Chargers owner Dean Spanos emerged from Tuesday’s meeting with the ability to leave San Diego, but with an inability to move to the specific area of Los Angeles that he preferred. So what will he do next?
The thinking among the owners is that, once Spanos has a chance to process the opportunity in Inglewood, he’ll pounce.
Yes, it’s fair to wonder whether Rams owner Stan Kroenke will drive too hard of a bargain in the hopes of keeping a second team out of L.A. But, per multiple sources, Kroenke has promised the rest of the owners that he’ll be reasonable. Kroenke also, we’re told, has reduced to writing various commitments regarding the terms pursuant to which he’ll accept a second team in his new stadium.
As one source tells PFT, the Chargers already have begun working directly with the league to finalize the parameters for a deal in Inglewood, and the NFL will be directly involved in negotiations, if necessary.
There’s another reason for Kroenke to work something out. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Kroenke currently can’t begin selling premium products such as naming rights, club seats, PSLs, and sponsorships for his new stadium until 2017. If Kroenke makes a deal with the Chargers now, Kroenke can begin to sell premium products immediately.
The only lingering question is whether Spanos will choose to be a tenant or a partner. While partnership may be preferred, Spanos will have to be ready, willing, and able to write a check for half of the expenses required to get the stadium built. And if more of the overall development gets pulled into the partnership pot, the cost of equity and the risk that goes along with it gets even higher.
Given the $550 million relocation fee that the Chargers also would have to pay, Spanos could eventually opt to be a tenant.
Tenant or partner, it’s a deal that other owners think Spanos would be crazy not to do. As one source told PFT, “99 out of 100 would take this deal.”
The fact that Mark Davis and the Raiders will get the next crack at the deal if Dean Spanos doesn’t want it makes it even more likely that Spanos will be among the 99.