Spanos commits!

Chargers to stay in San Diego!

Dean Spanos
  • Dean Spanos

Dean Spanos, chief executive of the Chargers, this afternoon (January 29) issued a statement that essentially said what media have reported in the past 24 hours: "Today I decided our team will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season and I hope for the long term in a new stadium," said Spanos.

Mark Fabiani

Mark Fabiani

Stan Kroenke

Stan Kroenke

He added that, "We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood next year, but my focus is on San Diego."

He went on to say, in essence, that he and San Diego's leaders must figure out how to subsidize a new stadium in San Diego.

It is necessary for San Diegans to get together and make sure that no new stadium is built with public money. Spanos and his mouthpiece, Mark Fabiani, have insulted San Diegans enough. This missive is a means to apply pressure.

First, San Diegans must demand to see the complete "option and agreement" that Spanos claims to have made with Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams, and the one planning to erect a stadium in Inglewood.

If Spanos and/or Kroenke refuse to release the complete document, the city and county must refuse to do any more business with the Chargers, other than signing a new agreement on Qualcomm Stadium in 2020, when the current contract expires, or hopefully before.

It has been fairly obvious all along that the Spanos family does not have the funds to meet the demands of Kroenke, whose wealth is at least ten times greater than that of the Spanos clan. Kroenke now plans to build a stadium costing $2.66 billion — well beyond the Chargers' ability to pay.

The most logical road out of this dilemma is for the Spanos family to sell the team to a multibillionaire.

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OH, NO! Another year of this agony and massive distraction for Kevboy and Ronnie Robbie may just bring local government to a grinding halt. Of all the outcomes, this is the worst, but in some ways was predictable, for the reasons you mentioned. Deano needs a buyer to take the franchise off the hands of his gang and then strike a deal somewhere, anywhere but in San Diego. This whole thing has been an exercise is municipal madness, and it isn't over. And all the while the city's streets deteriorate, the water mains leak, the sewers rupture, and the PD spins farther out of control. I weep.

Visduh: As Bruce Henderson says, this is just another NFL blackmail move, to threaten to relocate the team unless the home city taxpayers shell out for a stadium. Only in the case of this blackmail, the Chargers were trying to go down two avenues: since 1995, as is obvious in the Qualcomm contract and Spanos family moves, the team has wanted LA first, but wanted to keep San Diego in its back pocket.

Spanos found out that in no way can the family afford to be a participant, even a minority participant, in the $2.66 billion stadium Kroenke is planning in Inglewood. And obviously, the family cannot afford to go into the surrounding development.

Already, Charger fans are organizing to make sure they register to vote. This is an old trick. Politicians know that rabid fans will show up at the polls, while voters who will get their pockets picked may not get around to it.

It is an insult to San Diego that Spanos thinks citizens will believe that he really loves San Diego and wants to stay. This is preposterous. He wants San Diego because he couldn't pull off LA financially. Best, Don Bauder

Carolann: Repeat it: "He wants San Diego because he can't pull off LA financially." Best, Don Bauder

Same thing I predicted all along. Carson was a complete shell game and bluff by two inherited team owners who are team rich and cash poor. Neither Spanos nor Davis had the cash/credit to pull on the Carson deal. It was all a huge bluff. Those two guys are "small potatoes" in the NFL billiaires club.

The Rams/Inglewood was always the more financially viable LA deal. Kroenke has 7-8Billion of his own money and his wife has another 10-15B (WalMart heiress).

Maybe, Spanos can sell out to some local billionaire like the Irwin Jacobs family (Qualcomm) and keep the Chargers local with ownership paying for their own new sports palace?!

I think he doesn't have a ready-and-willing practice facility in the LA area and doesn't want to pay for one. He gets one cheap here. Plus another year of headlines about the fickle Chargers.

Good businessmen make sound, thoughtful and timely decisions. Spanos and the NFL are playing games. I think the people are getting tired of it. It seems like they want to grind the public into just saying "enough already" give the bastard his stadium.

Ponzi: It insults the intelligence of San Diegans that Spanos thinks citizens will believe him when he says he loves San Diego and wants to stay. He is coming back to San Diego because he couldn't swing LA financially.

And there is no guarantee he will stay in San Diego. If he gets a better offer from another city, he will take it. (San Antonio already has the Alamo Dome, and multi-billonaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson -- Fabiani's client -- says he will build a stadium in Vegas.)

It will be an interesting sociological study if San Diegans fall for Spanos's claim that he really wants San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

The fan-atics will vote. The brilliant, but not sufficiently crooked (0.01%) will vote. The commerciantes (1.0%) will vote because they're convinced that business will be better (even if it's only a 1.0% increase). The corporate-welfare daddies (1.0)% will vote, but remember "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

The non-fanatics may vote if the surf is really crappy that day.

Flapper: Business will NOT be better if San Diego votes to give the Chargers a massive, subsidized stadium. Objective economists are unanimous that a subsidy for a stadium does not stimulate business. It may inhibit it.

