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Chargers get an extra 48 hours

Spanos won't need to make L.A. decision until January 17

Artist's rendering of proposed Inglewood stadium
  • Artist's rendering of proposed Inglewood stadium

The Chargers today (January 11) got a two-day extension to decide whether or not they will move to Los Angeles. The cutoff date was January 15, but owners, meeting in New York, decided that since Sunday is a playoff day and Monday is Martin Luther King Day, the Chargers should get two more days.

Dean Spanos

Dean Spanos

Today's meeting had been set to discuss Oakland's plans to move to Las Vegas and the Chargers' decision whether to join the Los Angeles Rams in the new stadium being built in Inglewood. Chargers' chief executive Dean Spanos was given the January 15 date a year ago.

If the Chargers try to stay in San Diego, Oakland has a shot at Los Angeles. The general feeling is that citizens of Los Angeles would prefer the Raiders to the Chargers. The Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1995, when they returned to Oakland. Also, after a long drought, the Raiders had a good team this season; the Chargers and Rams did not.

NFL officials are reluctant to abandon the San Diego market, which is the 17th largest in the United States. Spanos has been hoping the NFL would toss in another $100 million to help the Chargers get a new stadium in San Diego. However, the sound defeat of Measure C in November suggests that taxpayers are not eager to subsidize the Chargers.

ESPN reporter Jim Trotter, formerly of the Union-Tribune, said today that a "Hail Mary is developing to keep the Chargers in SD at least two more years" and that the San Diego situation is believed to be "salvageable," while Oakland's is not.

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The NFL didn't check those little calendar facts when they set the deadline last year? Roger Goodell should have his pay docked for that oversight.

But wait, Presidents Day is coming up. The NFL will decide to give Spanos more delays to accommodate other holidays... Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day...

Ponzi: Goodell was making $45 million a year a couple of years ago. There was a big public stink, and the NFL reduced it. I don't know what he is making now. Too much, obviously. Best, Don Bauder

I just think it's funny that the 55 year figure was mentioned--when they have been here 56 years.

aardvark: This is the beginning of a new year. Sometimes such confusion arises. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: Yes, I am just about to post a similar report. The Chargers are said to leave, possibly making the announcement as early as Thursday. I will post the comment below. Remember: this has been said before. Best, Don Bauder

NFL SOURCES SAY THAT CHARGERS HEADED TO LOS ANGELES, MAY MAKE ANNOUNCEMENT AS EARLY AS THURSDAY. "Chargers plan to announce move from San Diego to Los Angeles," blares an ESPN.com headline this evening (January 11). ESPN says the Chargers have notified National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league owners of their intent to move to Los Angeles for the 2017 season, quoting "sources."

But hold on. Such headlines have hit before. So-called "sources" have said this before. ESPN hedges, "But as one league source cautioned Wednesday night, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos had yet to send a formal relocation letter to the NFL or notify public officials in Los Angeles or San Diego of the team's move, or even tell the members of the San Diego organization about his plans. The source insisted nothing is final."

The ESPN story says the reason for the announcement now is that Spanos "believes he needs to start fighting for the Los Angeles market as soon as possible, according to sources."

Two Chargers players seemed to believe that the team is moving, but a reporter may have generated such a response in the way the question was framed. Best, Don Bauder

Yeah one trend that seems to have held in this ongoing saga is that nothing is final until it's final.

This one does seem pretty final. But I guess it could still be some kind of last ditch push from Spanos to get the NFL / Kroenke / SD city / SD county / SDSU / anyone else to throw more money in.

ImJustABill: Spanos made it official this morning. The team is moving to L.A. in 2017.I sent in an item not long ago but it hasn't printed yet. Best, Don Bauder

I understand that a LA sports reporter wrote an OpEd that tells the Chargers that they do not want them in LA. How funny it would be if Deano moved and lost money on the deal. To Dean: Good by and good riddance.

I do hope does lose money on the deal. If reports are true he has to pay 550M relocation fee to move to LA where he will play 2nd fiddle to the lousy LA Rams, and have a much smaller fan base (at least initially) than he did in SD. Plus I don't think he gets as good an agreement with PSL's, naming, etc in LA as he would have received in SD.

Also, based on declining ratings, increasing CTE concerns, less willingness for cities to pay for stadia, the NFL might be peaking and could potentially start to decline.

Will the valuation of the Chargers increase by enough just by moving to LA that it justifies all that? Unfortunately it's still possible. I hope not.

