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What about that Spanos money?

Chargers owners' $200M for new stadium could empty their bank account

The City of San Diego has an infrastructure deficit of well over $2 billion, and that doesn't include critical projects tied to the water shortage, climate change, and many other things. You can easily double that $2 billion. Realistically, San Diego also has a significant pension deficit. It is figuring that the fund will grow by 7.75 percent a year, which is a big expectation.

An equally pressing question is how much the Spanos family can afford to put into a new stadium. Forbes magazine lists the net worth of the Spanos family at $1.2 billion. Forbes lists the Chargers as worth $995 million, or a hair short of $1 billion. That leaves $200 million and a tiny bit of change that the family has, not counting the Chargers.

The team has been saying that the Spanos family will put $200 million into a new stadium. Unless Forbes is wrong, or unless the money will be borrowed, the family will be putting substantially all its chips into a new stadium. (Of course, the team will count naming and advertising rights as its own contribution, but even if it puts in $100 million in cash, that's a lot of what Forbes says the family is worth, minus the value of the Chargers.)

Dean Spanos

Dean Spanos has been quoted saying that his father, family patriarch Alex Spanos, now in his 90s, has "severe dementia."

Alex bought 60 percent of the Chargers in 1984 for $48.3 million, and over the next ten years increased his stake to 97 percent. In 2010, it was announced that Spanos would sell a minority interest in the team, but it is not clear that such a transaction ever took place. On the Chargers website, under "Ownership," are three names: Alex Spanos, owner; Dean Spanos, chairman of the board and president, and Michael Spanos, executive vice president. The minority share was expected to be part of a move to Los Angeles. Such a move hasn't taken place and may not.

Right now, there are three billionaires that want to build stadiums in Los Angeles. Here are the Forbes estimates of their wealth: Edward Roski Jr., $3.7 billion; Stanley Kroenke, $5.8 billion (and he is married to a Walton who has almost that much; and Philip Anschutz, $10.3 billion. If the Chargers move to L.A., they may have to sell a controlling interest in the team. The bottom line is that the Spanos family wants to sit at the poker table with a bunch of multi-billionaires and it appears as though they don't have the chips.

In 2010, when Forbes listed the Spanos family's net worth as $1.1 billion, it added that the wealth had grown by $100 million in the past year "as real estate loses [were] offset by increasing value of [the] football squad."

The A.G. Spanos Companies, a large apartment-builder based in Stockton, is privately held, and results are not made public. But what's known suggests the company may still have problems, despite the semi-recovery in real estate since the 2008/2009 crash.

For example, the company has been a big builder in Las Vegas. As of the third quarter of 2014, fully 27.8 percent of Vegas mortgages were upside down — the debt was higher than the home's value. That was the highest underwater rate in the nation. In November of last year, the median home value was $190,000, down from the peak of about $300,000 in 2006/2007. In 2013, the median gross rent had declined from the previous year.

The A.G. Spanos website boasts that "the Preserve," a project in Stockton, will be "the biggest project we have ever undertaken." Stockton, however, has its problems: its median household income in 2013 was $51,432, compared to California's $60,190. Real (inflation-adjusted) per capita income was $21,397, compared with California's $29,513. Stockton went into bankruptcy in 2013.

National Football League rules discourage the relocations of teams. The Los Angeles Rams had to pay $29 million to the league to move to St. Louis almost two decades ago. However, the league definitely wants one or two teams in Los Angeles and would probably waive a stiff relocation fee.

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The City of San Diego has an infrastructure deficit of well over $2 billion, and that doesn't include critical projects tied to the water shortage, climate change, and many other things. You can easily double that $2 billion. Realistically, San Diego also has a significant pension deficit. It is figuring that the fund will grow by 7.75 percent a year, which is a big expectation.

An equally pressing question is how much the Spanos family can afford to put into a new stadium. Forbes magazine lists the net worth of the Spanos family at $1.2 billion. Forbes lists the Chargers as worth $995 million, or a hair short of $1 billion. That leaves $200 million and a tiny bit of change that the family has, not counting the Chargers.

