Posts Tagged ‘Chargers’

The inevitable finally arrives.  Dean Spanos leaves San Diego and takes the Chargers with him.  This was as likely as a slow commute on the 5.

Mr. Spanos is worth approximately $2.5 billion.  That is a lot of millions to get to those billions.  Yet, Mr. Spanos refused to gather his bankers, use his lines of credit and reach into his deep, cavernous wallet to self-finance the stadium of his choice.  Rather, Mr. Spanos insisted that San Diego’s hotels and motels finance his downtown dream stadium via a tax increase to be demanded of visitors flocking to America’s finest city.  Of course, the San Diego voting public said, “Nay”.  After all, Arizona folk need an affordable place to stay during the summer.

Mr. Spanos’ best bet was to remain in Mission Valley, knock down the Q and build a shiny new stadium a few feet away.  Alas, this practical resolution was not his dream.  Now the moving vans and trucks are full of football gear, Spanos’ household goods and the disappointment of Chargers’ fans.  The last item is quite heavy.

56 years and adios.  Love ya, miss ya, bye.

Mr. Spanos chose to pay a $550 million relocation fee, host NFL football in a 30,000 seat soccer stadium for a minimum of two years, pray that Chargers fans motor north for three hours to watch bad football and three hours south to complain about bad football, become a tenant-renter-occupant of the Rams for who knows how many years and in the end fail as a L.A. franchise, thus forced into some forsaken section of Orange County.

Now for the good news.

San Diego State University football is no longer attached to the coattails of the San Diego Chargers.  Aztec football journeys alone and is relieved to do so.

SDSU has long embraced the proposal of reshaping Mission Valley.  166 acres of cracked asphalt can at last be transformed into SDSU West, livable space and sizable green belt.  As for the Q, renovate or build a smaller version.  Either option works.

Regarding the expansion of SDSU as a university, I dismiss the morons who have yet to discover or acknowledge that the university engages in biological research, embraces engineering and interdisciplinary sciences and has risen in national academic stature dating back to the days of Dr. Stephen Weber as president of the university and carried forth by Dr. Elliot Hirshman.  SDSU entering Mission Valley offers substantial opportunity to the city, county and regional economy.

Yet, let me not drift from Aztec football.  Whether we partner with the rumored Major League Soccer franchise (paraphrasing the MLS commissioner Dan Garber, “San Diego is more attractive to us” given the Chargers exit) or enjoy the support (money) of the city and county of San Diego accompanied by the influence of CSU and the state legislature leading to an exclusive SDSU football stadium, one is the other.

As for athletic director John David Wicker’s concern regarding seating capacity of 30,000 in the instance of MLS partnership in a new or renovated stadium, let me remind him that portable seating sections have been in use at the Q for decades, so employ that, um, technology to boost Aztec seating to 35,000.  Revolutionary.

The Chargers bolting (sorry, could not resist) provides a rare opportunity for Aztec football.  The long-held complaint of we-need-a-campus-based-football-stadium is soon to be addressed and solved.  The reality of an Aztec football stadium also opens doors long closed to, at the very least, actual consideration of joining another conference.  No, I’m not stating that any such invitation is in the near future.  But, the business of conference realignment is nowhere near complete.  The photo of division one football in 2016 will not resemble the near future reality of division one football as ESPN, FOX, CBS and NBC broadcasting contracts begin to expire.  SDSU football will be best served with a stadium home to Aztec football.

Here’s to the immediate future.





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.