Dean Spanos Explains Decision to Move Chargers to LA

Hours after announcing his football team would leave the city its called home for decades, Chargers owner Dean Spanos explained his decision in an interview Thursday afternoon with AM 570 Sports Radio in Los Angeles.

On the decision:

“I didn’t have to do anything but I thought it was the right decision for a lot of different reasons. Again, like I said it was an emotional decision, it was difficult but at the end of the day you gotta look forward, we have to have a a place to play. I think this stadium is going to be the premiere stadium in the NFL and it’s a great opportunity for us for the next 25, 30 years.”

On sharing the stadium:

“Nothing’s going to be handed to us. This is an uphill battle. We’re going to have to fight our way into Los Angeles. We’re going to have to earn the respect of the season ticket holders and the fans. We’re going to have to win on the field.’ We’re going to have to ingratiate ourselves into the community, be a part of the community.”

On other NFL owner reaction:

“My closest friends in the league called me and said they would support whatever I decision I made.”

On the LA fan base:

“I’m not expecting anything Day 1. I think this is going to take two or three years to really build up the respect of the fans, the season ticket holders and the people of Los Angeles. It’s a work in progress. Come the opening of the stadium 2019, we’re going to be ready. That’s our goal.”

On the San Diego stadium ballot measures:

“I really felt we had a chance to win that vote. It was an uphill battle. We needed 2/3 of the voters. At one particular time during the initiative process there was a court ruling that made it 50 [percent] plus one. Then there was some subsequent litigation or rulings and stuff and it changed back to two-thirds. You never know what to expect when you go to a public vote. We knew it was going to be difficult but we only received 43 percent of the vote so I think that says a lot in itself right there.”

On meeting three years ago with Stan Kroenke regarding Inglewood:

“That’s a long time ago. I don’t know if I remember [laughter] I don’t remember. I plead the 5th on that one.”

“We’re friends. I have a great relationship with him. I never had a bad relationship that got a little blown out by the press a little bit. We talk all the time. I see him at the NFL meetings. I’ve had lunch and dinner with him in the last three or four months. I have a great relationship with him. He’s an easy fellow to get along with.

On when he decided:

"I didn't just wake up one more and say we're going/we're not going. A lot of work and thought that went into this - 15 years worth, a failed initiative. My sisters, my brother and I are very, very close and my two sons, obviously. We met as a family. We talked about it a lot. Ultimately, it was my decision. They were 100 percent supportive of my decision. It was a collective effort to a certain degree. I don't want to do anything they didn't want to do. So it was maybe within the last couple weeks or so I was leaning toward that."

On the team's new logo and its similarity to the Dodgers logo:

"Yeah, I think I heard something about that. I don't know if this is going to be permanent or if it's going to be the introductory logo into the marketplace. My son is handling all that so I'd have to defer to him on all that."

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