Why Dean Spanos Does Not Want To Move The Chargers

A look at the man's tendencies suggests a desire to stay put

NBC 7’s Derek Togerson offers a reason the Chargers want to stay in San Diego in this commentary

Chargers CEO Dean Spanos has spent an awful lot of time in the Los Angeles area lately. He recently met with the L.A. mayor and has made several appearances on L.A. media outlets. Meanwhile … crickets in San Diego.

I believe this is what frustrates Chargers fans the most. I talk to the fan base. They talk to me. On social media, in person, on the phone, the one question that I hear the most from fans is not … Are the Chargers staying?

It’s … Why won’t Dean talk to us?

Bolts fans are scared. They don’t know what to believe. All they hear from the team they love comes from the mouth of Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani (which, in the opinion of most Bolts fans, is like hiring a Press Secretary named Judas).

I don’t know exactly why Dean is letting his spokesperson do all the talking. But I can make a fairly educated guess.

One reason is sharing his thoughts with the fan base, or really anywhere in public, is a bad business decision. Spanos needs to keep everyone guessing because he needs leverage in multiple places. The more theories and opportunities and scenarios that are out there the better. It seeds uncertainty, which blossoms in to fear, and fear is one heck of a motivator. The second his true desire is revealed, the ability to play one city off the other disappears.

But even more than that is this: Dean Spanos does not like talking in public. He’ll do it, and do it well, when the occasion calls for it. Dean always makes himself available when there’s a coaching or front office change to answer questions about why the decision was made. In those situations he has time to prepare. He has talking points. He has the ability to, at least in some small way, control the narrative. Opening up to a flurry of random questions from fans is an unknown quantity he is simply not comfortable with.

Dean is not Jerry Jones. He’s not Robert Kraft. Those are guys who you can walk right up, say hi, turn on the camera and start rapping about this, that and whatnot. So, Chargers fans, I hate to break this to you, but if you’re waiting for Dean Spanos to take to the airwaves and let you in on his thought process or what he really wants for the future of his franchise, you’ll have coffee with Godot first.

But, if you look at the man’s history and habits, you can get a pretty good sense of what he’d like to do. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that Dean Spanos wants to stay. He wants to keep the Chargers in San Diego. He has it really, really good here, and he knows is.

From my observations we’re talking about a creature of habit. Dean Spanos likes to drive the same cars, frequent the same restaurants, dress the same way, for long periods of time. There is comfort in routine.

Can you imagine anything that would mess up your routine more than moving an NFL franchise to a different city?

Sure, the Spanos family would make a lot more money if the team moved to Los Angeles. But that would only be if they sold the franchise. The luxury boxes and PSL sales and all that fancy stuff will increase revenue, for sure. But the team still needs to build a practice facility in L.A. and those are not cheap. The Cowboys just built one for about $115 million and that’s in Texas, where everything is bigger (and cheaper). So the only real increase in wealth comes with the team’s increase in value, which is really only realized when a team is sold.

The Chargers ARE the Spanos family business. Forbes has their family’s net worth is listed at $1.26 billion. The Chargers are listed at $995 million, meaning 79% of the family’s worth is the team. The family does not want to sell the team. It’s part of their identity. Even the big bucks of L.A. can’t change that.

Plus, getting a new facility in San Diego will increase the team’s value anyway. Not as much as a move north but it’ll get them in to the NFL’s top 20. If they’re able to win a Super Bowl, we’re talking maybe even the top half. Driving to a new facility and walking past the Lombardi Trophy every day?

Now that’s something Dean would not mind changing his routine for.

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