A Ted Talk: Lying Leonsis and abandoning The District with “accountability”

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When Nestor read his business journalist pal Liz Farmer had written from the heart about the Caps and Wizards leaving Washington, D.C. for Virginia, it was time to move beyond the Baltimore fiasco with Angelos and Camden Yards to discuss even more local stadia and arena civic cash grab madness amongst billionaires in The DMV with an expert on government fiscal policy.


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Liz Farmer, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. Towson, Baltimore. endup Baltimore positive. It’s the holidays around here and we’re celebrating with not just the eggnog and the sauerkraut and kielbasa and I got pumpkin pie ice cream. I got things going on but we’re gonna be celebrating after the holidays at fade leaves. I have my favorite t shirt on my gear. So last time we’re going to be at the old Lexington market they’re moving into the new market so on the 27th Come and get them you know, I asked John Martin it was marked so if I could give these out after Christmas together, they look Christmas and holiday but they’re good so like March or April? I’m like, okay, the gingerbread awesome gingerbread cookies by that as well. A friend’s winter nation 866 90 nation you buy through you get to free I’m inquiring about doors and 2024 Dear Santa, bring me some doors, as well as Jiffy Lube. Multi care was still gotta get my oil change. But I’m doing that on the way to cost this this weekend. Before Christmas. I’m not doing a lot of radio this week. We’re doing a lot of crab cake tour. Greatest Hits. We’ve had great shows the last couple of weeks up at the foreign daughter with Michael Brown, fine and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gina shock also had great competition with hex founder drew Westervelt. Doing a lot of ravens ravens playing Christmas night ravens played at home New Years in Miami and flex games and all that stuff going on. But there’s been so much money circulating out there in regard to sports Tom kelser joined us and wise earlier in the week to discuss all the money with the Angelo’s family and then last week it was the press conference was Sashi Brown and my former friend Brad Downes talking about what they’re premiumness and perimeter that in the beers colder inside the perimeter and the hotdogs are tastier inside the perimeter. Obviously inside the perimeter for a long time I was a PSL owner. I was the guy here pimp and PSL sold a couple 1000 for the modell family. I’ve known this this young lady for a long time I was a young man and she was at the the daily record for many years covering business and we would rub elbows around baseball and sports and sometimes some rock and roll and civic issues. This is back when I just did sports around your Liz farmer has she is long story short and the host of I want to get oh this right what is the power have you been it’s good to have you on

Liz Farmer  02:23

thanks Nestor it’s really really great to see you it’s good to be back I suppose even if virtually and and you have remind me it has been a long time.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:34

People are from but I look you up. I’m like Frederick I always like Baltimore. I know we’re always in touch feels like you write up a lot. A lot of DC related things. I sort of thought you were in DC. I don’t know. I know you have children and a whole like thing since this but but I saw this piece you wrote about Ted Leone’s this, and even on a holiday weekend. I’m like, I gotta get Liz on. We got to talk about this because it angered up my blood and the whole, like, I have no affiliation to DC Right. Like I almost went to see Madonna on Monday, a Tuesday night pass because of the weather and realize that be funding Ted if I bought beer there. Just for the people at DC I’m a capitals fan. I took umbrage when they moved out of Largo into DC, and they change their colors and they look like the St. Louis Blues, you probably came along right around that point in my life. I feel like I’ve known you 20 years. I’ve been doing this 32 years now. The Capitol’s part of me the fact that my dad was pissed at a polling for taking the bullets and moving them to DC and then susan o’malley came and bullets was bang, bang, and we have to do wizards and and now they’re just basically screwing everybody they serve for, you know, 25 years, 30 years. I it’s just icky. It’s icky. And I want you to talk about because I thought your piece was amazing. Well, thanks.

Liz Farmer  03:53

Yeah, I too, had a very visceral reaction to this. I mean, I’m not even I wasn’t not from DC. I’m not even from Maryland. I grew up in California, Go Niners. I had to wait for that. I couldn’t help myself.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:12

I’m losing by the way that I now because it you know, had to do with the Ravens integrity and 10 years later. I’m like integrity. It’s you know, it’s almost like a Christmas carol. But nonetheless for the 40 Niners integrity that Colin Kaepernick so well. We just mentioned all this crap. I mean, the fact that the Ravens exist is at the expense of Cleveland, which John Martin brought up with me the other day. And so like the trickiness of all of this, I have a Baltimore Colts belt buckle over here. Let me teams move and and, and the more the money happens, Ted happens. But this what Ted’s doing is really icky. I mean,

Liz Farmer  04:49

it is because and so when I first I mean I spent most of my formative adult years in DC and it was right around that time when the the state Medium back then it was the MCI center. It was brand new. And in my my newsletter I talked about how when I first got to DC, like you did not go to Chinatown, except in large hoards of people, because it was still a dicey area. But you went because you knew that there were some exciting that things were. It was becoming safer. And that was because of the stadium and what the

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:21

school there. You’re a California. Okay, so your California kid that aspired to come to the east coast to go to college. I mean, I’m just trying to paint the picture of who you are. Because like, I feel like I know you well. And I know he was a sports Pro. I mean, I would run into you at games and stuff. Like yeah, you were this young, you know, beautiful gal that loves sports. It was like energetic about all of this stuff. And I’m like, I don’t place people in that way because like, to me everybody’s needs Baltimore. We all took the bus to Memorial Stadium and, and transplants come and sort of fall in love with our sports and fall in with becoming a Ravens fan or becoming a, you know, a national I your national saying yeah, yep, national span. I see you with the hat online. We’re ambiently friends. That’s why I sort of thought like, Frederick, I thought you were in DC and you’re taking on these Pro DC causes. But they sold you on this

Liz Farmer  06:12

malarkey as the President Oh, man. I mean, not to get deferred, but like when the Nationals came to DC, us so exciting. I mean, that’s, that’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:22

no, no, no. That is important. Because beyond the journalist in you, there is the person who bought into the Disney World myths or whatever the Wizard of Oz, whatever it is.

