While the Spanos family attempts to figure out the next move in finding a home for the family owned San Diego Chargers following the Election Day referendum loss which would have funded a new football stadium, there are some rumbles that perhaps the time is soon to ask San Diego residents whether they want to help fund a new arena.
The city’s present big capacity arena is 50 years old. San Diego does not have an arena that would interest either the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League but it should be pointed out San Diego is a failed NBA city that has seen two teams moved: the Rockets, which was an expansion team that started in 1967 and was left in 1971 and Donald Sterling’s San Diego Clippers. That franchise started in Buffalo and was transferred to San Diego in 1978.
Sterling bought the franchise during the 1980-81 season and wanted to move the team as quickly as possible to Los Angeles near his Beverly Hills law office. Sterling would move the team without the NBA’s permission after the 1984 season to Los Angeles.
San Diego had an American Basketball Association team for three years that ultimately went out of business. Three reasons were prominent; the ABA team’s ownership could not get a lease to play in the San Diego arena. Voters in Chula Vista turned down a referendum to build an arena in 1974. Los Angeles Lakers ownership didn’t want a San Diego team in the NBA if the ABA and NBA merged. Meanwhile, there seems to be no Plan B at this point for the Spanos family in their long quest to get a new San Diego stadium.
The clock is ticking on Spanos and San Diego as the NFL has given Spanos until January to decide whether the family wants to share a stadium with Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke in Inglewood.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.