that go to to baseball than any other sport. You cannot see families going to the pro football or pro basketball, you have occasionally one or two, but it’s mainly a male dominated audience. So if baseball continues to raise its ticket prices and drives families away, it will lose its franchise, then it’s in serious trouble, and its right there. I say that publicly at every place I can, I keep saying it to them.
On what he would do the sports world:
If I could wave a magic wand what I would do, if I had a magic wand, I would do only one thing to sports. I would somehow take the sport that the world calls football and I would make it No. 1 in our country … I would throw everything on the pile if I could do that one thing. So everyone knows what I’m talking about — I’m talking about soccer. The sport is so terrific.
The NFL dominates and college football dominates, takes 70 percent or something of all the economics, but I would put soccer on top because everybody’s kid can play soccer, and it’s not a size thing. The best player now is (5’7” Lionel Messi from Argentina), an incredible athlete, but the whole body learns to do stuff, and you can play it all the time, and it’s the dominant sport in the rest of the world.
On investing:
People plan their exit strategy before they buy the business. That’s nonsense. If you don’t care about the business and you don’t want to keep it, why would you buy it? If you want to make money and flip it, it’s an insanity in our country. It’s not smart. It just doesn’t make sense, so we never have any exit strategy.
Four things to look for when buying a company:
Ueberroth said his investors look at four aspects when purchasing a company:
1) A diverse management team
2) A team that keeps the promise to make the country a better place
3) Two people should be at the top – “The arrogance to think one person can run a company, even small, is pure arrogance.”
4) Employees should be able to keep score, so they can be in the game – they should know their tasks and determine whether they’ve had good days or not.
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