There seems to be something attached to San Diego Chargers Sunday football games. The something every Friday or Saturday prior to game day the Chargers ownership is inching closer to is a possible move to Los Angeles.
Last weekend was no exception as the narrative became, barring an unexpected miracle, the team is going to LA in January. A simple conversation between this reporter and Chargers owner Alex Spanos at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida during the 2000 NFL owners meeting started the plans for the move.
“Were you upset that the Major League Baseball Padres franchise got a new stadium and you didn’t?” Spanos responded that he was disappointed and that set off a series of events over the years that ended with a 2015 announcement by the Spanos family and the Oakland Raiders ownership group that the two franchises would form a partnership to build a stadium south of Los Angeles in Carson, California.
The plan never got off the ground, partly because the NFL decided to approve Stan Kroenke’s plan to move his St. Louis Rams business to Inglewood, California and nix the Chargers-Raiders move. The league did give the Spanos family an option. Do whatever you could to stay in San Diego and get a new stadium, if that fails, the Spanos family could become a partner in Kroenke’s building.
The “whatever you can do” order created a push to get a new stadium through a referendum. The Spanos family lost a November 8 stadium referendum. San Diego and Chargers ownership wanted more than a billion dollars in public subsidies for a stadium-convention center renovation. The quest became more difficult under California law which required a two-thirds vote not a simple majority for passage. The final tally not close. Ironically, Barron Hilton moved his Los Angeles Chargers of the American Football League to San Diego after one season, 1960.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.