Liz Farmer  06:34

Yeah. And so when I left Baltimore to cover DC, and I covered city council, I mean, everyone on city council like a poll and was slash is still really a God to all of these, everyone because he people looked at the arena as this wonderful, selfless it wasn’t completely selfless, obviously, but a gift of His to DC. And I think that that’s part of the lore, like that’s how he talked about it up until he died. And people really viewed it as like him doing that him making that investment with his own money. And yes, DC purchased some of the land that needed to be purchased to allow him to get the full footprint of the arena. They made some public improvements around that area, they expanded the metro station in that spot. Yes, there was public investment, but it was infrastructure. And Polen spent his own money to build this arena. And that was the the genesis of everything that you saw in Chinatown and Gallery Place neighborhood for the following two decades. And I watched that I was there the whole for most of the time. And just watching that transformation. It was like it was it was ridiculously It was amazing. I mean, there was yes, there was the issue of of people being pushed out and further further east into the south of DC. But that neighborhood is completely transformed. And and it is because the it’s the arena that started it. And so that is it’s like a folktale in DCs history. And so for leonsis to come and yank that away and just completely, you know, disrupt it seems like he’s disregarding it, for cash for money for more money for more stuff. That’s that’s the thing that really, really hurts. And that’s what I hear you know, other people who are also transplants who are DC sports fans are just really up in arms about,

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:18

well, the abandonment part of it. Because, you know, I go back to going to a lot of games at the Capitol center, a lot of concerts at the Capitol center. And being a kid that grew up on the bus line my father never drove. So like when, when the bullets moved in the 70s. I was five years old. I watched them on channel 20. And I love the bullets and I love Elvin Hayes and Wesson. So my dad was so pissed, because they just took it off the bus line, like my dad couldn’t get there. And so they’re the Capitol bullets into the Washington Bullets and where’s Largo and like, and it just became not a Baltimore thing. But I worked in the media pretty early in my life was 15 years old. I love the capitals. I love the bullets. And I went and saw Kareem and Larry Bird and Dr. J, you know, like all of that and even covered it at the end. But then when they moved, it felt like it was a move to anti like, not a Baltimore thing. And that never was a Baltimore thing. But on team sports, right. And the way the games were brought to us, they were our teams. And yeah, it wasn’t for everybody. And I worked at the paper and I wrote it. I mean, I was the beat writer for The Cavs for most of eight years from 84 to about 92. And during that period of time, Rod laneway, Scott Stevens all of that. There was definitely a it was in the Baltimore Sun the Baltimore papers covered them, the Baltimore nighttime lead with the news. And it had always well, it’s Washington’s, but it’s ours. And they always wanted us they always wanted our money like they would come up and play exhibition games. The bullets played real games in the arena. I announced one of them. I got to be the guy when Spud Webb, I got to do the job. And the lights I did that and like swear to God and I’m very young in my career I did that for real bullets games in Baltimore, they changed the name and they was gonna play an exhibition game and the pelicans game and played, and they tried to charge people 300 bucks for shitty preseason game. And then Ted brought the caps up for games. And they they left the arena door open and the ice got mushy. And Barry trots brought the predators in the Bruins played here. They played a couple of games. And now the arena’s kind of fixed I mean, CFG Bank Arena is beautiful. It’s great place to go and see a show please go when Queen was here Eagles Springsteen, I mean, we’re getting things we never got before. But Ted and his son sold me for a decade on we’re Baltimore’s hockey team. We’re in DC, it’s close. You can take the train stuff people don’t do trains don’t even open at midnight to get back to Baltimore. Like we’re not Europe. We drive but I went down to that arena and I saw what you saw in 1998 which is when I was a music critic in the early 90s, anything at the 930 Club anything at the Capitol ballroom and man there were dice it was dicey DC was dodgy, you got lost there was no GPS there were circles that it was designed to screw up the French and you know, like it was designed to be like Paris screw up enemies and it does and I was an enemy and found myself in Anacostia and ne se like I would always be lost like in DC literally as a when I would go to the bayou how to how to be total Baltimore thing like when there were map maps and gas stations and when to find the Wendy’s and you might be able to get out and north in New York Avenue. So so but but I’m serious. We I would go to concerts down there always and then hockey games and then fell back in love with the caps. Right. Troche Nadine trots Ovechkin. They started wearing the old colors. They were good. I took bus trips down there five, six times a year. I mean, like all of that gave the money part. They don’t you know, Busboys and Poets the whole deal, and I saw it and I’m thinking for the people that bought in and you wore that in your heart and your blog about dude, you sold me on lies like now you’re just going to sell DC down the river after putting the district on your shirts. I mean, my God, it doesn’t. The district doesn’t appeal to me. I’m from Baltimore. I’m at Towson. Like the basketball teams gone for me like, I might as well be a Sixers fan or just pick a team throw a dart be a spurs fan on the you know, whatever I want to be Yeah, I’m not really an MP. But the the hockey team is still sort of mine and I was there drinking out of the cup that night with trots in Las Vegas. It was sort of the last night where I put in I’ll tell my story. I put down my cap sore with the leonsis family. At that moment, not just because of what they did the trots, they did the same thing to me. And the kid, being really unbelievably disrespectful to me, exactly owns us, after doing business with him trying to sell hockey tickets and doing stuff. But Ted came on my air. Liz tech came on my air five times, and said, If we win the Stanley Cup, we’re gonna have a parade in Baltimore gonna bring them that’s cup in on a boat for the Baltimore people. And there was a dude in my building that I lived in 20 years, who was a season ticket holder since 1973. He was an original, they put him on the little bus in the parade and 100 people that still had tickets all the years later, but like these are Baltimore people with it was Baltimore’s cup two. He never brought the key brought the cup, the Baltimore under cloak and dagger to the underarmor took a picture with the bird and the Raven mascot, and the cup never came the ball. He lied to me and brought that crappy arena football up here. It was awesome. Oh my gosh, I remember just Ted did a lot of really, he only showed up for press conferences to Dofus cap. It was you know, good with me when I was helping him sell tickets. Like I don’t man, it’s been a one way track and I don’t for him to do this to DC to have you write about it. It grossed me out. And I thought to myself, Who are these people? You know what I mean? The Ravens and the Angelo says and asking for a half a billion dollars and I’m getting sour and I don’t want to be sour. I don’t want to be an old guy get off my lawn. But like the vibrancy of the of the Washington sports community and the buy in of come back to the city. It’s safe. It’s good. Come see a concert, come see a game comes to the circus bring your family. Like God, what is he doing? Yeah, it’s