The team has been saying that the Spanos family will put $200 million into a new stadium. Unless Forbes is wrong, or unless the money will be borrowed, the family will be putting substantially all its chips into a new stadium. (Of course, the team will count naming and advertising rights as its own contribution, but even if it puts in $100 million in cash, that's a lot of what Forbes says the family is worth, minus the value of the Chargers.)

Dean Spanos

Dean Spanos has been quoted saying that his father, family patriarch Alex Spanos, now in his 90s, has "severe dementia."

Alex bought 60 percent of the Chargers in 1984 for $48.3 million, and over the next ten years increased his stake to 97 percent. In 2010, it was announced that Spanos would sell a minority interest in the team, but it is not clear that such a transaction ever took place. On the Chargers website, under "Ownership," are three names: Alex Spanos, owner; Dean Spanos, chairman of the board and president, and Michael Spanos, executive vice president. The minority share was expected to be part of a move to Los Angeles. Such a move hasn't taken place and may not.

Right now, there are three billionaires that want to build stadiums in Los Angeles. Here are the Forbes estimates of their wealth: Edward Roski Jr., $3.7 billion; Stanley Kroenke, $5.8 billion (and he is married to a Walton who has almost that much; and Philip Anschutz, $10.3 billion. If the Chargers move to L.A., they may have to sell a controlling interest in the team. The bottom line is that the Spanos family wants to sit at the poker table with a bunch of multi-billionaires and it appears as though they don't have the chips.

In 2010, when Forbes listed the Spanos family's net worth as $1.1 billion, it added that the wealth had grown by $100 million in the past year "as real estate loses [were] offset by increasing value of [the] football squad."

The A.G. Spanos Companies, a large apartment-builder based in Stockton, is privately held, and results are not made public. But what's known suggests the company may still have problems, despite the semi-recovery in real estate since the 2008/2009 crash.

For example, the company has been a big builder in Las Vegas. As of the third quarter of 2014, fully 27.8 percent of Vegas mortgages were upside down — the debt was higher than the home's value. That was the highest underwater rate in the nation. In November of last year, the median home value was $190,000, down from the peak of about $300,000 in 2006/2007. In 2013, the median gross rent had declined from the previous year.

The A.G. Spanos website boasts that "the Preserve," a project in Stockton, will be "the biggest project we have ever undertaken." Stockton, however, has its problems: its median household income in 2013 was $51,432, compared to California's $60,190. Real (inflation-adjusted) per capita income was $21,397, compared with California's $29,513. Stockton went into bankruptcy in 2013.

National Football League rules discourage the relocations of teams. The Los Angeles Rams had to pay $29 million to the league to move to St. Louis almost two decades ago. However, the league definitely wants one or two teams in Los Angeles and would probably waive a stiff relocation fee.

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Comments
72

So Spanos is football poor? Sheesh. Maybe we should take up a collection of the tax payers assets and make him feel better.

Jan. 17, 2015

No, I think you can say the Spanos gang is football rich, otherwise (relatively) poor. Sort of like the saying of being "asset rich and cash poor." Don's point is a good one. Do they want to sink most of their assets into a stadium--even though it is a small contribution of the total--that makes the gang, er, family, even more dependent on a sports franchise?

And as far as the big development in Stockton, I'd not want to double down on anything in California's Central Valley until the water supply is assured. It isn't and it may never be.

Jan. 17, 2015

Visduh: Excellent points. If I were a developer, I wouldn't put my biggest project in history in Stockton. It certainly appears that in the last several years, at least, the Spanos family has been much more successful in football than in real estate. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

MichaelValentine: That's what the Chargers already want. They want taxpayer money to pay for the stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

more like poor in moral character

Jan. 18, 2015

Murphyjunk: Since I believe that pro team owners who use taxpayer money to build their stadium are running a scam, I can't disagree with you. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

This raises an interesting point. (Thanks for the data, Don.)

If the Spanos family is that cash poor (by NFL standards), can we even trust them if they say they will pay $200 million cash toward a stadium? That might be about as reliable as you or I promising to pay $200 million cash toward a stadium.

Also, $200 million is not nearly enough to ask of the Chargers. The Vikings' ownership is contributing over $500 million of its own money toward the new Minnesota stadium.

So, it looks like we have a situation where the Chargers' pledge is both far short of what the city should expect AND an unreliable pledge given the Spanos family finances.

