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Spanos says Chargers want to stay in San Diego

Chargers' President and CEO Spanos is pictured during a news conference at the team's NFL headquarters in San Diego Reuters

At first blush, it looks like an unequivocal commitment.  Like so often when it comes to the Los Angeles leverage game, however, careful inspection of the words suggests that the door is open — even if only a little bit.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos, speaking to Albert Breer of NFL.com at the quarterly ownership meetings in Boston, explained that the Chargers want to remain in San Diego.

“I’ve said this the last 10 years,” Spanos said.  “The Chargers belong in San Diego.  That’s where we want to be.  We’re going to continue to try to get something done in San Diego.”

At some point, however, the Chargers’ wants will give way to their needs.  The combination of San Diego’s unwillingness to help build a new stadium and the looming possibility of one — and possibly two — NFL teams moving in just 90 miles up the road could at some point prompt the Chargers to become at least one of the teams to make the fairly short jaunt.

The Chargers are one of the few teams with the annual ability to abandon their lease via a payment that reduces each year.  Spanos made it clear that, to get something done in San Diego, a payment from the public coffers will be needed.

“It’s very difficult to get public money in the state of California, but in our marketplace, we need a public contribution to get something done,” Spanos said. “Everybody’s aware of it.  We just need to find the right formula that works for everybody, and it has to be fair for everybody.  The politicians know what needs to be done. We just need to get something and make it work.”

Perhaps Spanos feels optimistic because the 49ers have found a way to ditch one of the worst stadiums in the NFL for a swanky new venue that will host Super Bowl L.  Still, at the current rate of governmental action, the Chargers could eventually get that new stadium and host another NFL title game when the it’s time to play Super Bowl C.

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31 Responses to “Spanos says Chargers want to stay in San Diego”
  1. keepitsimplestoopid says: May 22, 2013 7:13 AM

    The Los Angeles Chargers of San Diego?

  2. toonloonboon says: May 22, 2013 7:51 AM

    translation: c’mon people, i know times are tough and economy is broken and you all dont have retirement money anymore, but me the rich guy needs your money to build a new stadium.

  3. vcupats says: May 22, 2013 8:43 AM

    I wonder if the state of California is as eager to get a team in LA as the NFL is. Shame for the beautiful city of SD.

  4. thraiderskin says: May 22, 2013 8:53 AM

    Well I hope so… There are a lot of Raider fans in Southern Cal that still want to go see a game, live, once a year…

  5. 6250claimer says: May 22, 2013 9:43 AM

    Hard to get public money in California? Governor Moonbeam is spending $65b on a bullet train to nowhere, that nobody is going to ride. Spanos needs to figure out how to get on Moonbeam’s gravy train.

  6. jwh8541 says: May 22, 2013 9:53 AM

    “vcupats says:
    May 22, 2013 8:43 AM
    I wonder if the state of California is as eager to get a team in LA as the NFL is. Shame for the beautiful city of SD.”

    “Shame”? How twisted.

    Good for SD for refusing to offer welfare for billionaires.

  7. sdchargers25 says: May 22, 2013 10:29 AM

    So Spanos wants the SD residents to fund a stadium that HIS FAMILY would own???

    How about he uses some of his BILLIONS to fund his own damn stadium!?

    We San Diegans don’t NEED the chargers, we can survive without them. Id rather not have my taxpayer dollars go to a billionaire who is too cheap to build his own venue.

  8. sdchargers25 says: May 22, 2013 10:30 AM

    So Spanos wants the SD residents to fund a stadium that HIS FAMILY would own???

    How about he uses some of his BILLIONS to fund his own damn stadium!?

    We San Diegans don’t NEED the chargers, we can survive without them. Id rather not have my taxpayer dollars go to a billionaire who is too cheap to build his own venue.

  9. slickster35 says: May 22, 2013 10:30 AM

    It isn’t a privledge to have an NFL team in your city. You either have to pay the piper or you do without. Being a major league city comes with a price.

  10. dougydougdoug says: May 22, 2013 10:34 AM

    No one is bothering to mention that the LA stadium deals are about as stalled as they can get. The AEG thing has spun down to a stop, and no one is interested in pursuing the Industry location, in the slightest. The talk of gutting Chavez Ravine is just that. Talk. It would take years to even get to a point where any party interested, could get the process started. And there would be a tone of opposition, considering the checkered past of that hilltop venue.

