Chargers owner Dean Spanos announced Thursday he was moving the team to Los Angeles, ending 56 years of NFL football in San Diego.
The reason the Chargers are leaving, we’re told, is that the Spanos family couldn’t find a favorable deal for a new stadium in San Diego. In November, local voters resoundingly rejected a ballot measure that would have raised hotel taxes to help pay for a new stadium and convention center. That left Spanos, we’re told, with little choice but to uproot the team to L.A.
“Please keep it here,” Spanos reportedly told his fellow owners at the league meetings last month. “I don’t want to go to L.A. I want to stay.”
Spanos’ desperate plea notwithstanding, the Chargers owner had other options on the table, options that would have kept alive five and a half decades of tradition in San Diego, and potentially proven nearly as lucrative as the team’s move two hours north on Interstate 5.