The Chargers Future in San Diego: A ‘C’ Change

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Okay, we’ve all had a chance to digest the most bizarre of political events, perhaps in history. One vote that didn’t surprise anyone was the rejection of Proposition C here is San Diego; the measure that would have allowed the city to increase the hotel tax by 4% to pay off the bond it would issue to finance a new stadium/convention center annex.

I’m going to get right to it. Yes, the Chargers and the Spanos family have handled this whole affair in a way only they can, badly. Yes, there was only the very slightest chance (see presidential results) that the measure would receive the necessary margins to succeed, even though it made total sense. C’mon, who among us have even looked at the hotel tax when booking hotel reservations, much less have it make us decide not to travel somewhere, as the San Diego hospitality lobby claimed.

In this writer’s opinion the situation is clear; the Chargers don’t want to move to Los Angeles. There are three reasons:

  • It will be very difficult to cultivate a fan base in that weirdness known as the LA Basin, much less with the Rams now ensconced…
  • The NFL wants to keep football in San Diego. My sources tell me they were absolutely ecstatic about the city during the two Super Bowls that were played here. The only thing keeping them from holding more is the state of the stadium. Consequently, Spanos got handed his hat when the owners met on the subject earlier this year. My sources also tell me that it will cost the Chargers 500 million dollars to move to LA, where they’ll share a venue, versus a 350 million dollar contribution if they stay and have their own state-of-the-art facility. This was no accident; they NFL wanted to motivate the Spanos family to make it work to stay.
  • The Spanos clan never wanted to leave San Diego, even though their egos may have gotten in the way of that at times. Imagine you had a net worth of tens-of-millions of dollars. Would you want to live in LA, or San Diego? C’mon, that place is a toilet…

So, even though local media pundits have trashed Dean Spanos for his statement after the measure failed, what he said was the truth. The Chargers simply have to fulfill certain criteria to keep the LA option available. It would be stupid and incredibly bad business to do so. Why the local media is in their face about that is typical, but totally unfounded. But trust me, the Chargers will try another method of getting this done, before they bail. Making the Playoffs would definitely help. After Tuesday, maybe even that may be possible…

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