Jan. 18, 2015

Matt101: Right you are. The $200 million the Chargers say they will put in the pot include naming and advertising rights which actually should be considered the city's contribution. My guess is that in actuality, any cash infusion by the Spanos family would be $100 million or much less, and it really can't afford $100 million.

As Judith Grant Long says, the cost estimates by the team and the city boosters will probably be 25 percent lower than the actual cost. In the case of the Chargers, it would probably be more than 25 percent lower. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

I'm not a billionaire, snort/snark, but wouldn't it make more economic sense for the Chargers to just ask the city to once more update and repair QUALCOMM then to engage in this crap shoot?

By staying in place at a much lower price they preserve the value of their NFL investment and preserve that which they love most, money.

Jan. 19, 2015

MichaelValentine: Actually, that would not be a bad idea from the Chargers' standpoint. They are making good money at Qualcomm -- very good money. If they got the city to put money into the stadium, the team's take might increase. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

The other 3 percent is owned by George Pernicano (of Pernicano's restaurants).

Jan. 17, 2015

dwbat: At one point, retired TV executive Bill Fox owned 1 percent. I couldn't find out whether Fox sold to Pernicano, or to Spanos, or what happened. But it was not important to the blog item. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Forty years ago, ol' George (Baffi) Pernicano was supposed to own 2% of the franchise. He closed up his two restaurants in Hillcrest almost thirty years ago and then refused to sell them, lease them, or do anything with them. In that, he came across as a curmudgeon and obstructionist. The business community of Hillcrest was tearing its collective hair out, wanting that property in use. Georgie the Jerk just refused. Finally in the past few months, the properties went on the market. The family spoke for ol' George, who gave no quotes, and said they planned to allow the land to go for its best use and assist the business district. They will undoubtedly clean up, taking millions from the sale.

The small slice of the Chargers that Pernicano owned might explain his intransigent attitude about reusing his two eateries. Heck, if the value of his interest in the team was advancing by leaps and bounds every year, there was no need to fret the buildings in Hillcrest. 2% of a billion dollars ain't chicken feed. For those of you who are mathematically challenged, that adds up to $20,000,000. If he has 3% of the franchise, well, you can do the math.

Not bad for a po' boy from Detroit who is credited with introducing pizza to San Diego.

Jan. 17, 2015

Visduh: Oh yes, those restaurants stood empty, repugnant eyesores, for so long. Was George so smart that he knew real estate prices would soar, and he would be better off letting them sit there? I wonder. He possibly could have sold them long ago and reinvested the money and made more. He certainly incurred the wrath of his former neighbors. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

A jerk is a jerk is a jerk. That sums up Pernicano.

Jan. 17, 2015

Visduh: The epithet "jerk" describes some others involved in this Chargers attempted heist. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

He DOES have 3%, not 2%. He reportedly had 7% back when the Chargers moved to town from LA. And the family is asking $12 million for the Hillcrest property.

Jan. 17, 2015

dwbat: Do you know what happened to Fox's 1 percent? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

No

Jan. 18, 2015

dwbat: Neither do I. And I really don't think it's an important piece of this puzzle. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

circuses for overpaid yahoos! the morons should spend the money on their children! or more toy-haulers, ski boats, and quads. what? they're reproducing?

this is what we get for not educating children--for FREE you say? CERTAINLY--for FREE!

Jan. 17, 2015

ratter: Alex Spanos spent his money on his children and grandchildren. He gave them a pro football team. Now they are making a mess of it. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Thanks for your boldness to report, Don. We should just hand the Spanos Mafia the keys to the city, since it seems this cabal already controls our politicos, and is overly influenced by those that benefit only by having money show up in their pockets.

Jan. 17, 2015

Darren: I'm not sure the Spanos clan controls the city council. It may have some members dancing on a string, but I have a hunch it may not even have a majority, at least at this point. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Don: In spite of all the kicking and screaming by Fabiani, and in spite of the so-called "experts" telling us what a great deal for the city a new stadium is, I have come to the realization that it isn't going to happen. I was just laughing at Fabiani earlier this week, when he was going off on Steve Cushman and Kevin Faulconer for choosing him to whatever committee Fabiani thinks he was appointed to (since Faulconer and Cushman both claim he was not appointed to any stadium task force). Of course, the convention center doesn't need any expansion either, but that's not what this story is about.