This is a scam, plain and simple -- a scam in broad daylight. Keep those two-faced words in mind: "I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium you deserve." If you parse that sentence, you see that he is saying that HE wants to provide the stadium. No, he wants YOU to provide the stadium from which he will get rich. Best, Don Bauder

Don, Spanos is already rich! However, if we're using the standard use by most of his peer NFL owners, then I suppose your statement is almost correct, he will get richer.

JustWondering: According to Forbes magazine, the best source we have, the Spanos family is worth $1.69 billion and most of that is the value of the Chargers. Kroenke is worth $7.4 billion. His wife, a Walton, has at least $5 billion.

The Spanos family is rich, but not compared to Kroenke and his wife. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: For NFL team owners, and other billionaires, there is never enough money. Money is all they care about. Best, Don Bauder

My neighbor lady used to call them "limber pricks."

Flapper: She doesn't call them that anymore? Or she is dead or left town? Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: That's too bad. She used colorful jargon, which she may have made up. Best, Don Bauder

You guys see the movie "Hoosiers"? I know Don's not the biggest movie buff so let me give a quick reprisal of a key scene. Gene Hackman stars as a basketball coach of a team from a really small high school in rural Indiana who - against all odds - makes it to the state finals to be played in a huge arena. The players walk into the huge arena and are immediately intimidated and awe-struck by it's size and fanciness. In order to allay their fears, Hackman instructs one of the players to get on a ladder and measure the height of the rim "10 feet, coach" (I may be mangling the lines a bit here but you get the idea). Similarly, he has the kid measure the distance from the free throw line to the basket "15 feet coach".

Hackman's point is the court at the fancy arena is the same as the court at the small rural high school. And that's all that really matters.

Similarly, I wonder why an NFL team NEEDS anything beyond a field 100 yards by 160 feet on a well-maintained surface. If the goal posts are damaged, or the field is in bad condition then by all means it should be fixed.

But to demand that the stadium has to be brand new in order to be up to NFL standards is ridiculous.

ImJustABill: When trying to pick the public's pocket, the Chargers will claim that a new stadium will improve the team. This is not true. Pro football has the draft and salary caps that are eveners.

It's the owner that profits from a new stadium. The team is not improved. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Absolutely--a new facility will improve the team. Just like Petco Park. Oh, wait...

Haha. John Moores lived up to his promises and put a competitive Padres team on the field after Petco Park was built, didn't he? Oh, wait...

ImJustABill: Keep reminding all your friends that Moores promised he would put a better team on the field if he got his ballpark. As soon as the public voted for it, he dumped the good players and eventually sold the team, which can hardly be called good.

He walked off with at least $1 billion -- $300 million from the ballpark subsidy and another $700 million, probably more, from getting land in the ballpark district at extremely low early 1990s prices and selling it at much higher prices. Best, Don Bauder

He, Moores, never indicated the period of time it would be better. And the team was more competitive after moving to Petco. Sadly many believed it would last forever. Nothing last forever, well at least nothing good.

JustWondering: Moores told the public he would not raise prices. As soon as the stadium opened, he boosted the ticket, concessions, and other prices considerably. Then, when attendance dropped off, he started dropping those prices, but they are still so high they drive out a large percentage of the San Diego market. Best, Don Bauder

Agreed. As a former season ticket holder, in a preferred area of the ballpark, the costs ultimately outweighed the benefits and then the team tanked.

JustWondering: The Los Angeles Dodgers are now spending money by the bushel. It will be difficult for a medium-market team to outspend LA. Best, Don Bauder

Yes, more competitive. Financially competitive.

aardvark: Good point. The deal made Moores personally more financially competitive. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: And John Moores may scam San Diego again. It certainly appears that the Chargers want a stadium downtown on land owned by a Moores company. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: Touche! Too bad this won't fit on a bumper sticker. Best, Don Bauder

San Diego's already got a state-of-the-art stadium ready and waiting for Mr. Spanos – all we have to do is drain the tank, free the whales, and cue the cheerleader music.

SanDiegoOrcas: And watch opponents drown the Chargers week after week. Best, Don Bauder

"Similarly, I wonder why an NFL team NEEDS anything beyond a field 100 yards by 160 feet on a well-maintained surface."

Well, to begin with, the standard football field for high school, college and pro games is 362 feet by 62 feet, including 12" sideline and end zone borders. That doesn't include an additional 6 feet along the sidelines set aside for the chain crew and officials, another 6 feet for coaches and substitutional players only and another 24 feet for players and additional bench personnel. Any demands on stadium conditions is ridiculous only up to the point that someone agrees to them.

danfogel: Painstaking exactitude. Best, Don Bauder

Kroenke must get his hair piece from the same place Jan Goldsmith does.

AlexClarke: Both are bigwigs. Best, Don Bauder

AlexClarke - BEST laugh of the day so far!!

In a statement Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: "We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution. NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league's full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal."

I'm just wondering...What is Dean's "real" goal?

JustWondering: His goal is to maximize his income -- in this case, by hoodwinking San Diegans into thinking he wanted San Diego all along, and by claiming that the team could improve with a new stadium.