  11. sandersmarcus10 says: May 22, 2013 10:43 AM

    I live in San Diego and its a shame that this would even be a topic with the high population I guess most of us being other teams fans hurt more! But then again who wants to see a good paper team never transform to a good field team

  12. majormeatcurtains says: May 22, 2013 10:55 AM

    6250claimer says: May 22, 2013 9:43 AM

    Hard to get public money in California? Governor Moonbeam is spending $65b on a bullet train to nowhere, that nobody is going to ride. Spanos needs to figure out how to get on Moonbeam’s gravy train.
    ————————————————————-
    While it’s encouraging that you learned a political term, “Moonbeam”. and are so proud that you squeezed it into a sentence twice, study facts instead. #1 Moonbeam didn’t start the high speed rail project. #2 A HUGE chunk of the money comes from a federal grant. #3 LA and SD hardly belong in the “nowhere” category. This is a football website so leave your tea bag at the door, or at least read a book, or newspaper, or…

  13. commonsensedude says: May 22, 2013 10:58 AM

    If they move to crime-infested Los Angeles, they should change the name to the “Los Angeles Charges.” You know, charges like Grand Theft Auto, Aggravated Assault, Arson, Gang …

  14. ambitoos says: May 22, 2013 11:02 AM

    This has been going on for years now. Being a Charger fan I have accepted the idea that LA is not that far away. This city is subsidizing Qualcome stadium as it is. There are too many needs in San Diego that are more important than a new stadium. Where ever they move, I’ll still be a Charger fan.

  15. majormeatcurtains says: May 22, 2013 11:02 AM

    It’s worked for other billionaires in the past and will continue to work as long as people parrot the billionaire lines of “it brings tax revenue” and “it is impossible without the publics support”. Besides sports all multi-billion dollar businesses buy their own tools and pay their own overhead. And yet they STILL make billions. But the NFL owners can’t. Not even with the NFL listed as a not for profit with the IRS. Nope, they can’t pay rent and salaries. Seems to me that businesses like that are supposed to fil.

  16. granadafan says: May 22, 2013 11:03 AM

    Recently, the NFL, which is worth tens of billions of dollars, gave a loan to a multibillionaire to help with his new stadium. Surely, wealthy NFL could help out poor Dean Spanos who is THIS close to going on food stamps and throwing a garage sale to raise some cash. Come on people, Beluga caviar isn’t cheap! He’s running out of hundreds with which to light his cigars.

  17. rocoop says: May 22, 2013 11:10 AM

    To the nit-wit clueless people making comments.Spanos wouldn’t own a public funded stadium, his team would stay and play in it.Yes, he would reap benefits,as he should..San Diego does need the Chargers..I have friends and family that have been employed at the “Q” for over 11 years

  18. sdb0ltz says: May 22, 2013 11:17 AM

    I got 5 on it.

  19. ripseau says: May 22, 2013 12:11 PM

    LA needs a team, plain and simple. Imagine a cities like new york and dallas without football. La is the second rated tv market in the us w TOOOOONS of $$$$. It will take a little time to convert ram and raider fans but a winner creates their own fans.
    Also industry is the best location for new stadium. A few minutes outside la but location is perfect! Great neighborhoods and very scenic. It would cost a lot of people the worry of parking near downtown.

  20. mazblast says: May 22, 2013 12:41 PM

    The last thing the NFL really wants is a team in Los Angeles. If a team actually moves there, the threat of moving is gone for almost everyone else, and teams’ ability to slop at the public trough would be significantly reduced. They need LA as their straw man.

  21. hawkman4life says: May 22, 2013 12:51 PM

    As a seattle fan, I watched the Sonics pack and move when multi-billionaire Bennett held the city of Seattle hostage for public funding for a new $300 million arena or move the team. Cost of going to the game takes most families out of the stadiums with ticket prices and the outrageous cost of food and drink that is more like extortion, making sports a white collar affair to see in person. We remodel our homes, repair our vehicles but when it comes to billionaire owned fanchises it’s a demolish and rebuild most times before the current stadium has been paid off. This is extortion as defined by the dictionary. If pro sports is a franchise and not a free enterprise (vote approval for buying and or moving a team by franchise owners) then the franchise, who also determines if the said arena/stadium is ‘acceptable’ by their standards, should be using its own money. Asking taxpayers to forgo necessities or else to fund their money maker is just wrong. Then again, you stay rich by not spending your own money… $150 to see a football game with food and drink (not allowed to bring your own to save money) after paying for the stadium each time I buy something is why communities are saying no to public funding anymore.