Liz Farmer  14:35

and it comes at such a rough time for DC in particular. I don’t know what if it’s if this is as big of an issue in Baltimore. But you know, DC has a huge percentage of people who are still working from home most of the time. I mean, Metro is among the transit agencies. This is like the worst one of the worst off transit agencies in the country in terms of recovering from the pandemic. Um, You know, I have riders I

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:01

want to understand because it’s a new issue to me.

Liz Farmer  15:03

I worded that weird. So it’s it’s ridership is still way down, probably more so than most other major cities transit. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:12

that’s, that’s a hell of a measurement that I hadn’t heard fought off. I’ve been in New York recently. You know, I’ve been some places where I’ve been to Toronto recently, places where it’s very vibrant. Baltimore, I mean, come on. Now I go downtown when Billy Joel is there, the Orioles are playing to clap, you know, whatever. I see people but it’s not like, we need to do a redo. You don’t I mean, I don’t think there’s any. I sit here talk about it every day. I’m Baltimore positive, really? I am. I mean, really, I mean, the driving the hard line as a journalist about all of this, I can’t believe there’s anybody who’s not up in arms, other than people in Virginia. And there’s even people over there that aren’t happy about this. But like, yeah, like and for TED to hold a press conference and say, hold me accountable, and then walk off the stage without having questions. That’s, that’s the height of, of, of what I need to say. I’m not even going down to Madonna, and I’m not even going to piss in your toilets. I’m not even gonna walk in your building. I don’t even want to give Madonna 40 bucks. And I wanted to give Madonna more than that. You know, but I can’t support it. You know what I mean? Like in a, in a really ethical way like this is somebody should really step up and and talk about how wrong this is. But DC like Oakland like other challenge places, they don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to give to billionaires, right? Like neither of them are, but we just did. Yeah.

Liz Farmer  16:36

But you know, I’m just pulling it up now. Because it was like the day hours after I posted that, that that blog post there was a this let’s see here it is the national consumers League and the sports fan Coalition have united. Not I can’t say I’ve heard of either of those groups. But they’re basically calling on the Alexandria city council and in the state to reject this, this whole thing. You know, they’re pointing to the amount of money that the state’s going to spend how the stated 400 million that leonsis says he’s going to invest is like, kind of pennies compared to the entire cost of this development. So there’s, it’s mostly a cost issue, but But you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other other groups that form and start protesting this. But I’m not sure at the end of the day, how much how much of a difference is that really gonna make this this appears to be on its way to approval through in the state legislature?

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:36

I would say if there’s a press conference, it feels to me like it’s a done deal, because he can’t put his tail between his legs, right? I mean, once you step out and to do the heel turn, I mean, seriously, I mean, it’s literally like an old wrestling heel turn, like literally,

Liz Farmer  17:47

yeah. Yeah, that’s a great analogy. So I mean, I think this is going to happen. I mean, caveat, caveat, asterisk. But the The tough thing is is is I imagine that the Cavs and The Wiz are still going to say we’re a DC sports team. And well

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:05

appointed the Jets and the Giants playing in New Jersey, I’m sure true, which

Liz Farmer  18:09

and all of that I don’t like I mean, Niners fan now they’re in Santa Clara, that’s like, Oh, man. Yeah. 45 minute drive without traffic.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:16

For me, you can speak to that as well. I mean, you know, I love Stanford’s, I love your homeland. I love that area. And I try to tell people, what’s not really San Jose, and it’s not really, but it’s on a train line, and you can get off a train again. So there’s that I mean, but I don’t want to get on a train in California. But but all of these things happen. The Raiders are gone, right? The Raiders could have gone down there and played and stayed in the area, cut a deal and figured it out. That was never to be and in the end, in the end, they always win. In the end, they always get more money. Angelo’s earlier this week, parody clauses with the shotty who’s already got plans. And that’s the thing that has driven me nuts, Liz and this is like, fan to fan but journalist, the journalist, I see them hold a press conference and I’ve been locked out of with a president who has never taken a question in his life from a real media member. He’s been here two years collecting his money. Sashi Brown and you know, either graduated or rejected from The Wiz and the monumental family tree down there and the dip cash chain, you know, Silver Spring train. And for me that they put these plans out, and they’re beautiful. It looks like it looks like a new train station in New York. Right? Gold this and bars of that and raving calls and we’re part of the flock and and it’s $500 million. And they say smarmy i mean like i guy got up at a press conference and said that the beer is colder and the hotdogs tastes better inside the perimeter inside the perimeter, like they’re talking about. They’re talking about having energy Amen, you’re going to turn it into a sports bar, and it’s going to be there 365. And there’s going to be a special button to the top if you’re a special button holder. And there’s a blackbird club and let’s say all this stuff, and I’m thinking to myself, what’s the idea? It’s not colder beer. It’s not we’re going to bring a band in because there’s plenty of places to see bands. There’s the CFG Bank Arena has done a very, like, what’s the idea what what’s the other than we’re gonna have premium this and premium that for our premium, this and our premium that. And Liz, here’s the dirty secret. And nobody here will write about this. That’s not going to get reported to BHEL or JC because they’re in partnership with these teams Mar any of the TV stations, Fox, I mean, the game was on Fox last week. The tickets were three bucks last week, it was $60. Or it was 60 degrees. It was raining there. 10 and three, and tickets were free dollars on the morning of the game. And there were 25,000 empty seats for the Ravens game last week. And nobody is pointing this out that it is not a premium ticket anymore. It is not a hard ticket now. AFC Championship Game playoff. Okay. I mean, they’re, they’re gonna sell out, but they brag about their sellouts. And the only game this year that was a tough ticket was the lions game, because the Lions fans bought 15,000 of the tickets, like in and and so they’re doing all of this. And it’s like Ted, we’re gonna move the team to where, you know, ostensibly, more of our affluent, Caucasian fans from the suburbs can get to it, and they’re gonna pay $100 The park and they’re gonna do all of this stuff. And I’m picking on myself. Nobody wants to see your basketball team. You know what I mean? Like, it’s, you know, it’s been horrible. It’s like, Angelo’s like, if a team stinks, don’t blame it on transportation, crime, race, you know, pricing, whatever it is, but like, build your brand. The Orioles want 101 games, tickets for $6. And like that they clinch to get in, and they can only sell 28,000 of them. I mean, that’s really the, you know, part of this is that they’re all this TV money’s drying up. And they’re trying to figure out where it’s coming from. And like, when you and I were doing this 20 years ago, was club level, television, television club level premium. What is their idea? You know what I mean? Like, that’s really like, what is Ted going to build over there? Can you tell our audience what we’re going to come where we’re going to come see Bon Jovi when he 70.