ImJustABill: The Chargers wouldn't have been able to sell personal seat licenses in San Diego. Yet stadium plans counted on money from personal seat licenses. That is just another example of the team's -- and the establishment's -- fundamental dishonesty. Best, Don Bauder

AlexClarke: Spanos said this morning that the team would be called the Los Angeles Chargers. Methinks it would have been smarter, brand-wise, to change the name. Best, Don Baudeer

tell people they can't have something, makes them want it even more, common sense goes out the window.

Murphyjunk: Governments have been subsidizing professional sports teams' stadiums since right after World War II. (Ford Frick, former head of Major League Baseball, suggested it.) The public fell for it. So common sense went out the window decades ago. Best, Don Bauder

The Raiders are in the catbird seat: an approved, highly subsidized deal ready in Las Vegas, Mark Davis owns a large parcel of land between Austin and San Antonio that would accommodate a large stadium complex and adjoining development, etc..., Oakland is still making bids also.... The Chargers appear to have been "outflanked on at least 3 sides... This PR campaign by the Chargers about moving to LA sounds like the Chargers latest, greatest and perhaps last "bluff game" to squeeze a new corporate welfare deal out of the country bumpkins (Republican Mayor and County Board of Supervisors and local downtown business establishment) that run San Diego... If I was a fly on the wall in the meeting between the Mayor and the Chargers then I would probably be hearing something like this: you have ambitions to run for Governor(Faulkner)...Look at how we helped Pete Wilson's career...Play ball with us and we can make good things happen for you etc... I expect some last ditch, grand proposal/final offer from the City/County/Faulkner/Roberts Camps to lock down the Chargers in San Diego. The clock is ticking in LA. I still don't see that the Spanos Family has the cash, relo fees, stadium sharing fees etc to move to LA unless they sell the team of bring aboard a deep pockets partial/owner/partner. The Spanos family appears to be Equity Rich(The Chargers) and cash flow poor to do any significant deal (LA) requiring that they pony up substantial cash money.

SportsFan0000: Spanos announced the team's intention to move to L.A. this morning. I have sent in an item on this with some analysis. It hasn't shown up in print yet. Best, Don Bauder

This smacks of just one more round of brinksmanship by Deano. He's been doing that for years, and it hasn't worked yet. But what else can he do? Offer to build his own stadium with no public subsidy? Nah, nevahappen. But maybe it's for real this time. That dark shadow may soon be gone, and local government can get back to its real role. Kev-boy might, and I stress the might part, start to work on keeping his campaign promises to repair the infrastructure. Hey Kev, how about resurfacing Poway Road through Sabre Springs?

Visduh: You seem to be expecting a politician to keep his campaign promises. Come on. You are one of our savviest posters. You know better than that. Best, Don Bauder

I expect nothing much from Kev. And I did heavily emphasize "might" in my comment. It would be such a pleasant surprise to have him and the council decide at long last to go to work on the rotten infrastructure. But now that he's moving on, his newest folly is convention center expansion. Is that any less foolish that all this crap about a new stadium and keeping the Chargers?

SportsFan0000: It was pretty risky to write that column right before Spanos had a meeting with his employees. I would say the column backfired. But it was hedged. Best, Don Bauder

SportsFan0000: Logistics will be a problem of moving. Best, Don Bauder

I am sure many people on these boards would help load the moving vans. Although I read that SD Moving companies are refusing to take the deal.

I'm sure this has been covered before. But is there any real reason that Dean couldn't have just borrowed the rest of the money he needed to build the stadium? Are there NFL rules against that?

ImJustABill: The NFL is queasy about a team borrowing money. I doubt if he could have borrowed the rest of the money, but I don't have the annual income figures for debt coverage. Best, Don Bauder

Chargers and Raiders were planning on borrowing a lot of dough to build the Carson stadium...But, it may have just been a "decoy deal" or "bait and switch" deal as me, you and others on these boards have pointed out.

"... relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season..." And some simple changes to social media accounts and a 5 dollar logo. This means we can enjoy the more brinkmanship this spring and summer.

It's not real until the Chargers office is emptied and the last moving van has left. It's probably not going to be over when they play in LA. The NFL will leave all kinds of holes in the contracts that will allow Spanos to keep Charger fans hopes up all the way from Inglewood.

Ponzi: I would not be surprised if some doors will be kept open. Best, Don Bauder

Paul Regis 1 and 2: Yes, we have covered the move announcement, although there could be some surprises along the way. Plaschke is a good columnist -- no argument there. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: You mean this smacks of those "Going Out of Business Sales" held every year? You could be right, but I think this one has a ring of finality. Best, Don Bauder

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