This is all making sense now. All of the promises of trying to work out a stadium deal were just talk. Spanos was just biding his time and waiting for the right moment.
For the next two seasons, the Chargers are going to play in the Stubhub! Center, where the LA Galaxy play. That stadium holds 30,000 people. Spanos was desperate to get to Los Angeles. He will have to pay rent when the Rams’ new stadium opens, but he doesn’t care. Nor does he care about having to pay a $650 million relocation fee. He wants to be in Los Angeles.
Some people have asked the question: “Why would he pay that much just to move when he could have used it to build a new stadium?” It’s because he wants to be in Los Angeles.
Did Spanos always want to be in Los Angeles? I don’t really know. What I do know is that he likes to keep as much money as possible. It’s really no surprise that his last attempt at building a new stadium in San Diego was a piece of legislation that would have brought in $1.15 billion in hotel tax revenue. Think about it. He wanted a new stadium, but he didn’t want to spend a dime of his own money.
Los Angeles is a much bigger market than San Diego, and the franchise will be worth much more money in the long run. Other owners care about winning. Spanos cares about money. It’s always been the primary motivating factor to determine how he runs his franchise.
Speaking of how he runs his franchise, you probably won’t like reading this, but it needs to be said. Archie and Eli Manning‘s comments in 2004 about not wanting Eli to be drafted by the Chargers have been validated. He didn’t want to play for the Chargers, and being traded to the Giants was the best thing to happen to him on Draft Day.
I would like to see the Chargers trade Philip Rivers to a contender. He deserves better than what he has been given in San Diego. Manning has won two Super Bowls. Rivers is on his way to being the next great quarterback to never reach a Super Bowl. He has a few years left in his career. He needs to be with a contender who prioritizes winning over money.
San Diego is left with one professional sports franchise. The Padres have always had a special place in my heart, They don’t always give us a lot to cheer about, but at least we can cheer for them while knowing they won’t do this to us. The Padres are San Diego, and they’re staying in San Diego.
This won’t work out for Spanos and the Chargers. He won’t get a lot of support from fans in that city. They’ve already started this “Fight for LA” campaign, which is another slap in the face to San Diegans, but they aren’t going to be popular in Los Angeles. They didn’t even receive a welcome when they arrived. The front page of the Jan. 13 edition of the LA Times had no mention of the Chargers’ arrival.
The most popular NFL team in Los Angeles…… doesn’t play in Los Angeles. The Raiders play in Oakland, and could even be in Las Vegas in the future. The Raiders and Chargers are division rivals. Do you think Raider fans are going to just become Charger fans? That will never happen. Even with the Chargers gone, people in San Diego will still hate the Raiders with a fiery passion. The feeling is mutual on both sides.
Also, look at how much popularity the Rams had last season. The Rams played in Los Angeles for several decades before moving to St. Louis, so a move back to Los Angeles at least made some sense. However, not a lot of people seemed to care about their homecoming.
The Chargers won’t be the second-most popular franchise in Los Angeles. They may not even be the third-most popular franchise.
On Jan. 12, my heart broke. That pain has turned into resentment. The Chargers are on a crash-course for failure in a city that doesn’t want them. When they’re finishing in last place while playing in an empty stadium, I will look the other way.
The Chargers are dead to me.
Mike is the sports editor for the Fayette Advertiser, and has been with East Village Times since 2015. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report. He is an avid Padres fan who is keeping the faith and trusting the process.