  22. rajbais says: May 22, 2013 12:56 PM

    This statement is enough for me to say that the Chargers aren’t going to Los Angeles.

    The talk of them moving has only been a tease.

    Is it inappropriate to say that? No.

    What signs did the Chargers show? None.

    Until someone catches the Spanos doing something concluding the LA move is way more inappropriate.

    Until further notice they’re in San Diego long term.

  23. NoHomeTeam says: May 22, 2013 1:07 PM

    majormeatcurtains says:

    While it’s encouraging that you learned a political term, “Moonbeam”. and are so proud that you squeezed it into a sentence twice, study facts instead. #1 Moonbeam didn’t start the high speed rail project. #2 A HUGE chunk of the money comes from a federal grant. #3 LA and SD hardly belong in the “nowhere” category. This is a football website so leave your tea bag at the door, or at least read a book, or newspaper, or…

    ******************************
    “Moonbeam” dates from Brown’s first stretch as Governor, and it was perhaps an unfortunate inclusion in 6250claimer’ post, as it distracts from his point.

    As to your points:
    1) While it’s true that Brown didn’t initiate the highspeed rail project, he actively worked to see it implemented.
    2) The Federal grant you are reference could best be classified as seed money. Yes, the funds the State was promised are substantial, but they don’t remotely begin to cover the ultimate costs of the project. They don’t even come close. If my Uncle gave me $5,000.00, that would a tidy sum. If my Uncle said that I could only have the money if I bought a Lamborghini, I’d politely say no thanks.
    3) The first segment of the rail is more or less plotted to run between Bakersfield and and Merced; With all due respect to those cities and the people who live there, that is the Middle of Nowhere, relative to the population centers of the state. And the plan doesn’t include “SD”

    This is a football website, and I’ll agree that it’s not the appropriate forum for discussing the bullet-train boondoggle, but perhaps you should have done a little bit more research before hitting “submit.”

  24. openseason51 says: May 22, 2013 1:19 PM

    Goodbye!!!! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. They estimated that 350 mil could totally renovate the current stadium and it would be just as good as any of the other newer stadiums in the NFL. So if the NFL and the Spanos family can’t see that then. LEAVE!

  25. fubar5150 says: May 22, 2013 1:27 PM

    Just leave already a new billionaire will build something in the future. Then we will get a real team.

  26. rohlo says: May 22, 2013 2:22 PM

    rams and raiders are moving back to LA..it has been talked about on the news up here in LA from jim hill on sprots central..davis jr has already told the city of LA he would be interested in moving back and the st louis situation with the rams after this year when they can break their lease will be the first domino to fall…

  27. rohlo says: May 22, 2013 2:22 PM

    and no im not a raider fan or rams fan..

  28. ryanmg93 says: May 22, 2013 2:28 PM

    Plain and simple, the Chargers don’t want to be an LA based team. Soon enough a new stadium will be built. The economy is crap and it takes time. Qualcomm is a historic football stadium. Enjoy it while it lasts. Be happy that LA has no team, besides the Raiders were in LA, look how amazing they’ve gotten to be…

  29. dirtydrew says: May 22, 2013 3:39 PM

    Earth to clueless billionaire Dean Spanos. Pay for your own stadium. The state is not helping, San Diego is not helping. If you think a municipality is going to foot the bill…keep dreaming. You may get a 10% kick down like the 49ers did, but the team payed 1 billion on their own.

  30. channer81 says: May 22, 2013 3:39 PM

    San Diegan’s don’t have San Fransisco money. Remember all the PSL’s SF was able to sell with their new stadium. It’s mind boggling, not to mention the Chargers don’t have SF’s history.

    But I’m sure Dean is pissed about :

    #1 SF getting their new building
    #2 ATL getting that loan for their new stadium as well.
    #3 Miami and NO still being in the running for future SB’s with their crappy stadiums and SD has been out of it for a decade now.

  31. floridaslonechargersfan says: May 23, 2013 2:39 PM

    Just pay for most of it Dean. If the public decides to kick in some money, then gravy. But build a new stadium, get the Super Bowls and continue to rise from the ashes of NFL owners to above average owners. You had a good start by hiring Telesco and McCoy. Wouldn’t a nice shiny new stadium go along great with a couple of division titles and hopefully a Super Bowl trophy?

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