Liz Farmer  22:33

And he probably will look exactly the same. So, yeah, there’s gonna be a performing arts center, television studio, they are consolidating the monumental sports is headquarters, the team practice facilities, which are now in the in separate locations, it’s all going to be in one spot. And then elsewhere outside of the that complex there. It’s like the typical mixed use retail type of type of

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:00

battery that John Angelo’s.

Liz Farmer  23:02

Exactly, yeah, yeah. And so and this is like to add to what you were talking about, too. I mean, back when you and I were, were both in Baltimore, I mean, it was it was the jumbotrons it was the club suites. It was it was still like this contained, experience size.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:17

Was revelational. For the Angelo’s family. Yes.


Liz Farmer  23:21

Yeah. And that’s, that’s what it was about. But now it’s just the footprint is expanding. Now, they want to influence all the real estate around their stadiums. And, and get a piece of that, too, if not all of it, which is what they did in Atlanta with the Braves only, and I own all the land around truist Park, and they’re the ones that have paid for the development, and so they’re reaping all those benefits. And meanwhile, the team in the county split the cost of the stadium. So I don’t even know why the county, I do know why the county, you know, put up their money because they want that they want that. But you have this team of teams want more than just what’s what they’re what’s inside the arena or the stadium, but now also they they don’t have enough space in their minds to do that in cities. So you have the Braves moving out of Atlanta. And the captain the wizards now leaving DC and so it’s just it’s it’s alarming. I mean, in with football teams, too. They’re doing the same thing. And so

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:18

for the linchpins to bring communities together I mean, when I talked to Tom Kelso earlier this week in the Maryland stadium authority about all this money Angeles is getting this stadium behind this was our Gateway Arch. This is what we invested in in the 80s to keep the baseball team after losing the football team and to move the baseball team downtown where it would benefit Phillips the Inner Harbor the Sheraton the high at the aquarium it was creating a Disney World at one nights a year and Angeles bought the keys to it a year and a half into it and after it all very very quickly. And the football team came and change the trajectory of of sports in our city as you know it and see it but you probably arrived right when the rain When’s arrived? And the Ravens were like in purple Barney seats, right? Like they were sort of a joke and the Redskins were everything right? Like literally Yeah,

Liz Farmer  25:07

that changed real quick, though.

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:08

You know, Hey, man, new ownership. Bar racquet, right. Let’s farmer is your list everybody what you do and who you are because I want to give you a chance because I mean, you’re so smart about all of this and you’ve lived it, and you’ve written about it at a way higher level than me. But on the sports side, I’m pretty good on this stuff. And I’m narrow but man, you focus on like policy as your real watchdog. You’re, I’ve watched you on the wall. I need you on the wall.

Liz Farmer  25:39

Yeah, so I cover government fiscal policy. So basically how our how our government spend our taxpayer dollars. I have a weekly newsletter on substack called Long story short, and I co host the public money pod, which you can find on all the streaming platforms.

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:53

She’s wonky, right. They’re proud of it. All right, there you go. Yeah. So on the wonky side of this and on how DC gets left behind. You know, with all the conjecture about Angeles moving to Nashville, I look, I didn’t I’m like Billy Joel. I didn’t start that fire. You know what I mean? Like his brother alleged it right. And in court paperwork last year, but the feasibility of it, and it sounds good. It sounds sexy. But then I you know, I pulled back with some legislators, real people who do this for a living. And, and I got some inside, you know, pull on what happened in Tennessee, and between the state and Cumberland County and the city of Nashville bonding $800 million. Show me how the city of Baltimore bond $800 million for anything. And how all of this happened, because Nashville is becoming a Super City, a hub, the Athens of the South, all that crap. But more than that, the football team is going to reap the benefit of the fact that Taylor Swift is going to do a residency in that stadium. And they’re going to get Final Fours and Super Bowls. That’s the pitch. And it’s the south. So there’s all sorts of roadie billion things they can do in a dome in Nashville that takes $2 billion to build and the Nashville was willing to go in on that. How would Nashville ever find 600 million more to give the John Angelo’s, which wouldn’t buy him a parking garage in Nashville, let alone a baseball stadium, right? So if he thought that he was ever leaving, or that his partners are ever gonna let him leave, or the Daddy’s taking a nap, and the day after that mom owns the team and doesn’t want any part of it, and he and his brother at, I mean, we can go all day only owns this and whatever crap he and his kid are pulling down there. But all of these are their own little steamers of dog manure in their own way in regard to what you do for a living, which is one of eight. Is this making sense for our community? And we’re all pitching it on what and we’re paying billionaires to build premium clubs and sell colder beer and better hot I mean, like, it really is Bucha of the highest magnitude. And what’s your kids who love sports? Yeah,

