Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
Spanos Really Wants L.A., Says Yahoo! Sports
In a Sept. 3 article, Yahoo! Sports quotes a National Football League owner saying that Chargers's head Dean Spanos's "dream is to go to L.A., and it may happen." The writer says that a few years ago, the other NFL owners would have pressured Spanos to sell the team before such a departure could be pulled off. Now Spanos has maneuvered himself into a better position. The owner's pronouncement to Yahoo! is hardly a surprise, because for almost a decade it has been obvious that Spanos was going down two tracks: he coveted L.A., but wanted to retain his options in San Diego in case the league stymied him. The statements by mouthpiece Mark Fabiani have unintentionally indicated this was the Chargers' strategy. In the article, the NFL owner makes a preposterous statement, "Without a stadium, he [Spanos] realizes they can't compete [financially] and he has legitimately tried tried to get one built." Ha! The writer says that Spanos's "sincere efforts to make a stadium work in the San Diego area have been met with civic indifference." Ha! Ha! The facts are that the Chargers's so-called "sincere efforts" have been a joke. Beginning with the idea to build a stadium at the Qualcomm site, through Chula Vista, through Oceanside, and now downtown, the team has offered half-baked, financially-unworkable plans for a stadium. That has been obvious. The current downtown proposal is the silliest of all: asking a financially insolvent city to plunk at least $600 million to $700 million of taxpayer money into a tiny site is intended to be an insult. Such proposals haven't met with civic indifference: they have been met with jaw-dropping incredulity, except at Centre City Development Corp., which would blow any amount of taxpayer money on a downtown project that would line developers' pockets.
San Diegans should take this article seriously: the Chargers DO covet L.A. and have for years. My guess is that back in the late 1990s when the team promised to remain two decades if the stadium could be made football-only, a relocation to L.A. was already the long term strategy.
This Yahoo! article was quoted this morning in the Voice of San Diego. To the best of my knowledge, other media didn't pick it up first.