1-Man’s Opinion Column-Thursday “Chargers Fans-You do the Math”

Posted by on January 14th, 2016  •  2 responses  • 

“You do the Math”





You Do the Math”

You’re a rich man. You have all the luxuries of life, home, vintage cars, a favorite ‘toy’, an NFL football team, much of it given to you by your patriarchal father. And you’re unhappy.



Unhappy, because whatever the dollar figure you are, your net worth, it never seems to be enough.



Forbes Magazine says your net worth is 1.1B. Granted it’s not equal to the founder of Facebook, or the legendary Paul Allen of computer fame, or even a compatriot like Jerry Jones, but that’s alot of money in the bank.



So Dean Spanos, owner of Bentley’s and Mercedes and more, owner of a palatial estate, with his Lear Jet, and multiple business ownerships, wants more. He wants LA type money to be generated by his Chargers football franchise.



The Bolts become a bargaining chip, in a potential move to Los Angeles, where revenue streams could be triple what they are in San Diego. Sounds great. The glitzy stadium designs, the meetings, hanging with the important people, must be something special.



Of course he fails to realize he is moving into a market resided in by big boys. You’ve heard of Philip Anschutz. You know about the history of the Lakers, the legacy of the Dodgers, the growth of the Clippers. There are two NHL teams to deal with. The NBA has 2. Two great big time college programs USC and UCLA. It’s not an open market, and it’s a really different market. And now you have another competitor, a possible business partner in Stan Kroenke, he of Hollywood Park fame, who is officially in LA already.


So what does Spanos do next? Rebuffed in attempts to be a ‘player’ with his own stadium in Carson, he found out the cruelty of secret ballots, that he doesn’t have as many friends as he thought. Or maybe he found out, his friends like the potential bigger cut of the pie they’d get partnering up with Kroenke. Disliked as much as he is, he is still a ‘doer’, builds arenas, owns other teams, pretty successful entrepreneur. And by the way his net worth is over 12B, not 1.1B.



Spanos has to move fast, tough to do for a man who has always been slow to react to things. Bad business deals, bad hires, bad firings, mistakes here, there and everywhere. Move fast, for everyday you hesitate to make a decision, go to LA or stay in San Diego, is a day Kroenke and the Rams have a jump on you. That’s for things like selling season tickets to home games at the Coliseum, run by USC; making TV-Radio-Media deals; getting corporate sponsors lined up in stadium and the such.



It will cost the son of the Stockton industrialist at least 800M to become an equal partner with Kroenke, the price to fund his share of the football stadium. It will cost him another 550M-to be paid as a territorial fee, to move close to Rodeo Drive, to hang with the pretty people. That’s alot of upfront money (1.3B) just to get to area code (213).



In San Diego, it will cost him just 300M, his share, of the total package to work with the City-County consortium. He has all his own contacts and business associates, still on board, to buy his suites, season tickets etc. Of course he has to put together an even stronger infrastructure to sell PSLs, naming rights etc.



It will cost less to do the deal in San Diego than Los Angeles,s but the profit levels will be less too. Of course it raises the question, how much money, who you are rich, do you really need. His dad’s 74M purchase price, will escalate into a franchise worth probably 1.5B, once they get a new Stadium built in town.


What’s a man to do? Tough call for someone who seems so greedy. Pay more to get more? Repair all the damage you’ve done here, and try to regain credibility and momentum. The owner’s pretty radioactive right now. His scorched-earth policy has come back to infect everything around him. He surely does not have much currency in this town now, not with the civic leaders, and maybe not even the fans.


He can stay and hope he can find a way to make a deal. He can leave, make more, though not be the true leader he thought he could be in the LA market. Since 2000, everything he tried failed, now Carson included. Now he is really on the clock, with a pressured decision that has to be made.



Not sure what is more appalling. A partnership with a ruthless Kroenke, or the realization, if he doesn’t go to LA, a do-nothing like Mark Davis gets a shot at some of the riches Team Spanos thought they deserved, were entitled to, or were going to be part of. –



You do the math. What would you do. Then call Dean Spanos and give him advice.



All of his most recent decisions, football and financial, haven’t worked out. Oh to be a rich man, wanting more, but not having the intelligence to make the right decisions to get more. His life of luxury sure seems to be a life of disappointment right now.



2 Responses to “1-Man’s Opinion Column-Thursday “Chargers Fans-You do the Math””

  1. Barry Marton says:

    Lee, what choice does he have? NO one in San Diego likes him. He has a terrible team talent wise. The 2016 schedule is a disaster. No one is going to go out of their way to see the likes of Miami, Jacksonville, Tennessee, New Orleans, or Tampa Bay visit town. No teams North of the Mason-Dixon Line. At lest in L.A. he will draw simply because of the newness of the product.

    • Lee Hacksaw Hamilton says:

      Dean Spanos created this mess….Had he negotiated with San Diego over the last four months before the owners meetings, and exhausted every avenue to get a deal, then you could say he gave it his best shot….he didn’t….all he did was take shots at the City-County-CSAG group….now he has been voted out of Carson project…and has put himself into a bad corner.

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