“NFL-What Can They Do?”
That must have been some weekend for NFL Commisisoner Roger Goodell, spening Sunday, watching football in LA in a futbol stadium, as he took in the Chargers-Raiders game at the Stub Hub Center.
You know, the stadium that was over-run by fans wearing Silver & Black, some 85% of the fans in the stands were Raiders fans.
So this week, the story leaks, the NFL is worried about about the viability of the Spanos-owned Chargers in Los Angeles.
It’s not about wins and losses. It’s about image, and the black eye the NFL and Chargers ownership is getting, for their arrival, how they run the franchise, and the disdain they are held in, by the media, and the fans.
In a year and a half, we know a couple of certainties. The team made a terrible mistakes selling large blocks of tickets to brokers in LA, who promptly sell them to fans of the other teams.
We also know the ongoing hatred that exists to this day in San Diego, over the Spanos family leaving here to go there, in search of the huge money in that market.
Except the market doesn’t want them. And now this piece of reality, the Bolts are playing 16-road games a season.
Now the NFL owners, the ones who voted to okay the move to LA, are concerned.
Not that they give a bleep about the Spanos family, nor Philip Rivers, or wins and losses. They now know that the struggle to sell tickets in the new stadium they are moving into in 2020, means less of a cut of revenue for each of them in their respective cities.
The Chargers, desperate to sell any type of PSLs, have decided to chop prices on some 26,000-seats in the new Rams stadium in which they will be a tenant.
In doing so, it cuts projected new revenue from 400M to 150M. I don’t believe these fellow owners expected ‘rock bottom’ prices for a team they’d allow to move into the 2nd largest market in the country.
Fans can buy tickets priced from 50-dollars apiece up to 150-dollars apiece. But the seat license fee will be anywhere from 100-dollars on cheap seats, to 3,000 for good seats. The response has been lukewarm at best, compared to the hot ticket in town, that is the Rams.
Add in the arrival of LeBron James to Lakerland, and the Dodgers likelyheaded to another World Series, and the Chargers have a huge off-the radar issue, despite the heroics of Rivers and friends on the field.
If you subscribe to the theory, what ‘goes around-comes around’ then betrayed fans in San Diego are having fun watching all this unravel in Carson, and spill over like sewage at Park Avenue-New York, the NFL headquarters.
Could the NFL actually intervene, and do something about the stadium-ticket-credibility crisis Dean Spanos has orchestrated?
Could they send in new people to run the franchise, give it a fresh look?
Could they bring in execs to run the business side to give it credibility?
Are they willing to sit there and let this things fester, till an embarassed Spanos puts the franchise up for sale?
Would the league step in, remove the team from Los Angeles, and work to negate all the business contracts Spanos has signed in LA?
Would the league allow Spanos to say ‘I made a mistake’ , let me return to San Diego, with the promise of an apology, and the decision to reopen talks to build a new stadium in San Diego, with Spanos-NFL-City-County money?
If Spanos put the franchise up for sale, could the NFL help find an owner, with the proviso, it returns to San Diego, and the incoming owner helps fund a new football stadium?
It’s nice to float theories how the Chargers problems could be solved, but none of it would likely happen. I am sure a lot of fans in the 619-760-858 area codes would like to see a ‘total surrender’ from the Spanos family for what they did to the community.
And there’s another issue to be clarified. The estate tax the Spanos family may owe with Alex’s passing, or if not that, a tax that could be levied for Alex and Faye Spanos gifting their 36-% ownership into the family trust. The outcome of that is still to come.
The Joe Robbie family had to sell the Miami Dolphins, and the same with the Rankin Smith-Atlanta Falcons owned franchise.
In the modern day NFL, only 3-franchises have been forcibly removed from their ownership.
The most recent, the sudden sale of the Carolina Panthers, after longtime owner Jerry Richardson was implicated in a horrible sexual workplace harassment scandal.
Decades ago, the league forced Eagles owner Leonard Tose to sell the team, because of his implications in massive gambling debts.
And the legendary Super Bowl 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo was forced out in shame, for his part in a bribery scandal in the Louisiana governmental ranks.
The NFL has dealt with lots of ownership crisis before. They did not intercede.
Al Davis on going war in lawsuit after lawsuit with his move from Oakland to LA and back to the East Bay.
Ken Behring sold the Seahawks after a failed attempt to move them to Los Angeles.
The league allowed Georgia Frontiere to keep the Rams despite her greed filled move to St Louis till she died..
Art Modell had enormous money problems and was allowed to vacate Cleveland to Baltimore, till he finally sold out.
Robert Irsay moved out of Baltimore in the middle of the night, and his bouts with alcholism did not cost him the team, now run by his son in Indianapolis.
Billy Sullivan, the old owner of the Patriots, lost his team with a bankruptcy involving Schaeffer Stadium.and its business operations.
Mike Brown, penny-pinching, ran the Bengals into the ground, destroying his father’s legacy but still owns the team in Cincinnati..
Bill Bidwell, bow tie and all, was allowed to move the Chicago Cardinals to St. Louis, then onto Arizona, despite a poor history of business operations.
No the NFL probably won’t do an intervention on the Chargers mess.
The league can legislate laws about ownership, what they can and cannot do, within the framework of the NFL bylaws.
The NFL cannot legislate intelligence and quality of ownership.
Sadly for longtime Chargers fans, the franchise isn’t coming back. And the NFL seems powerless to put out this oil fire Charges ownership has created in Los Angeles..
LA it’s your problem. Roger Goodell, it’s your problem. Dean Spanos, you’ve got a problem.
NFL owners are rich men. It doesn’t mean they can’t be incompetent.
Chargers ownership is proving that, and the NFL can’t do anything about it.