Jan. 17, 2015

aardvark: Fabiani's kicking and screaming was plotted in advance. There are two possibilities: 1. All along, Fabiani's job has been to alienate San Diegans, so the team can get out of town without lawsuits and people running to Congress; 2. Somehow the Chargers brass figured it had enough public support to play hardball. If the answer is number 2, the Chargers were probably dead wrong. At least, I hope so. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

His mouthing off was a calculated risk, probably carefully scripted, and intended to have a specific reaction among members of the public. In the process he either alienated Faulconer completely by attempting to intimidate him, or has managed to intimidate him. It was an appeal, of some sort, to the sports fanatics in the county. Kev's actions in the coming few weeks will tell the story.

Jan. 18, 2015

Visduh: Without a doubt, it was calculated. Fabiani's remarks were instantly put on the Chargers' website. At this point I don't know whether Fabiani alienated or intimidated Faulconer. Nor do I know how well the remarks went over with the San Diego public. My guess is that Fabiani turned many in the public against the Chargers -- but that might have been what the team wanted him to do.

However, if the objective was alienating the public -- as Fabiani has been doing for years -- the Chargers better have a deal with another city in their pockets. And I question whether they have a deal in L.A. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Thanks Don. Maybe the tide in our city will finally change with city council, so we are not continually held hostage by these $pecial interests groups that use most major news media to fear us that if we lose the Chargers, our city will fail (or fall into the beautiful Pacific). If private groups, rich cats, and the ticket-buyers want to fund the new stadium, that is fine, but don't burden the taxpayers with funding pro sports (and all the beneficiaries), and no tax add-ons for those that stay in hotels or want to enjoy the Gaslamp even if they could care less about a new stadium there (we went through this with Petco Park).

Jan. 17, 2015

Darren: The problem with recruiting some rich folks to invest in a football stadium is that such football stadiums are lousy investments. That is why owners get the taxpayers to pick up 70 to 80 percent of the tab. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Let investors pay for a new stadium not the City or the taxpayers.

Jan. 18, 2015

AlexClarke: Again, stadiums are poor investments. So it is hard to get private capital to get aboard. How do you make money on a stadium that is used 10 times a year (slightly more if it is involved in playoffs.) Sure, there can be basketball games and rock concerts and tractor pulls, but there are already two facilities (Qualcomm and Petco) that can be used for some of these. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

LOL, it seems that when something gains no investor interest some idiot city clown steps up and sells it to the taxpayer.

Jan. 18, 2015

AlexClarke: What selling points do the Chargers have? They have been to one Super Bowl in their existence, and they got slaughtered in that game. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Some stories say the relocation fee will be $250M.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2014/12/11/why-the-time-is-right-for-an-nfl-team-in-los-angeles/

I'm not so sure the NFL has really wanted to have a team in L.A. The constant threat of teams moving to L.A. has been a goose which has laid many taxpayer-provided golden eggs for the NFL.

Maybe they've gotten all the eggs out of that goose that she can lay - as most teams have gotten taxpayer-funded new stadiums or big stadium improvements during the time that L.A. has been without a team.

But I think over the last 20 years the NFL has made more money with L.A. vacant than they otherwise would have.

Jan. 18, 2015

It is comical to see different figures for the so-called relocation fee. For a long time, the only figure I had ever seen was $400 mil. You would think the NFL could just come out and say what the actual fee is--if there really is one. And if the league is so desperate to get back into the LA market, why would they charge ANY team a relocation fee?

Jan. 18, 2015

I claim that for the last 20 years or so most of the other owners have benefited from the lack of an LA team. It's given the other owners a big bargaining chip in their stadium negotiations. How much has that been worth to the other owners? Who knows, maybe $100M/ owner???

Now that almost every team has a new or upgraded stadium there isn't much incentive for the NFL to keep LA open anymore.

Jan. 18, 2015

aardvark: Relocation fees are only assessed when the league (that is, the owners) disapproves of the proposed move. The owners don't disapprove of any relocations to Los Angeles. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

ImJustABill: The NFL has relocation fees -- one of several methods for discouraging teams to move. However, in the case of LA, such a fee would probably be waived. The NFL wants at least one team in LA and preferably two. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

I think the NFL would waive a relocation fee for the Rams given that their owner would be building a new stadium in LA (Inglewood) with his own cash.

