Dean Spanos and the $550 Million Question

Posted: January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized
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The NFL has spoken.  The St. Louis Rams win as they return to their Los Angeles roots.  Inglewood is a vision of joy via stadium construction and the rest of Stan Kroenke’s vision.

Which leads us to the Chargers.

Granted, the NFL offered Dean Spanos the opportunity to be Stan Kroenke’s junior (emphasis) partner.  File that offer under throw the dog a bone.  As Mr. Spanos considers the reality of junior partner coupled with the one year of advantage given the Rams, he would be foolish to head north.

All public and private praise regarding stadium development will land at the feet of Mr. Kroenke.  Inglewood denizens will pause in wonder at the transformation witnessed as the stadium rises into the sky accompanied by hotels, restaurants and general consumer friendly development.  Dean Spanos will have stand in jealous wonder.  Stan Kroenke becomes the older, popular, more successful brother.  Mr. Spanos will know the social sting of being “allowed” to play in Stan Kroenke’s sparkling new stadium adorned with all things Rams.  Mr. Spanos will truly know the feeling of rent.  Multi-millionaires do not rent.  Thank you very much.

Sadly, Mr. Spanos will continue to sneer at the most logical solution: the renovation of the Q along with all the impressive commercial development coupled with a ready and waiting November vote requiring a simple majority of city voters.

Yes, the NFL did toss another $100 million at Mr. Spanos for a breathtaking total of $300 million in NFL stadium subsidies.  Yet, is there such a thing as too much free money?  Why must the wealthy use their own cash?  What is next?  Driving their own cars?

In the NFL’s world, where the impossible does not exist, we are given the possibility of the Oakland Raiders moving south to San Diego.  Mark Davis finds the idea plausible.  Mr. Davis will not have the downtown obsession affliction of Mr. Spanos.  Mayor Kevin Faulconer has made the Raiders his Plan B.  Given history, this Plan B is as painful as the Yankees playing weekend games at Fenway.  However, the Chargers have not responded to any San Diego negotiation since June, 2015.  Is Mayor Faulconer to wait by the phone forever?  Perhaps Mr. Davis will call and send flowers long before Mr. Spanos returns his attention to the ignored Mayor Faulconer.  Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Mr. Spanos has a long proven reluctance to remove his wallet to spend his own money (or endure the bothersome process of instructing his financial advisors to access lines of credit and loans as other business people do on a daily basis).  That reluctance negates any chance of his delivering the approximate $550 million in relocation fees to the NFL to play tenant in Los Angeles.  A bruising spring and summer of idiocy awaits as Mr. Spanos comes to the slow (painfully slow) realization that San Diego is a wonderful place to play football and make money.



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