Steve Rogers: Of course money is Spanos's motive. That's true of other team owners --at least 17 of whom are billionaires. They call it a game, but it is not: it is a money machine for the millionaire players and the billionaire owners. Best, Don Bauder

Frank Trousdale: Actually, the Chargers may not be leaving. They can't afford LA. They might waive on possibilities at San Antonio, Las Vegas, and London for various reasons. If they remain in San Diego, it is incumbent on citizens to make sure they do not get public money for a stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Bruce Gibney: I agree that the Chargers would fit in Vegas, just as the Raiders would. Dean Spanos loves Vegas and spends a lot of time there. Best, Don Bauder

While not a Charger fan - I find the manner in which Mr. Spanos has conducted himself is nothing less than a charade and most disrespectful to the many loyal SD Charger fans who are deserving of far better.


anniej: Spanos and Fabiani were worse than disrespectful. At times they acted hostile. There was method to this madness; they felt they had to convince the NFL they were unliked in their home market and deserved a chance to move.

They got their chance and found they could not afford LA. So now they are back in San Diego. They have to repair relationships in advance of a vote. Can they do it? Let's hope not. Best, Don Bauder

I think the details of the Rams / Chargers agreement should be made public - a lot of public money hinges on whether or not San Diegans really have to pay as much towards the stadium as the latest proposal from the Task Team allocated.

Any chance that the Rams / Chargers agreement will be made public before a likely San Diego vote?

Are there any legal requirements that the Rams / Chargers make that information public before asking for so much public money (I certainly think there are ethical reasons they should make the information public before asking for so much public money but that's just my opinion) ?

ImJustABill: Of course the agreement should be made public in its entirety. Will it? Doubtful.

The so-called option and agreement was just drawn up as a face-saving mechanism for Spanos. He went to LA and it is obvious he didn't have the bucks to be in the same room with Kroenke. Kroenke would hardly select a pauper (compared to him) as a joint venture partner. The possibility of the Chargers being renters apparently didn't work out, either.

Face it. Spanos lost in LA. Now he comes back wagging his tail between his legs. But he has fouled his own nest in San Diego, and could lose an election over a stadium subsidy. So Spanos may be afraid he cannot hoodwink San Diego, even if he pours several million dollars into buying an election.

Another factor: does Spanos want to tie himself up in San Diego for 20 or 30 years? A new stadium would require such a commitment. As I have said, San Diego is not that good a pro football market, as the Chargers' attendance records through the years indicate. San Diego would be no market for personal seat licenses. Fabiani told me that in 2011. Nor is San Diego a good market for luxury suites. There aren't that many filthy rich around to pay big bucks for suites. San Diego's companies are not suitable for suites. Chargers ticket prices now are almost the same as the league average. I question whether San Diego could take more ticket and concession price increases, which always come with a new stadium.

Don't be surprised that if, when this all shakes out, the Chargers go to San Antonio, Las Vegas, or St. Louis where they can start with a fresh slate. Best, Don Bauder

I think there is a very real possibility that they lose the election. I've heard on the radio that it's too late to set up a June election. A special June election would likely have a relatively small turnout with a disproportionate number of Chargers fans.

The November election will likely have a large turnout. I think most Chargers fans will support any measure to keep the Chargers here - but the number of die-hard Chargers fans has definitely dropped after the antics and disrespectful treatment from Spanos.

ImJustABill: If the election is in November, there is a much greater chance the Chargers will lose. If the Chargers, in league with the mayor and council, try to slip this through without an election (very difficult, incidentally), the hatred needle will rise even more.

As I have said, Spanos has three options: 1. Sell the team. Pro teams are going for ridiculous prices these days. 2. Return to Qualcomm, where the team has been making bundles of money. 3. Try to get to San Antonio, Las Vegas, or St. Louis. I think London is out of the question now, with time short. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder So if I interpret you comment correctly, you are saying there is no option that puts the Chargers in Los Angeles? Is that a correct interpretation? No Chargers in Los Angeles? No way, no how? No chance, absolument pas, nada, nunca, zero, zip, zilch? i just want to make sure that I am absolutely clear on your position.

danfogel: There is no chance of the Chargers getting to Inglewood as long as the Spanos family owns almost all the Chargers stock. The option and agreement with Spanos was simply a face-saving mechanism for Spanos, and also another version of the old NFL trick of "build me a stadium or I move the team."