The league might not waive the hefty fee for the Raiders or Chargers, who would only be tenants in the Rams' new stadium. But, I could see a scenario where the NFL is so eager to get new ownership for a team (especially the Raiders) that they would offer a new owner a no-fee relocation to LA provided that the new ownership is satisfactory and sufficiently wealthy.

Jan. 18, 2015

Matt101: We know the Spanos family does not have the kind of wealth that the new breed of NFL owners has. I think that is also true of the Davis family in Oakland.

The bottom line is that neither the City of San Diego nor the Spanos family can afford a stadium in San Diego. I suspect that is true of the Davis family in Oakland, too. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

ImJustABill: I believe the NFL definitely wants one and preferably two teams in L.A. The league would waive a relocation fee, I believe. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Why would the NFL want 2 teams in LA if they are unwilling to expand the league

Jan. 19, 2015

rshimizu12: The NFL wouldn't have to expand the league if two teams relocated to Los Angeles. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

ImJustABill: There is no doubt that in Major League Baseball, Tampa was used as a stalking horse by teams wanting a fat subsidy from their home cities. But I don't think that is true of Los Angeles. The NFL wants one or two teams there. It's too rich a market to ignore. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

aardvark: The charge for the LA Rams moving to St. Louis -- a move the league frowned upon -- was $29 million. Again, I don't think there would be any fee for teams moving to LA, because the league wants teams there. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

As stupid as it sounds I think the NFL wants a team in London more than a team in LA.

Jan. 18, 2015

ImJustABill: LA is the second largest TV market and has a surfeit of multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires -- the exact profile of an ideal site for one or two teams. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

According to a recent article http://www.cnbc.com/id/101664459#. London has 72 Billionaires (and that's a billion POUNDS not billion dollars) - more than any other city in the world.

The NFL is already the #1 sport in the US by most measures so they don't have that much room to expand. But the NFL does want to expand internationally. Personally, I would think expanding internationally into Canada and South America would make more sense because you don't have the difficult time zone shift. But the NFL has had increasing number of games played in London - so I think they are serious about expanding there.

Jan. 18, 2015

ImJustABill: Yes, London is an international money center that creates exceedingly rich people. But if the NFL moved there, it would be sucking hind teat to soccer and cricket, and perhaps rugby. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Robert Dean: San Diego needs more people with your attitude. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Mandy Barre: Au contraire. The article you cite basically says what the Reader has been saying for years. To each his own. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

I'm confused again. Which way saves Faulconer's political career. I assume he stays loyal to the Filner-killers (Manchester ?) But wants to go with the LA move of Chargers for those other guys. Coffee's not kicking in.

Jan. 18, 2015

shirleyberan: No mayor wants to be in office when a professional team departs. However, Faulconer knows there is no money for the Chargers, particularly since the Spanos family doesn't have the funds to put much in the pot. Will this change his mind? I don't know. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

I guess I mean, who are the main "downtown welfare" crowd, not Spanos?

Jan. 18, 2015

shirleyberan: The corporate welfare crowd generally consists of the business community and the politicians and bureaucrats who steer spending toward so-called "public-private" schemes, largely downtown.

There is a bit of a split in this crowd now. The hoteliers, generally speaking, do not want the domed stadium that would serve as an extension of the convention center. They know convention planners want a contiguous expansion. However, most still have not realized the obvious: convention centers are vastly overbuilt in the U.S. That's why centers, including San Diego's, are slashing prices. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

So that would be anybody who can get their mits on money for their own benefit that should be used for the public well-being.

Jan. 18, 2015

shirleyberan: You have it right. The corporate welfare crowd wants public money to enhance its own wealth, not to serve public needs. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

The UT - San Diego has features an informal poll on their website polling readers on the "best public investment." I figure the UT already knows what the poll results will be. Thankfully, voters will be the ones deciding a new stadium.

Jan. 19, 2015

Ponzi: This is classic. Look how the word "expansion" is spelled. No wonder more than twice as many respondents want money spent on a Chargers stadium than on education. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

Guess the hoax-pollsters couldn't spell infrastructure, maybe accidentally left that out, Or, they find that frivolousness unconcerning.

