Category Archives: Sports

Soccer Instead Of Football In San Diego

There is nothing more gut-wrenching to hardcore football fans than the loss of their home NFL franchise. Many dedicated sports fans around the country have known the pain of watching their favorite team move from their current location to represent another area. The San Diego Chargers had lived in the area for well over fifty years. Their conflict with the city in trying to build a new venue was well documented. The negotiations drug out for many years until Chargers ownership decided to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity in Los Angeles. San Diego football fans were outraged and showed their displeasure by burning jerseys and protesting the move. However, it did not stop the inevitable circumstances.

 

Other cities that suffered the same fate have been able to rebound and acquire new NFL franchises. Houston, St. Louis, Cleveland and Los Angeles are all locations that lost their teams and were able to obtain another NFL franchise. Some made out better than others. St. Louis has lost two different NFL franchises over the years. Oakland lost the Raiders to Los Angeles and is losing them again to Las Vegas all due to failed negotiations over new stadiums.

 

San Diego remains an interesting destination for NFL owners. However, the previous issues remain with building a venue to host an NFL franchise. The city has looked to other methods to fulfill the entertainment void of losing the NFL. Soccer has become an attractive option. There are discussions of building a 30,000 seat soccer stadium where the old Chargers venue currently sits. There will also be room on the site for a new NFL-caliber football stadium should a franchise decide to move to San Diego. Expansion is also an option with the NFL. These types of transactions take many years to figure out. Developers of the San Diego site estimate a window of about 5 years for landing a professional football team. If there is no commitment by that point the space will be cited for housing development.

 

Coach Fisher Is Fired By Los Angeles Rams

Rams fans were absolutely stunned this Monday when the news came out that Jeff Fisher had been terminated by the LA Rams Organization. Fisher had been head coach of the team many years. Not long ago, he signed a two-year extension to his contract. His termination occurred just a few months into it. The interim head coach will be Jim Fassel who currently serves as special teams coordinator.

 

Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations, commented that the firing was due to performance problems. He felt that the best way for the team to move forward is to focus on finishing the season with hope. The Rams organization is in a state of failure that it hopes to get out of by replacing its coach. It recognizes the need to make improvements across the board. The firing was largely prompted by the Rams losing eight of their last nine games. It was the straw that broke the horse’s back against head coach Fisher.

 

It may be that Les Snead the team’s general manager will be sacked in the near future too. Fisher had been with the Rams since 2012. His overall record with the team was 31 wins vs 45 losses. Under his leadership, the team did not manage to make any playoff appearances. Fisher was also criticized for selecting Jared Goff as his number one draft pick this year. The Rams organization felt that it had no choice but to terminate Fisher. You can read more about the difficult decision it had to make here.

 

Chargers Might Move to Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles went for more than 20 years without having an NFL team. Obviously, it was not a great situation to have the second biggest city in the United States without a team in the country’s most popular sports league. However, the NFL thrived after the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. It appeared as if Los Angeles would never get another team. There was talk about it on several different occasions. Nothing ever came of it. Then the Rams came back to Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Now it would seem that the Rams will be getting some competition in their new city. There are reports that San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos is going to move his team to Los Angeles. Nothing is confirmed at this point. Spanos has not sent an official notification to the league of his intention to move his team. Insiders in the Chargers organization are saying that the move is imminent.

 

The move of the Chargers to Los Angeles would not be much of a surprise if it eventually does come to pass. It has certainly been talked about quite a bit in recent years. It would be a big understatement to say the stadium situation in San Diego is not the greatest. Also, Los Angeles offers many more opportunities to turn his team into a national brand. The ability to market the team to a national audience would be much easier in a huge market. Spanos has expressed his desire to do this on many occasions. However, many people questioned his desire to pull the trigger on a move to Los Angeles if push came to shove. The news is obviously heartbreaking to Charger fans who will not have a team for the first time in 50 years.

 

 

 

Morales Acquisition Key to Blue Jays Potential

It didn’t take long for the Toronto Blue Jays to make one of the first major splashes of the MLB offseason with the free agent acquisition of Kendrys Morales. The veteran, who is expected to assume the Designated Hitter duties for the Blue Jays, definitely adds a boast a lineup who suffered to plate runs during their ALCS run against the Cleveland Indians. However on top of the sheer production that Morales will likely bring to the lineup, he also provides a veteran presence which perhaps the Blue Jays lacked during 2016 postseason.

 

While struggling to plate runs during the ALCS, I couldn’t help but look at the long faces of each and every Toronto Blue Jay expecting one of them to assume a leadership role and try and turn the tides in the series. However as each out went by the AL East wild card winner looked more and more frustrated while their bats were seemingly unable to figure out the Indians pitching. Ultimately, the series concluded with a torturous defeat in front of the Rogers Centre fans.