However, if Spanos sells the team, the new owner could get to Inglewood if he or she had sufficient funds. It's possible, not probable, that the Chargers could get to Inglewood if Spanos sold, say, 51 percent of the team to someone with the kind of money Kroenke has. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I disagree. The deal for San Diego as a tenant would mean paying $1 per year in rent and the team's $200-million loan from the NFL and the revenue from psl sales would go to Kreonke to be used to help offset construction costs for the stadium. There would be a relocation fee, but that fee would not be due until the team actually moves into the new stadium, so at least 2019, and would be payable over 10 years. Between now and 2022, when the current TV contracts expire,each teams share of TV revenue alone will be somewhere between $750 Million and $1 billion. Spanos could easily afford to move the team based on the upcoming revenue increases just from the NFL's TV contracts alone. The question is not whether Spanos can afford it, but rather will he look at the long term benefits of playing in a new, state of the art stadium, which he will never have in San Diego, or instead succumb to the inherent greed and take the money now and loose out in the long run. From my point of view, if Spanos has to shell out a few hundred million for a stadium in San Diego, he would be better off to shell out a few hundred million to play in what will undoubtedly be a better stadium in Los Angeles. But as past history has shown, the people of San Diego can be pretty dumb when it comes to giving away money. Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, the Chargers are a dead story until Spanos announces the final decision, so I will take a pass on further comments until then

Just my opinion

Opinions vary.

danfogel: Yes, opinions vary. If the rental deal is this enticing, why did Spanos rush back to San Diego and, lying through his teeth, say he preferred San Diego? I pity anyone who believes that whopper. Kroenke does not want Spanos as a partner or as a tenant. Who can blame Kroenke for that? Best,Don Bauder

I've heard the $1 / yr rent number mentioned many times - so many times that it seems to be an indisputable truth. But is it? I would like to see that agreement in writing.

ImJustABill: The $1 a year rent number may be a canard planted by the Chargers. They want people to believe they can take the LA offer at any time. It's the old "build me a stadium or I scram" scam. But if LA the terms are so lucrative, why don't they snap up Kroenke's allegedly proffered deal right now? I pity anybody who believes that Spanos, from the goodness of his heart, decided he loves San Diego and wants to stay. He wants San Diego because he lost out in LA.

In my opinion, the option and deal in LA are fictional, just as the plans for a Carson stadium were. Best, Don Bauder

New bumper sticker: OverChargers OUT!

Flapper: Great bumper sticker. Somebody should start raising money for these right now. Best, Don Bauder

maybe competition among the nfl owners it the 3rd sport going on here.

Murphyjunk: Oh yes. There is competition, and envy, among the owners over who is the richest. There is a pecking order from the richest to the poorest. Kroenke is the second richest among NFL team owners. The Davis family of the Raiders may be last and Spanos would definitely be in the lower tier. Best, Don Bauder

or in non technical terms , the "neener neener" factor is in play

Murphyjunk: I haven't the slightest idea what "neener neener" means. Best, Don Bauder

"neener neener" = childish braggadocio

ImJustABill: Thanks for furthering my education. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: Of course there is collusion. Unfortunately, it is legal collusion. Best, Don Bauder

Don't know if the Raiders could afford LA either.

Ironically, Al Davis turned down his deal to build a football stadium in LA by Hollywood Park because the NFL wanted Davis to partner/bring another team in with him (the expansion team that became the Houston Texans). Then, he moved the Raiders back to Oakland.

Levis Stadium in Santa Clara (site of the Superbowl) was built for 2 NFL teams. It has 2 sets of locker rooms to accomodate 2 different home teams. Al's son, Mark Davis, has said he does not want to play in Santa Clara. But, it is the most obvious place only 30 miles away from the Oakland Coliseum (a short drive for N. Cal Raiders fans). NFL would be happy if the Raiders played in Santa Clara. I read that the rent the 49ers pay is 28M per year. Santa Clara would allow the Raiders to split that with the 49ers 14M per year each team. And, The Raiders "buy in fee" is only something like 45M to share Levis field with the 49ers. (A much more cost effective option than moving to LA and paying a 550M relo fee and sharing costs to build a new stadium with the Rams). Raiders/Davis are even poorer than the Chargers (both inherited team situations).

Mark Davis, like Dean Spanos is being totally unrealistic and could also end up being forced to sell his team if he cannot strike a reasonable stadium deal.

sportsfanooo, you're not quite correct in your assessment of why Davis left LA. Bud Adams didn't decide to move the Oilers to Nashville until a year after Davis moved the Raiders back to Oakland. In 1996, when the Browns moved to Baltimore, the NFL promised a team in Cleveland within 3 years. It was at that time the league considering adding an additional franchise to even out the league at 32 teams. Los Angeles, Houston and Toronto were all being considered. It was in March of 1999 that the NFL awarded Los Angeles the expansion franchise contingent upon an agreement between the city and league on issues that included the stadium site and an ownership group. When October 1999 rolled around and no agreement had been reached the NFL awarded the expansion team to Bob McNair and the Houston Texans were born. That was almost 5 years after the Raiders had gone back to Oakland. The move by the Raiders had nothing to do with the new franchise. In June of 1995, Davis had actually scheduled a news conference to announce the Raiders would play in a new stadium at Hollywood Park starting in 1997, but Davis could ever reach a final agreement with RD Hubbard, who owned Hollywood Park. Two weeks later, Davis accepted a deal with Oakland. A big part of the reason for leaving the Coliseum was that after the Coliseum Commission agreed in 1993 to spend money on improving the Coliseum for pro football, LA Sports Commission cancelled any further planned renovations to the Coliseum because of the repair costs due to the 1994 Northridge earthquake

