NBC 7's Derek Togerson debunks one of the biggest myths about the NFL's quest for Los Angeles in this commentary
One of the more interesting little nuggets of information to come out of this week's NFL Owners Meetings in Dallas is the revelation that Rams owner Stan Kroenke would be willing to entertain the idea of co-habitating in his Inglewood stadium with either the Chargers or Raiders.
That's significant because, for one, Kroenke actually said something. He's been the most silent of the players in this game of L.A. Roulette so the fact he's making comments means something. But even more than that, it shows Kroenke is feeling like he does not have enough support to win the Los Angeles owners vote.
One of the phrases used in the reporting of this information is "equal partner." Now, what that means to most rational-thinking individuals is splitting everything down the middle. What that means to a business mind like Kroenke, however, is anyone's guess. It's also the reason the Chargers will absolutely not, under any circumstances, be sharing a stadium with the Rams.
Even if we throw out the well-publicized personal conflict between Kroenke and Dean Spanos and just stick to the business aspect of this it's not going to happen. The Spanos family made its fortune in real estate. They own a lot of properties.
Simply put, Dean Spanos does not pay rent. He will not be a tenant for anyone anywhere for any reason. Since there's really no way to fully split the Inglewood project in two a tenant is exactly what the Chargers would be.
Kroenke has already done the legwork on Inglewood. He's bought the land, he's paid for the signature drive, he has the investors lined up to finance the thing. Unless the Spanos family pays him for half of what's already been done and half of what comes next in construction there is no equal partnership.
Moving forward they'd have to find a way to slice the advertising and marketing space in and around the stadium equally, which is not easy to do. Dean is willing to share things in Carson with the Raiders because in that scenario he is Stan Kroenke. The Chargers have done the vast majority of the work in Carson and would have the Raiders be their tenants (which would still be a better deal than the awful lease they have in Oakland).
All that is why the NFL finds itself in limbo. If reports are correct Kroenke sees L.A. support among owners shifting to the Chargers so he's extending an olive branch to keep his plan alive. However, the Inglewood proposal is just about ready to go so from a business standpoint it's the more desirable solution.
The easy answer is to let Stan build his Inglewood site and reward the team the owners want to reward by letting them move in. But with the NFL nothing is ever simple. This thing is going to go to a vote, and the result of that vote is still a long way from being clear.
"Now I know what you're thinking: the Chargers are already tenants at Qualcomm Stadium. Well, that's one of the main reasons they don't want to let it happen again.
Just about every stadium offer (aside from the 2004 idea to build his own stadium if the City would give him the land) put Spanos in the tenant chair. He didn't set up the lease at the Q, his dad did. The renegotiation/renovation of the Q was done as a stop-gap measure when the Bolts were under the impression they'd get a new stadium in the next few years.
The current situation, although one where he does make money, is exactly why he won't be a tenant again. In Carson he would stand to make millions upon millions more. That's not necessarily the case in Inglewood."