Adios Chargers: Don’t Let the Door Hit You Where the Good Lord Split You

by on January 13, 2017 · 5 comments

in Culture, History, Media, Politics, San Diego, Sports

Charger memorabilia burns. Screen capture from msnbc

By Doug Porter

The San Diego Chargers are headed to Los Angeles. Halleluja!

“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles,” team owner Dean Spanos wrote in a press release and letter to season ticket holders. “Today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.”

The slightly less than 44% of the voters who supported the team’s plan for a downtown stadium in the last election combined with the ‘only’ $375 million final offer involving monies from the County, the City and San Diego State University for some future venue were certainly factors in the decision to move.

First came the news that the National Football league was extending the window for allowing Spanos to make a decision about moving. It seems the billionaire owners didn’t want any announcements competing with the playoff games schedule for this weekend. Ratings & good will, ya’ know.

Spanos, who’s not part of the NFL-owners in-crowd, apparently said ‘screw that’ and chose today to make his announcement. I’ll bet ESPN learned about this decision about a nanosecond after it was conveyed to the league office.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer didn’t get the courtesy of a phone call. His office sent out a press release announcing an 11 am discussion/press conference with ‘Civic Leaders’ this morning. Cue the hand wringing. It should be fun to watch him squirm his way through the State of the City address. Who knows, maybe he’ll promise to use the $12 million termination fee the Chargers owe the city to help the homeless?

Spanos was apparently in such a hurry to share his news that he overlooked contacting the Los Angeles Rams franchise. The Chargers have agreed to become tenants in a $2.66 billion stadium Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building in Inglewood. The team will be playing elsewhere while the stadium is being built.

What’s left of the Chargers’ fan base (the team had the second-worst average attendance in the NFL) is no doubt outraged. As TV crews desperately searched for those outraged fans, they had to settle for filming small piles of team swag dumped on the ground.

The faux fan loyalty desired by billionaire team owners wasn’t enough to let them pad their wealth at public expense, so they’re gone. Hopefully, there will now be enough oxygen in the room for actual matters of governance to get the attention they deserve.

A Few Reactions

A local –I’m assuming former– fan made a video of himself egging Chargers headquarters on Wednesday night

Union-Tribune columnist Bryce Miller:

The modern-day NFL, however, isn’t about loyalty — and rooted far more often in financial lust than anything masquerading as affection. It’s about the next business move, the bigger stadium, the better buzz, the bulging bottom line.

When the editor of Forbes told the Washington Post last January that a move to Inglewood could double the Chargers’ valuation — rocketing its bankable potential into the league’s Top 5 — the reasons to gas up the moving trucks revealed themselves amid an ocean of black ink.

San Diego’s tailgating-est corners can feel sad, but shouldn’t be surprised.

The LA Chargers are already soliciting $100 deposits to join the waiting list for season tickets, though I don’t know how much of a welcome they’ll be getting.

From Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times:


From the new LA Chargers website

The good news about the Chargers’ move is that nobody will have to spend much money on a welcome parade. It will be a short one. There will be one limo carrying Spanos and one Brink’s truck carrying his loot, both moving hurriedly up that freeway ahead of the muffled San Diego cries, all of Los Angeles peering briefly out the windows before closing their blinds.


This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at our associated San Diego Free Press.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Jack Hammer January 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I wish someone would build me a stadium so I could have my hired goons run into each other for money… Maybe I will try LA.


Local One January 13, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Given the well documented and poor economics of a publicly subsidized stadium, it begs the question why the Mayor and City Council spent so much of their time over the past year, in reality being bamboozled by their greedy campaign donor Spanos, but none-the-less focused on building a Convadium rather than roads and support services for the homeless? The Mayor’s announcement this week that he “now” supports a hotel tax to build the expansion of the convention center and help the homeless is about two years too late. You can bet which goal gets accomplished, like building the convention center expansion, but somehow hotel tax money for the homeless will somehow never materialize.


Wireless Mike January 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Good Riddance!


Local One January 13, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Kevin Faulconer and all those other politicians standing up there yesterday crying about the loss of the Chargers really have no shame. These are the very same politicians that tried to shovel public assets to that billionaire, EVEN AFTER, the public voted No on Measure C. Despite that vote, our Mayor claims to have made some side deal with Dean Spanos that had no legal enforceability and would leave the City holding the bag. Further, Kevin Failconer wasted millions of dollars of our tax money for a rushed and bogus EIR report on the Qualcomm site only to satisfy his campaign contributor Dean Spanos.

Be attentive and aware folks because these same greed heads are licking their chops to divvy up the Qualcomm site with the usual big money insiders and developers (i.e. Fred Maas) receiving all the benefits. After SDSU offered $100 million to the Chargers last week, they obviously don’t need my alumni contribution, and should friggin’ quit calling my house trying to solicit more contributions for SDSU to give away to billionaires.

Lastly, the opening of the Qualcomm site presents the perfect trifecta for those same crying politicians who received payola from Dean Spanos, but alas failed in that bid, so now can receive a second round of payola from the new development interests. You just know that those same politicians have Fred Maas personal phone number on speed dial on their personal iPhones….just in case opportunity knocks, like right now.


retired botanist January 14, 2017 at 9:31 am

Why not re-purpose Qualcomm?
1. Take back the Sea World land (and make SW get rid of all the animals).
2. Let SW lease Qualcomm to use as a theme park.
3. Return Sea World site to the proper coastline it should be.

Sounds good to me :-)


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