danfogel: So LA chose to spend money on cleaning up after an earthquake rather than spending it on a sports stadium for pro teams. Good thinking, LA. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Well not exactly. If I remember correctly, the Coliseum Commission decided to spend somewhere between $15 and $20 million on the Coliseum renovation for 1993. The changes were supposed to be part of a of a multi-stage renovation to meet Al Davis' demands for improvements. The repairs to the Coliseum from the quake damage was initially about $35-million. I believe the end total was somewhere in the neighborhood of about $100 million. That money wasn't spent so much on cleaning up after an earthquake as it was repairing the stadium so that USC and the Raiders could continue playing there. But as I said, then the renovations demanded by the Raiders were put on hold indefinitely. At that point, Davis shifted focus to the proposed stadium at Hollywood Park, before eventually fleeing back to Oakland. Of the money that was spent repairing the Coliseum, I believe that at least 70 percent of it came from the federal government and the state, not the city of Los Angeles. An interesting aside is that the contract for the initial $15-20 million renovation actually had a clause that that no permanent seismic retrofit or seismic strengthening work was to be done.

danfogel: I can't second-guess you on that because I did not follow that history. In the early 1990s, I was concentrating on other kinds of scams. It wasn't until 1995 that I got interested in the billionaire stadium scam. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, I happen to know someone very well who in the 90's wrote a pretty good MBA dissertation on the professional sports business, specifically the finance end of it as it applied to state and local municipalities participation in funding of such endeavors and the level of the professional team participation versus the financial impacts on the surrounding / participating communities

danfogel: Sports management is a recognized and prestigious area of study in many universities now. Several of the economists I quote in columns are with sports management departments at major universities. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I can honestly say that I didn't choose it for any other reason than it was something that interested me at the time, inspired no doubt by the shenanigans of Georgia Frontiere and Al Davis.

danfogel: "Inspired" by Al Davis? The master extorter? Are you "inspired" by Jesse James? Murder Incorporated? "Inspired" by Georgia Frontiere? Did you become her eighth husband, by chance? Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Perhaps you didn't read my comment carefully enough. I said my choice in topic was inspired by the shenanigans of Frontiere and Davis.

shenanigans: secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering

danfogel: Inspire: to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I think you know very well what I meant.


to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.:

danfogel: Which dictionary d'ya read? Best, Don Bauder

don bauder


: to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

: to cause (something) to happen or be created

: to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)

I remember the Raiders/LA saga differently and it is backed up by online sources.. Earthquake was not the main reason the Al Davis/Hollywood Park deal went down the tubes. .Al Davis was in the catbird seat in LA, but let his big ego get in the way and blew the deal. Davis did not want to share his Hollywood Park Stadium with a 2nd NFL team as the league was requiring. There was Al Davis in his favorite position, with his foot on the neck of an adversary. (In Al’s world, of course, everybody, sooner or later, becomes an adversary.) And he walked away.

Al Davis/Raiders Saga Part 2 Thirteen years after defying the league and moving his Oakland Raiders to L.A., after turning back legions of league lawyers determined to push him back up north and winning the right to stay in L.A., he had NFL owners meekly courting him.

It was May of 1995 and the issue was Al’s very public dissatisfaction with the Los Angeles Coliseum and his favorable response to the appeals of Oakland officials to come back home. (All is forgiven, eventually, it seems.)

On the final day of a league meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, NFL owners had approved by a vote of 27-1 with two abstentions, a resolution supporting a plan to build a $200 million, privately-financed stadium in Inglewood on property owned by Hollywood Park.

A three-man committee had been appointed to work with Davis and R. D. Hubbard, CEO of the racetrack to draft a lease and complete an agreement that would allow a second team, one from the NFC, to also use the stadium.

Under the proposed timetable, the Raiders could be in their new home in two years, with a second team coming to L.A. in 1998.

In addition, the stadium would be guaranteed at least one Super Bowl, probably in 2001, with a second one, tentatively in 2004, contingent on a second team coming to Los Angeles.

Leaving the meeting, Al got into a limo. I joined him briefly for a quick interview.

“Well,” I said, “you got what you wanted. It’s a done deal, right?”

That familiar look of defiance came over his face. Nobody tells Al Davis when a deal is done.

“We’ll see,” he said. End of interview.

Oh, I thought as the limo pulled away, that’s just Al being Al.

There were certainly some loose ends to tie up, some very expensive loose ends. While Davis had agreed to put up $20 million toward the completion of the project, it was still $30 million short.

Al Davis/Raiders Saga Part 3

Other details of the proposed deal included:

An obligation by the Raiders to play in the area for the next two seasons while the stadium was under construction.

The Raiders receiving Super Bowl tickets equal to the number of club seats sold up to 10,000.

A shutdown by Hollywood Park of its gambling operation during the two Super Bowls, a requirement Hubbard had agreed to.

And still to be negotiated with the three-man committee was a proposal for the second team to reimburse Davis for half the money he would put into the stadium.

This second tenant was a huge point of contention for Davis, who didn’t want to share the spotlight.

“The NFL’s option is to put the second team in there,” he said, “And, for doing that, you get a second Super Bowl. It’s Hollywood Park or the Raiders’ option to say, ‘No, we don’t want a second team.’”