Liz Farmer  28:03

you know, and that’s the thing. It’s, my husband and I were talking about this this weekend, like, people love sports, because they want the they feel connection to the team. They want to feel that connection back. I mean, if you strip everything away that owners and television has added on to sports, that’s still what it’s about. And because the proof is in, you know, when teams when people go watch games, I mean, that’s what it’s about. You can throw all this other stuff on, but you know, and maybe you’ll get the casual fans, but I mean, the point is to do well, and to win games, and to have it have your fans be proud of you and vice versa. And community. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:40

I mean, like that’s where you’re right, you’re right. I mean, that’s where it all started. For me going on the radio, and being a kid that loves sports and lockers. People would always say, who are the nice guys who are the good. And you know, and I think all these years later, it’s pretty obvious to see Ken Singleton was a good man. That album was a good man that you know that Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray were good people that Rick Dempsey isn’t good. You know what I mean? That these kids, I was a kid admiring those players. And we talked about rod Langley and all those caps that Wes Unseld live the life, you know, that that all of us should want to live as community, Brooks Robinson. I mean, the day that Brooks Robinson died here, the darkest day of the year of 20 of this year in review, that we lost Brooks, I’m gonna want to cry and talking about it, but like, That’s how important that was. That’s what it meant. And you know what it means that the Ravens won the Super Bowl six weeks now that Odell Beckham will go get 20 million from the Packers. And you know, and, and I hope Lamar does stuff here that Ray talked about doing and John does and Edie tries to do and, you know, these heroes of the modern era and cow and it but and I I was served that issue on a stick all of my life and I’m 55 now and I’ve seen how these teams and these owners behave. I’ve had front row, not a front row seat, I’ve had an inside that you know, inside the The Arena seat with all of them and a seat at their supper table, and it’s gross. Leones is gross, but shoddy gross Angelo’s it beyond. I mean, I don’t know what to say. But oh, and Schneider. Right? Right. I don’t, I’d have no affiliation with that franchise. But half of our audience does and 90% of your audience right, literally, right. On top of all of this is learner can’t get rid of the team mass is tied up and encumbered, which you and I have been covering for two decades, Angeles has still never paid them. The bill and Major League Baseball can’t make them pay the bill. The team can’t be sold. Ted’s gonna buy the baseball team, right? Like, literally, that’s his play with this television thing over in Virginia. I mean, the pieces of this are unbelievable. And for Washington sports fans to swallow this. After dealing with Schneider for three decades, it’s and now and what are they good at? What’s their play? Ah, so I

Liz Farmer  31:01

think this puts real pressure on the mayor to their negotiating, obviously, they want to bring the Washington football team back into DC where it should be. But this this move by leonsis puts real pressure on that to happen, because without that, and that, I mean, it would just be I can’t even think about what what that would be like. And, and I do imagine that even though the timelines were kind of happening at the same time that this is going to play in somehow, to the, to the negotiations for I know, the Orientals, they’ve signed a lease, but there’s still a lot of issues to be worked out in terms of the real estate agreement that hasn’t been hasn’t been ironed out. And so just this is going to put a kind of like a tinge on all the stuff that’s still pending.

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:51

The real fact of the wonky part of the DC part of taxation without representation and, and the fact that there’s just there ain’t no money there. I mean, right. To your point, what a Poland did was Magnette was truly magnanimous in that era, to do that, in the way where modell was fighting for his life, because he owned the stadium was a piece of crap and Cleveland and went broke and get John Morgan on, he wrote books about that, you know, 25 years ago as well. But here we are paying the bill, it’s, you know, it’s the next time and the Ravens are getting x in their ownerships, getting basically, you know, third of a new stadium and you know, half a billion dollars bonded out over 15 years to keep literally money to keep the team here to build stuff that enriches them and only them in their own way. And we’re all okay with this, I guess until we’re not and you know, the guy in Missouri just takes the team away or the guy in DC just says we’re going across the river, because y’all are too broke neighborhood ain’t good anymore. Yeah, I’m done. And yeah, I just what’s gonna happen with Ted in this? I mean, he’s already got to sort of damage franchises on the ice on the court. The district part of this who was fan base is who He’s appealing to who these companies are that are buying these $800 courtside seats for nothing, except when LeBrons dinner Steph Curry shooting or whatever I was the funding of this from a fan standpoint in DC was never all that much talked about because it flooded the Orioles with money. Then in 1992 when Camden Yards came on all of those sky boxes and Camden Yards were owned by district money and DC money and home team sports and selling companies and and companies adjacent to government an opportunity for George Bush or Bill Clinton or the other George Bush or whoever’s in office to throw out a first pitch and like all of that stuff. Baltimore really reap the rewards of that money and when it got pulled away, and 3005 I mean, we’re over here freezing, and Baltimore has its own problems but DC from your wonky part of like how big the government is for something that isn’t even a state to be giving this sort of money away, right? Like DC is its own? Dang to walk away from?

Liz Farmer  34:13

That’s true, but DC is no What did they have like a $10 billion budget, I want to serve something they got they got money.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:23

And they are actually the Rhode Island or like stuff like that? Probably right?