 

With the acquisition of Kendrys Morales, I look for a recent World Series Champion who has the ability to maintain a leadership role on a team with so much promise, especially on the offensive end. Moreover, the relatively low salary of Morales also keeps the door open for the Blue Jays to acquire a much-needed bullpen arm, which is an added plus.

 

 

Chase Field May be Sold to Out-of-State Investors

Chase Field, originally known as BOB(Bank One Ballpark from 1998-2005)may lose its Phoenix, Arizona ownership. It opened just in time for the Diamond Backs baseball team’s first expansion game. The Diamond Backs have complained recently to the stadium’s Maricopa County owners that the stadium is in bad need of repairs. Back in March, the team said that if their demands are not met, they might leave Chase Field and sue the country, except that they are not allowed to leave until their contract is up in 2024. In a poll that was recently conducted, most of the people side with Maricopa County. Maricopa County has rejected the Diamond Backs team request for $65 million dollars worth of repairs over a five year period. Some of the improvements that the Diamond Backs want include the locker rooms, concession stands, dug out, and heating and cooling systems.

The Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County are meeting today to discuss the negotiations. Part of the $60 million dollar price tag includes the desire to keep the Diamond Backs at the Phoenix, Arizona stadium through 2028 or even longer than that.

Diamond Backs’ team president, Derrick Hall, prefers that Phoenix takes over the ownership of the stadium instead of selling it to out-of-state investors. He thinks that if Phoenix becomes the stadium owners that they will create City Scape and a high-rise, mixed-use development.

Clint Hickman, Board Chairman believes that if a private investor takes over the financial responsibilities, it’ll benefit the taxpayers who will be relieved of public funding. Fans chipped in and raised $250 million dollars in order to restore the stadium, and the team chipped in over $200 million dollars for reconstruction 18 years ago. The potential East Coast investors, Stadium Real Estate Partners II LLC, want to create an entertainment and sports district to surround Chase Field. The investors are represented by Martin J Greenberg of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who said that the new owners want to have new entertainment and sports district as a way of making the downtown area more attractive and hopefully bringing in more revenue to Phoenix.

Squaw Valley And Alpine Meadows Will Be Connected Soon

Squaw Valley is a very large ski resort in the lake Tahoe area.  This resort is located very close to another large ski resort, Alpine Meadows.  Now, there are plans to unite the two resorts.  This will create an exceptionally large ski mountain.  In fact, it could very well become the largest ski resort in North America.

This mega resort will consist of two mountains, connected to one another with a gondola.  The gondola will be able to transport skiers and snowboarders from one mountain to another very easily.  The mountains will be connected at each of their bases, and it will be a very efficient system of transport between the two resorts.

The plans to connect the resort were made public quite recently.  In fact, the plans were first made public last year.  During this time, there has been a lot of work done to make this happen.  Andy Wirth is one of the individuals that is responsible for helping to make this happen according to Power Magazine.

Andy Wirth has pushed for the two resorts to be merged together, and it seems that his plans are going to come to fruition.    While it appears the two resorts will be connected, there have been some concerns voiced.  The snowfall amounts have been lower in some recent years.  However, this will not prevent the gondola from connecting the two mountains.

The gondola will be able to run, despite this. Andy Wirth has been a successful CEO of Squaw Valley for quite some time.  During this time, he has helped the mountain to grow and succeed.  There have been many new projects that have taken place during his leadership of the mountain.

Also, during the time he has been the CEO of Squaw Valley, a merger took place between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.  This merger has certainly been quite beneficial for both resorts, and it has improved both businesses.  It is expected to be even more beneficial for both mountains, when the two resorts are connected.  Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://www.powder.com/tag/andy-wirth/

The extremely large ski resort that will be created can be expected to be very successful.  It will likely attract a large number of skiers, due to it’s exceptional size and ideal environment for skiers.  Additionally, Andy Wirth has been the victim of a skydiving accident.

This accident has caused him substantial injury.  However, he has continued to do excellent work as the CEO of Squaw Valley.  In addition, Andy Wirth has continued to be active in outdoor sports himself. Read more: Update on CEO Andy Wirth and his letter

He has even worked to train Navy Seals at Squaw Valley.  He hasn’t let his injuries get in the way.  It can be expected that this merger will benefit both mountains.

Andy Wirth will continue to play an integral role in helping the ski resorts to succeed.  It can be expected that his efforts will continue to be successful.