As it turned, Davis didn’t even want to be the first team. A month later, he left town and later sued the league, claiming it had sabotaged the team’s effort to remain in L.A. Davis lost the case and subsequent appeals that went all the way to the California Supreme Court.

I think sometimes about how different the local landscape would be if Davis had taken the Hollywood Park deal. The NFL would have been in L.A. for these past 17 years. Inglewood would have remained a central location in the local sports scene.

Yeah Ive read Steve Springer's account in several places also. I simply chose not to cut and paste an entire article and instead offered a less verbose, but still accurate, account. But I guess you also must not really have paid much attention to what I wrote. I never indicated that the Northridge quake is why the Al Davis/Hollywood Park deal went down the tubes. It was his excuse for walking away from the Coliseum. Had the not been the quake, and the subsequent loss of renovation funding, he undoubtedly would have found another "reason". As I said, he couldn't get the deal he wanted in Los Angeles, so he walked away and went back to Oakland.

SportsFan0000: Mark Davis and his mother, Al's widow, own 47 percent of the team but have control. They should consider Santa Clara, but may figure that Oakland fans are too impecunious to drive all the way to Santa Clara. These Raider ruffians may not be welcome in Santa Clara. That is another consideration. Best, Don Bauder

SportsFan0000: I believe Mark Davis should sell the Raiders, just as Spanos should sell the Chargers. Neither deal will be struck, I believe. Best, Don Bauder

Steve Ballmer wrote a huge check for the Clippers. What's another 2 or 3 billion check to the Chargers to a guy who has 20B+ burning holes in his pockets?!

The only problem is that the NFL only allows cross-ownership in another major league sports team in two narrow circumstances.

The first is if the two franchises are in the same city.

The other is if the other league’s franchise is in a neutral market, which the NFL has defined as one that doesn’t currently host an NFL team and is not deemed a potential NFL city. Yes there are exceptions, like Kroenke, who transferred ownership to his son. Now, I'm sure Ballmer could do that also, but it's something that I just don't see happening. Or he could just buy the team and move it to Los Angeles. Except that I don't see Ballmer player second fiddle to Kroenke and he isn't going to build his own stadium.. Besides, Ballmer has wanted to won an NBA team for years, and I've never heard anything from him ti indicate that he even gives a sh!t about the NFL, let alone San Diego. I realize your comment was probably sarcasm, but face it, it the Chargers do stay in San Diego, your are stuck with the Spanos clan and will be paying for a new stadium.

If no deal is struck by, say, May, could the city play hardball and threaten to charge the team millions more in rent as a means of leverage? With the team coming back, it really seems like the city should have the advantage with the negotiations. I mean, technically, do they even have to let them play at Qualcomm? The team left town and white-washed San Diego affiliations from their operations, it seems like everything should be back to square one. If anything, the city should make a grip of money from the team playing at Qualcomm this year. The team is really in a tough spot because, if San Diego did not welcome them back, where would they even go? Would they play at some random, junior college stadium as a generic southern California team? It all seems like a potentially good opportunity for a city to make some good money off an NFL franchise.

Perhaps don bauder can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the city and the Chargers still have a contract, thru 2020 I believe, and that the Chargers have a window in each remaining year in which they can opt out of their lease. But as far as it has been reported, I don't believe that they have ever fulfilled the legal requirement of officially notifying the city. So there is really nothing to negotiate. As far as I am aware, the only thing that changes is that the buyout the Chargers would have to pay to leave decreases each additional year the Chargers remain in San Diego. As I said, I am sure don bauder can correct any inaccuracies.

danfogel: I know the contract is up in 2020 and both sides should be in negotiations now. To my knowledge, they aren't. I don't believe the Chargers have notified the city. The amount the Chargers have to pay to leave does go down, but I'm not sure it goes down every year. Best, Don Bauder

Dryw Keltz: Of course the city could charge the team more in rent. The contract is up in 2020. The two sides should be in negotiations now, but I am sure they are not. The city should demand sensible rent from the team -- many times more than it now pays. But will the city have the temerity? I doubt it. Best, Don Bauder

Dryw Keltz: If the city and Spanos cannot reach an agreement, the Chargers have a sensible solution, and it is the best idea of all: continue playing at Qualomm. Best, Don Bauder

Dryw Keltz: With the establishment incorrectly believing that the presence of a team and a massively subsidized stadium stimulates the economy, San Diego will never play hardball with the Chargers.

The Chargers do have an alternative: continue playing at Qualcomm, where they make a bundle of money. The contract is up in 2020, and you can bet the Chargers will get easy terms, although perhaps not as ridiculously easy as they have now. Best, Don Bauder

So Spanos wants an option to move to LA as leverage against the city of SD. Shouldn't the city of SD be openly offering the spot in Mission Valley to the Raiders so that we have more leverage against Spanos?