Liz Farmer  34:27

Potentially, potentially. But so that because they are as I like to say, a city, a county and a state, so if you smush all those governments together, that’s that’s the kind of taxing power it has. And so you know, all the taxes you can think of DC can do and so that financially the city is fine, but it’s just a matter of is it going to continue to be fine because of what’s going on with the work from home and all that stuff and the transition and, and so like that that’s a question but then how much does the city have to spend to not lose another profession? No sports team or to I’m thinking of the NATs or to get the to get the football team back into the into DC. I mean, those are the big questions and they can afford it. But should it is a different question.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:11

I haven’t read a whole lot on this list farmers one of the things I’ve read, she is our guest, please go follow her pod. And I’ll let her give all the details on all the ads and findings and on social media, but I’m just I’m fascinated at the machination. You know, I have talked for 30 years with John Mogan art modell about, you know, airplane rides and tarmacs and signing over contracts and deals and, and hush agreements and keeping it out of the media. And like all of that. How did Ted Leone’s this fall in with the Virginia government to the point where the that he’d sold off DC, that, you know, like, I I’m just I’m blown away at that part of it? And has it been fully reported? Or where? Because Ted, Ted walked off the stage without taking questions. I mean, these things don’t happen in a vacuum. This was very plotted, and I’m sure pretty sorted. Really, you know, when when the when the truth comes out about how the the Capitals in the wizards would walk out of their own building to leave, you know, struggling downtown, with the district on like, I don’t know how he’s gonna pitch up this turd who let me chat steel as a PR guy, you know, like, how are you going to polish this?

Liz Farmer  36:27

I do not know. But it’s going to be entertaining and sad to watch him try and do that. Because there’s, I mean, I have yet to hear anyone who’s excited about this. Maybe they’re, I’m sure they’re people. People are they’re just being really quiet because they don’t want to be, you know, trampled. But it’s, yeah, it. I don’t I would be very interested to hear the backstory of how these conversations started. And when they started because this, you know, you heard rumors and a couple of days before, but the whole thing was still very much kept under the wraps. And it was a big surprise. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:00

it’s different if you’re desperate, right. I mean, you know, I mean, and the perception of Ted leonsis is he’s not desperate at all then the perception I have from up here and I haven’t talked to him since. The last time I talked to Ted leonsis was five minutes before Alex Ovechkin came and took the cup from the table I was sitting out with Barry trots at 330, in the morning when a veteran took the cup from next to me and sandals and walked out the side door. And eight minutes later, he was in the MGM with Tiesto putting the thing up and I was at the table with trot showing it to him on Twitter, like literally. So that’s the last time so whenever that was five and a half years ago, whenever they were they won the company in a guess right? So whenever that was, that’s the last conversation actually, I saw Ted at the parade. I have a picture. I saw Ted at the parade. And Barry knew he was gone. And like it was oh man that was uncomfortable. So I did see Ted at the parade. But I haven’t talked to him since then. And I’m thinking to myself, like how’s he going to wrangle back from this or into this or out of this to destroy one place and play, play four miles away, and think that like, he’s gonna then buy the Nationals. And then like, I mean, he’s become a villain in this and his aspirations are far I mean, all of this DMV, and we’re one super city from Richmond, to Bel Air, you know, he gave me all of that bourgeois when he was telling me we should be capitals fans, because we’re from Baltimore. And he’s gonna bring the cup here if they ever won the Cup after 15 years. So, like, I’ve already been bamboozled and steamrolled and like all of that, by him. I just never thought he would have this in him to leave his own building, and then not find a bigger, better way to be big man on campus in Chinatown, and figure out a way to make where he is better. The grass is always greener on the other side. It’s shameful. I don’t, I don’t have a stake. It’s just shameful. And I keep thinking like what is his outcome? Because his bigger picture is television television tell it you don’t even know what it is. And his kid doesn’t either. We’re going to digital stream minor league AFL games and we’re going to pay $8 a subscription here Nesco sell it. So I keep thinking to myself, like his bigger picture, isn’t that like, slink off to Inglewood and hide or slink off to you know, city X and leave behind whatever? This is dirtier than that for the DC bested people who pay for it. And I think it’s even weirder because he clearly wants to own the baseball team too. And, and and the television part of all of his kingdom of programming and I think that’s, that’s what they think they’re in the programming business more than anything else from my personal time with them. They think they’re in the programming business. Yeah,

Liz Farmer  40:04

and it’s just this sports media entertainment conglomerate companies and, and the teams are a tiny little, not tiny, but the teams are a slice of this, this whole mega entertainment plan that they have that is now including real estate developments and and and those profits. And so I just you know, what I was thinking to is, as you’re talking is leonsis, taking the capitals and the wizards, I mean, just far enough away that you can still see them enjoying themselves. I mean, it’s like, it’s like watching your ex date your best friend or something, you’re still there, you’re still close enough, but you don’t you don’t get that and so I mean, him then moving to Virginia is just it’s, I don’t know, I would ask Baltimoreans how it felt after the Colts left, you know, one of the things I’m the I shouldn’t even mention Mr. Or say his name you