Jan. 19, 2015

shirleyberan: If you can't spell "expansion," you probably can't spell "infrastructure."

Jan. 19, 2015

Mr. Bauder, Please keep your readers informed regarding the use of taxpayer funds or bonds for any stadium. Fresno city built a baseball stadium for the Giants farm team. It has been a financial circus. The Giants are no longer around. The casino that paid for naming rights has been shut down by gaming commission after two factions couldn't , wouldn't proved proper audit trail. One faction recruited retired LE in an hostile takeover. Along with Mike Ditka interview. "I won't allow my son to play football". Perhaps San Diego officials should attempt to get the Clippers back! I used to be a huge football fan, boxing too. Then I saw what it has done to Muhammad Ali and countless football players. Education should be #1.

Jan. 19, 2015

Daniel_Torres: I have not heard that Fresno story. Since I try to follow the misadventures of subsidized sports stadiums, I should have known about it. Did Mike Ditka actually say that? If so, congratulations to him. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

Mr. Bauder, Bryant Gumble HBO real sports episode will air today with Mike Ditka. His players respected him. Now I see why. Hopefully parents will adhere his advice.

Jan. 20, 2015

Daniel_Torres: Let us know what Ditka says. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2015

Mr. Bauder, HBO has a 2 minute clip for free on its website today commemorating the 1985 Bears. Coach Ditka is the one who asked Bryant Gumble the question if he had a 8 year old son would he allow him to play football. Bryant Gumble said no, would you? Coach Ditka said " no and that's sad because football has been my life" QB Mc Mahon is in bad shape mentally. I don't get HBO but you can see the clip for free on HBO internet. As many know these men are used to mental and physical strength. God bless them.

Jan. 20, 2015

Daniel_Torres: Ditka's comment is a breakthrough. Yes, I have heard that the former Bears quarterback McMahon has severe dementia problems resulting from his playing football. He had such swagger when he played. No more, apparently. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2015

Daniel_Torres - read Susan Luzzaro's article(s) on South Bay school administration misuse of funds and you'll know why people around here won't vote for more money for schools for a long time.

Jan. 19, 2015

shirleyberan: The Reader's Susan Luzzaro has done an excellent job following that mess. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

Don, I am not sure the first paragraph poses a question. It does however outline realistically the state of San Diego's economy. Additionally, it should be included in every tweet, post, blog or article about the proposed stadium. Also it should be stated before every meeting Faulkner's proposed exploratory committee will have! I believe the pressing question is how much should the Spanos family contribute? Is it also your article's implication? Using their Chargers ownership stake as collateral I believe the Spanos family could obtain a loan. As such they would not touch their $200 million. In your opinion what loan amount could the Spanos family obtain? I believe the NFL, the Spanos family and major businesses/sponsors should take on 80% of the financial burden/risk. They will directly benefit when the Chargers net worth inevitably increases. I recommend selling personal seat licenses, (PSL) to raise the remaining $200 million. Keep up the good work. I always enjoy your thoughtful articles.

Jan. 19, 2015

Cruzinspeed: I agree the first paragraph doesn't seem to go with the rest of the blog. The reason is that the headline I wrote indicated that neither the City of San Diego nor the Spanos family can afford a subsidized stadium for the Chargers. The headline got changed -- improved, actually, but that left the first paragraph hanging there.

Of course the Spanos family could get a loan for $200 million. But if the family is worth $1.2 billion and $1 billion of that is the value of the Chargers, the family would be nuts to get a loan of that magnitude. In any case, I have been stressing that owners never put in the pot what they claim they will. That is because they count naming and advertising rights as their own contribution. This is a scam since the city really should be taking credit for those rights.

There is no way in the world that the Spanos family and the league would pay for 80 percent of the stadium. The NFL would have to plunk down at least $800 million. You can forget that. It won't happen. If the league will loan money in Southern California, it will almost certainly be for a stadium in Los Angeles.

The Chargers are not trying to sell personal seat licenses. They are at least smart enough to know that there aren't that many high-income/high wealth people in San Diego. Luxury suites and seats would be a smaller source of revenue in San Diego, too. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2015

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