If the Chargers will not be exercising their lease termination clause this year, which I believe had to be done by close of business today, how could the city of San Diego be "openly offering the spot in Mission Valley to the Raiders"?

danfogel: I don't think the city can do that. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: I don't think the city can "openly" reach out to Spanos yet. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: Interesting thought, but it will never happen. San Diego's leadership is still licking the Chargers's boots. That has never changed, and I think I can safely say that it won't. Best, Don Bauder

Bev Paul: Saying "goodbye" would be satisfying, but I think that permitting the Chargers to continue playing at Qualcomm is the best solution, as long as the city does not put much money into rehabilitating the stadium. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, again we disagree. the city should put NO money into rehabing the stadium, unless it is to resolve the many infrastructure issues it has. I believe those would be considered a problem that any property owner should be responsible for. But any other improvements, the city shouldn't spend a dime.

danfogel: You are absolutely right. The city should put no money into rehabbing Qualcomm. That should be the Chargers's obligation. But I was just trying to be realistic when I said both the city and team should share in the expense -- and that expense should be low. Best, Don Bauder

Howard Ethan: A guarantee to play beyond 2016 is really not much of a guarantee. Best, Don Bauder

Sheila Manaktola: Yes, it would be nice to pull the plug on the Chargers and all the politics around this scam, San Diego's leadership won't do it. Best, Don Bauder

Fernando Allen Sanchez: Faulconer has not looked good throughout this ordeal. Best, Don Bauder

Bryan Glover: The team owners are supposed to pay taxes. Since more than half of them are billionaires, and the others are extremely rich, there is a good chance that they dodge taxes in some way. Best, Don Bauder

NFL claimed "Non Profit Status" for Federal Tax purposes for years while feeding and slopping at the trough of billions in yearly profits. I read they just changed that recently.

sportsfanooo But again, it was only the league office that had the non profit status. The individual teams, who collect about 3.2 percent of the league generated revenue each, along with their own locally generated revenue, do file tax returns.

Fernando Allen Sanchez II: Yes, the Chargers are attempting to milk the taxpayers. They must be stopped. Best, Don Bauder

Fernando Allen Sanchez III: It will be a long time before citizens of the world outgrow sports. Best, Don Bauder

Los Angeles Chargers MONEY TALKS and San Diego Walks: As I have said, I do not believe you are going to see the LA Chargers. Kroenke has closed the door on that, and I don't blame him.

Some people are saying that Kroenke offered the Chargers a wonderful deal in LA and that Spanos can take the deal and go up there anytime within a year. Balderdash. If Spanos had been offered a lucrative deal in LA, he would have taken it immediately. Best, Don Bauder

I simply don't understand how you men (apparently) can persist in the fantasy that the OverChargers are a "home" team!

Flapper: The Chargers are a home team in the same sense that Al Capone's gang was a home team in Chicago. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder - yours is the best analogy yet. It is a perfect way to characterize the relationship between the Chargers and the City of San Diego. BRAVO!

oskidoll: I was born and reared in a Chicago suburb. Al Capone is a name that comes immediately to mind. Best, Don Bauder

Fernando Allen Sanchez III Apparently, you are somewhat misinformed. The NFL was a 501(c)(6), emphasis on the was. The league voluntarily rescinded its tax-exempt status last April and will begin filing taxes with the current tax year. In my opinion, this was done for 2 reasons. First is the public reason, as proffered by Bob McNair, who said "The owners have decided to eliminate the distraction associated with misunderstanding of the league office's status, so the league office will in the future file returns as a taxable entity," Several sources have estimated the tax savings for the NFL under 501(c)(6) as in the neighborhood of $10million, which is a rounding error for an enterprise the size of the NFL. The other reason that I beleive is that the NFL made the change is the same reason MLB voluntarily abandoned its tax-exempt status in 2007: as a non profit, your tax return is a public document, one that lists the compensation paid to the entity's top officers. But, despite your claims otherwise, the tax exempt status applied only to the league office in New York and not to the individual 32 teams. Those teams are required to pay taxes. Whether they do so properly is a completely different issue. Each team receives about 3.1 percent of the total revenue, with the remainder funding league operations. If you don't believe that, then simply look at the Green Bay Packers. They are a publicly owned team thus their financials are readily available.

danfogel: You are correct, to my knowledge. Several publications made a big deal of the NFL not paying taxes. There were lots of screams, as people thought this meant the team owners didn't pay taxes.

It is possible the team owners didn't, and don't, pay sufficient taxes. That is a different story. But the team owners are supposed to pay taxes. Best, Don Bauder

FIELD OF SCHEMES.COM GETS IT RIGHT. THE SO-CALLED "OPTION AND AGREEMENT" WITH RAMS OWNER STAN KROENKE MAY BE PHONY AS A THREE-DOLLAR BILL. Neil deMause, who puts out fieldofschemes.com daily, appears to have figured out the Machiavellian move by Dean Spanos and Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams, who is building a $2.66 billion stadium in Inglewood, surrounded by a huge real estate development.

Dean Spanos, without an ounce of shame, told San Diegans that he has this "option and agreement" with Kroenke. He can go to LA whenever he wants, but he has decided he really loves San Diego and wants to stay. I have said I feel sorry for anyone who believes this poppycock, because if Spanos has a deal he can afford in LA, he would be gone in a flash.