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:58

know, it’s been it’s been it’s been smoking before and and I’ve put you know, I’ve made made peace with that years ago, when the Super Bowl was in Indianapolis, they had such a beautiful thing out there. I saw it differently there that what it did for that community you know, I put that community on the map and like And shame on Baltimore for leaving the team but he was an old drunk awful guy and we wound up getting a prettier girlfriend and a better team and a better second wife and a better like a better life and like won Super Bowls might win another one in six weeks. So I I’m it doesn’t make it wrong, you know any less wrong and but it really began begat all the broken hearts of all the Hartford whaler fans. And, you know, the whaler guy, I mean, the fact that the Oilers wore that gear the other day, while they were playing Houston, was just beyond shameful. And again, I’ve mentioned all of these owners shameful Shame, shame. It’s just, it’s pick up, become a billionaire, lose, touch, and do things that your legacy your better angels would would say your legacy would mean more and a Polen was a man of that generation broke my dad’s heart, but never was coy about it. I mean, had designs that like the team can’t thrive here. And he was right, and move the team down there. And they went to championships in the 70s. And one that won the NBA title with Wes and the biggie. Still, you know, I’m still take pride in that my dad’s been dead 30 years. He’s still pissed at me forever loving that team for exactly what you said. I was a Baltimore bullets fan. They moved that team 30 miles down the beltway, my dad worked at the point my dad loved the bullets, like the bus went to games, all of that nobody went to those games, by the way. Like when you go back and look at Kareem Abdul Jabbar to hooks. There’s nobody watching him play as in a walk in 1971, like the city after the riots and stuff. I mean, you learn stuff when you get older, you know about how it was blown apart. And I’ve shared a picture recently, Liz, you see it on my LinkedIn or wherever to go back. It’s an aerial shot southbound from what looks like the bank tower in downtown Baltimore, on light street of the harbor, nuked out, like just literally just nothing but dirt. Like it all the the port stuff, the rats, all that stuff had been moved. It’s like 9075 76, empty, empty shot of everything that would become the aquarium beside center harbor place to hide. The McCormick building was still there. The building I lived in, wasn’t there, for this view, wasn’t there. And I think about vision, right? And Ted thinks he’s a visionary. Ted thinks she’s going to build this across the street from a target. But does. Does he really a visionary, or is he a pirate? You mean, like? Yeah, I mean, like, I’ve tried to the ladder.

Liz Farmer  43:48

Yeah, yeah. It’s about money. It’s about money. It’s about making more money. I mean, really, that’s what it is. And you know, I was thinking, I mean,

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:58

you’re in Chinatown. vitiated there. Right. I mean, if you’re visionary fix more you are. Yeah, yeah.

Liz Farmer  44:05

Because there’s a lot of for lease signs down there now than there were in much more of it than there were about four or five years ago. And so I mean, what’s your betting

Nestor J. Aparicio  44:14

Emporium in there? Yes, exactly. Right. I mean, well, I mean, I hate to be such a jerk. Because I mean, like, but it’s, it’s just awful. And when we talk about it, and it’s different, did did a veteran score a couple last night or Let’s love him off, or whoever the latest flavor of the Lamar of the ray of the brooks of the whatever you whoever these players are, they come and go, but there’s a part of the community part of the obligation of the, you know, too much is given much as expected. But man, we don’t demand it. And what did you make of the Angelo’s thing I really why I haven’t talked to you about that at all, because you’re out in Frederick, you know, what do you know about Baltimore in Frederick, but like, you loved Baltimore, I saw you more in that stadium than anywhere else. Just all This sort of mess and the Ravens putting out these, this gold plated video last week of what they’re doing with our money. Ah, geez, you’re monitoring it, Frederick.

Liz Farmer  45:09

This is true. Yeah, I live in Maryland. I play Maryland taxes. Yeah, I mean, it’s really tough to say because I think that Maryland stadium authority owning those properties, has then locked itself into whether it said it or not back in the 90s, committing to reinvest in those properties at the behest of the team owners. And because this this, that story is played out, over and over and other cities, we’re now in the big stadium renovation boom. And governments were ponying up more cash to do that, otherwise, Team owners say they’re gonna leave. And so this is just I mean, I hate to say, but this is kind of par for the course what Maryland did allotting and by the way, this lease now that the Orioles have signed, they get their $600 million and improvements, because there’s a lease signed. So now, those bonds can be sold. It’s Maryland could have done worse, you know, and they don’t want those teams to leave. And so I think they’re kind of just stuck between those two, you have to give just enough that it’s palatable to everyone. And that’s it’s just a tough place to be. But that’s that’s the business you get into when you build your own sports stadium. And then the flip side is, well, you can have the team owner own the entire stadium and then leave your city. So it’s real. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:28

mean, it’s amazing, right, like, and Liz farmers here, tell her pretty much podcast and tell everybody about being the wonky person that you are I want to reach out, because I do want to wrap up, but I just have one more point for you.

Liz Farmer  46:40

Yeah, sure. So I co host the pub public money pod with Justin Marlowe. It is produced by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. I also write the newsletter Long story short, I guarantee you, you won’t spend more than a few minutes reading it, but you will learn something. And I’ve talked about government taxes, policy, all that good stuff. And it’s not you can find me on substack. She also

Nestor J. Aparicio  47:03

talks about her love of DC sports and a broken heart about all of this, which is what led her into this mess on holiday we I guess the last part of this is that there were no whispers of this no anything. what now happens like what what’s what’s Ted waiting for to get a papel blessing on this for them to put a shovel in the dirt and say sigh and our other than hold me accountable and walking off the days like what what’s really these organizations fan organizations that are pissed and whatever, and DC people that are angry? What’s, what’s the next step? Because I wonder that I’m going to ask that with Angelo says like, I sort of know a year from now they’re gonna put out a bunch of plans and what they’re doing with our money and gold plated bathrooms. And this time next year, they’ll have that and like, I got that. But this is different. Because this is like a piece of land that exists. People know where it is all of that and the part of him still trying to sell the product he has, which was you know, Madonna for me on Monday and Tuesday this.

Liz Farmer  48:05

Yeah. So the government’s city of Alexandria has to approve the plans, the issuance of the 100 of 1.5 billion and bonds that

Nestor J. Aparicio  48:16

1.5 billion. So that mean, that’s up three, and I’m just doing the quick I’m done. Yeah. 300 million more than we gave both of our teams to stay here. Okay.

Liz Farmer  48:26

Yep. You nailed it. Yeah. So that’s the state of Virginia is going to spend all that money on the rest of the development, but that has to be approved as well. So basically, you know, red tape stuff, but it I again, I would be surprised if that stuff didn’t ultimately get approved. There’s probably going to be some delays. But that that’s those are the next things.