Wirth pleased with end of Olympic Valley Incorporation move

Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, is ready to move on after it seems the move to incorporate Olympic Valley has ended, according to a story in the Reno Gazette – Journal. The battle over incorporation has gone on for years, but it was halted recently when California’s Local Agency Formation Commission released a study saying the town would not be viable financially.

Snow has also started falling early, so Wirth and ski resorts have good news on two fronts. While the battle raged, a four year drought wreaked havoc with many western ski areas. “This has been a very, very tough four years,” Wirth said.

Now Wirth hopes the community will work together on transportation needs and other issues apart from Olympic Valley. The valley was host to the 1960 Olympics and is now host to Sqauw Valley resort that Wirth runs.

Wirth had opposed incorporation moves, saying it was a threat to business and civic interests. He was relieved when the group pushing incorporation formally ended their efforts after the report was released.

Wirth’s company spent well over $100,000 opposing the measure, saing it wold result in higher taxes and decreased levels of service to the area.

“It was truly a recipe for disaster, for fiscal disaster,” Wirth said.

Backers said Wirth opposed it because he did not want to have to answer to a local city council. Now he only has to answer to county government on things like zoning.

For his part, Wirth noted the group pushing incorporation also spent a lot of money on their campaign, but it will not apparently come to voters any time soon.

Wirth has worked in the resort industry for 25 years, beginning his career at Steamboat Springs in 1986. In 2007 he was named executive vice president and appointed chief of marketing by Intrawest, who had bought Steamboat Springs that same year. In 2010 he left there to become president and CEO of Squaw Valley.

After taking over at Squaw Valley he directed a $70 million upgrade to the overall ski design and infrastructure. He also improved customer experience as the company went from the bottom 20 percent to the top 20 percent in customer satisfaction under his leadership. Nearby resort Alpine Meadows was merged with Squaw Valley in 2011 and now the two offer a combined ski ticket. Wirth is now CEO of both areas.

The Olympic Valley Incorporation Effort Luckily Fell Short

Residents living on Lake Tahoe’s north shore are all too well acquainted with the trying hardships the area has faced over the last few years. In addition to the numerous natural challenges which hit the community such as the drought that wreaked havoc on the area’s winter resorts and businesses, the residents also had to contend with tons of political turmoil. Just as the debate over incorporating the breathtaking Olympic Valley heated up, locals were beginning to believe that they’d never again catch a break. As the birthplace of the renowned Squaw Valley Resort, the area is also famous for being home to some of the country’s most celebrated terrains for winter sports.
Andy Wirth is the president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC. He believes that there may actually be respite up ahead for both parties in the conflict. Understanding much like anyone else of the area just how hard the past four years have been, he remains hopeful. Luckily, the community did get some helpful guidance by old Mother Nature herself when early season storms brought colder temps which offered several local resorts including Squaw Valley the chance to open business weeks earlier than what had become the new norm in the last ten years.
Plus, just this week, backers seemingly provided some further relief when they withdrew efforts on Olympic Valley. CEO Wirth and many others consider this a huge blessing as it would have likely put a damper on the civic climate for most local businesses. Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and loads of hours opposing the divisive efforts, it’s also common knowledge that the incorporation may have posed higher taxes on businesses and residents. Olympic Valley incorporation could have even led to major decreases in the level of service residents received for such tasks as snow plowing and road maintenance.
Despite their exceedingly deep pockets, the political push for incorporation failed against the California Local Agency Formation Commission. The state’s LAFC ultimately decided the town simply wasn’t financially viable. Now, Wirth hopes that the community will fine tune their efforts on to more pressing issues like transportation. Having co-founded the Wounded Warrior Support and contributing to local environmental and community service causes, the CEO and president hopes that now will be the time for healing and the divisive political agenda can be put in the past where it belongs finally.

This article was published through the Reno-Gazette Journal.

Odell Beckham Voted for Madden Cover

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was chosen by fans to grace the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 16.” Beckham was picked over Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and Patrick Peterson. Beckham, 22, is the youngest player to make the cover and has only played in 12 NFL games. He gained popularity thanks to his stellar one-handed touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12 last season. Beckham caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014 and named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Rob Gronkowski was the runner-up in the poll, but it may be a blessing in disguise if he is superstitious. The “Madden Curse” as fans call it has shown to be difficult to overcome, as Susan points out. After gracing the cover of the video game, several notable players had a down season, such as Peyton Hillis and Brett Favre. Injuries have also plagued players the season after their cover is released, like Ray Lewis, Marshall Faulk, and Donovan McNabb. It bodes well that wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, also known for their amazing catches, were able to overcome the curse in the next season, but Giants fans will surely keep a close eye on the fan favorite next season to see if his numbers decline.