Neil deMause says, "Expect some nasty, nasty stadium talks to continue the rest of this year, with Spanos clearing his throat and glancing in the general direction of Inglewood anytime someone suggests he kick in more of his own money."

Then there is proof that deMause thoroughly understands this ruse. He writes, "It's entirely possible that Spanos went to Kroenke and said, 'Stan, let's put out an announcement, I gotta light a fire under San Diego, we can work out the rest later,' and Kroenke grunted enigmatically."

Again, I repeat: Anybody who believes that Spanos has a potential deal in LA that he can afford, but suddenly decided he really loves San Diego and wants to stay, should really not be out in public. Says deMause, "It's always inspiring to watch evil geniuses at work up close." Best, Don Bauder

I suspect deMause's description of the "negotiation" between Kroenke and Spanos is about right.

At this point Kroenke wants LA to himself, Spanos wants a big welfare check from San Diego. And they both want to keep the Raiders out of So Cal.

So they have to appear that they've made a deal that will work out well for both of them if the Chargers choose to move to LA. Whether or not that's true is anyone's guess.

My guess would be the same as Don and Neil's - that the Chargers don't have a very good deal to move up to Inglewood.

ImJustABill: To repeat: if Spanos really had a deal that he can afford to go to LA, he would be gone in a flash. The 1995 contract included wording that the team could leave. When Fabiani was hired in 2002, he said he would work for a subsidized stadium for the Chargers in San Diego, but if he couldn't swing it, he would work on LA. The Spanos family has wanted LA since 1995, perhaps before.

Residing in LA, whether as an equity holder or renter, would lift the value of the franchise greatly -- perhaps by more than a billion dollars. And San Diegans are supposed to believe that Spanos has such an arrangement in his pocket but, after insulting San Diego over and over, suddenly decided he loved the region and wants a stadium there? Please, please. Only local politicians such as Roberts and Faulconer are dense enough to believe such poppycock. Best, Don Bauder

Dem guys are right out of Central Casting!

Flapper: Yes. Central casting of hoodlum flicks. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: Which proper noun applies? I am only using improper nouns to describe these cozeners. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: Improper nouns that excoriate greedy NFL team owners. Best, Don Bauder

I was right. You were right--twice. We should have some punch-u-a-shun for dem dudes!

Flapper: If I was right twice in succession, it may be the only time in history that has occurred. Best, Don Bauder

And Mark Fabiani's recent comments are .... (crickets ... chirp... chirp.... chirp)

ImJustABill: You mean to say Fabiani would do something that isn't cricket? Just read the mainstream media or watch local TV: you will see that NFL owners are charitable saints trying to do something for their community. Best, Don Bauder

I mean Fabiani's been awful quiet lately.

ImJustABill: I hadn't noticed that Fabiani remains quiet. Best, Don Bauder

Dean has been out in the San Diego media more than Fabiani the past couple of weeks which is a big change from the past few years. Seems to me that Fabiani might have to fall on the sword so Dean can position himself as the good guy and Fabiani as the bad guy. Of course, Fabiani has just been saying what his employer has wanted him to say. But The Chargers need to try to manipulate public sentiment now.

ImJustABill: Yes, as I have said before, the Chargers may have to let Fabiani go if they sincerely want a stadium in San Diego. Fabiani has known that would be a possibility all along. He was doing what Spanos wanted him to do -- alienate the community -- and if Spanos really wants a subsidized stadium in San Diego, Fabiani may have to go.

But let me throw you another curve: does Spanos really want a stadium in San Diego? It would tie him up for 20 or 30 years. San Diego, although the 17th largest U.S. market, is not a good market for luxury suites, and is not a market at all for personal seat licenses. It's hard to see how prices can be raised significantly from their current levels. Spanos may want to play in San Diego in 2016 and 2017 (perhaps 2018, too), but a new stadium may not be as profitable as continuing at Qualcomm would be. Best, Don Bauder

Stop it Don! You just made me choke on my water with that line "the NFL owners are charitable saints".. More like gansters at a cock fight or a seedy poker game with much higher stakes

Flapper: Descriptive, that. Best, Don Bauder

Robert Reeser: If Spanos or any other NFL owner would build their own stadium, without public money, the critics would go away. I would have no objections if the Chargers decided to continue playing at Qualcomm, and paid for the fix-up. Even if the city and county contributed a small amount to a modest Qualcomm fix-up, I would look the other way. Perhaps the new naming rights receipts could be split by the team and local governments, and pay for Qualcomm repairs. Best, Don Bauder

Pictures of these men turn my stomach! That's all I now have to say.

Carolann: Turn the picture to the wall. It works every time. Best, Don Bauder

I don't see how the oil-on-canvas visages behind the curtain could be any more horrible, but if you can find 'em, knife 'e where their hearts should be if they had any. Was your name Oscar before you changed it to Don?

Flapper: If San Diego taxpayers came in and build a stadium for the Chargers, the Aztecs will share it. Best, Don Bauder

WHAT? Now you're selling the stadium?

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