Nestor J. Aparicio  48:45

The thing I heard as an insider when I was like a Tom Petty song, The Insider. I got burned by the fire. So they were upset about the roof of the MCI center, Capital One, whatever. What was going on this week? Yeah, the phone bill, thank you. The roof of it was different and not put together in a way that was going to be able to hang trust things and do things that they wanted to do. And I remembered, I mean, we’re going back 810 years here, maybe even a little longer. That was a concern for them as the lighting change in hockey rinks and certain buildings had trusting to do all have this laser show that they want to do with hockey games and putting on with the wristbands and all the stuff Taylor Swift would want to do in an arena shall never play an arena again, there’s not enough dough in there. But but that stuff that the roof was the problem. Is the building falling apart because they didn’t keep the toilet to your point like when you own the building you now expensive is to have your own building. When you don’t have your building. The MSA says Do you know how expensive it is? Tom Kelsall I’d say yes, no, we maintain Camden Yards for 30 years, Bushati put a quarter of a billion dollars into the football stadium. So kudos to him. I always say that. I don’t know what Ted put into the building down there. And again, I didn’t go to the Madonna concert on Tuesday, although I considered it but I haven’t. Oh, Liz. I haven’t been in that building. Oh, man. Like I’m thinking it was a concert but I don’t know which one and it’s been plaguing me. Um, it’s been it’s been three four or five it’s been a long time since I’ve been in that building. So I don’t I mean, it’s the building a whole it’s

Liz Farmer  50:33

it’s been a couple years since I’ve been in there. But always

Nestor J. Aparicio  50:37

you know, comfortable was was always a terrible building distortion. Never enough lifespan. I was always bruised myself dancing at a YouTube show and took six months for the bruise I mean, seriously on the cops I swear to God and I’m like this place sucks. And I saw you do and it doesn’t arenas and I’m like they’re not all this awful man and I’m thought are 50 pounds you know, I mean, so I can say that it wasn’t a comfortable building. But But leaving it like I know what’s wrong with it. I guess it would be my question.

Liz Farmer  51:08

I mean, it’s no worse than any other arena of its age that I’ve been in. I mean, I agree with you about the seats but it’s just it’s standard city arena. I mean, maybe I have low expectations but I’m there to watch the game and he crapped lib terrible foods I mean I’m just I mean that’s that’s what I’m there for I’m not there to get a you know my toes toes painted or any of that other stuff you know

Nestor J. Aparicio  51:35

fallen into the national sale story

Liz Farmer  51:39

then no not not closely anyway. That’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  51:42

just how linked to Angelo some major major league baseball been playing Patsy with these people for two decades right like it’s just it’s it’s just a mess the whole Baltimore DC thing is you know, nobody outside would ever understand how trash all this is with the football teams and who likes the baseball teams and how crappy all the owners have been at various let’s farmers out there doing the good work. She’s on the wall. She’s watching your money my money to make sure bad guys aren’t taking as always bad guys taking it I guess right. Thank you for your friendship over the years. It’s fun to watch you so Frederick I love Frederick I did the crabcake to your liking Thurman out that way. Like yeah, I’ve been everywhere in the state during the crabcake tour. And it’s I really fell in love with Frederick like downtown felt like I’m like out here get dinner and hang out see show go to theater have a beer outside Frederick’s awesome and nobody could ever told me that unless I saw it with my own eyes.

Liz Farmer  52:41

Yeah, it’s great. The canal the restaurants. You know, people now complaining that it’s all getting to getting to built out and I live far enough outside of Frederick that, that we’re you know, we’re surrounded by like watershed and stuff. So none of that stuff is ever going to touch us. We just get to enjoy having having that city somewhat close by. All

Nestor J. Aparicio  52:59

right, well take care of yourself. And thanks for coming on and being super smart and super insightful and allowing me to vent about my crap because like, I just keep seeing people ganging up on TED and I’m thinking to myself, why did he want this? You know, like, Why? Why did he want to where he because he didn’t need to do it. I guess that was and I think we all are in agreement with that. Right? This? This was not necessary right

Liz Farmer  53:21

now. Yeah, no, no, no, they Bas

Nestor J. Aparicio  53:25

is pretty necessary. You know, right. Speaking,

Liz Farmer  53:28

falling down stadiums.

Nestor J. Aparicio  53:32

From the bay area that’s on our next segment on our next podcast. Listen, I will talk about the history of Bay Area sports in the Caymans of Al Davis and mount Davis and winds of Candlestick Park. Keys are and all right. Let’s appreciate you. Thanks for coming. Happy holidays to you. Oh,

Liz Farmer  53:50

thank you. Yeah, it’s great to see

Nestor J. Aparicio  53:53

something good eat something you should i Well, you to load up. Don’t drink too much on New Year’s Eve. Let’s farmers here. She’s long story short, make sure you follow her out and her podcast as well. You can find her anywhere. You know, good, good people sit on walls and make sure that there were that the government’s doing what they’re supposed to do. I tell you one thing we’re doing right now, Maryland lotteries are sponsored by the government and this is part of how the stadia and stadiums get funded. We talked to John Martin, executive director on the up and up about that the ocean mastermind, they’re my favorite because they smell like gingerbread. So I like these will be given these white families my favorite shirt on our final crabcake in the hallowed area of the old fadeless is going to happen on Wednesday morning the 27th after Christmas. A lot of guests a lot of friends coming down. I have put together the biggest coolest most awesome promotion I’ve ever put together for February and radio row week. I’m going to be talking about that as a New Year’s here our friends window nation remind you 866 90 nation it’s cold out it’s warm and I’m saving dough because I got windows a year and a half ago working on some doors, our friends at window nation as well as Jiffy Lube, multi care putting the crabcake tour on the road Okay, so we can have winners winners and more winners we’ll see if the ravens are winners Liz farmer will be on the other side of that fence wearing some Joe Montana throwback or some John Brody throwback from the old days yeah always liked the nine there’s always like Bill Walsh I’m you know, I’m not anti 14 liner, but I will be at eight o’clock on Christmas night don’t hurt Oh my eggnog for crying out loud. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stopped talking about important stuff. Baltimore positive stay with us.

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