Column: Winners and losers in the Chargers’ move to L.A.
The Los Angeles Chargers don’t kick off the 2017 season in their new home for eight-plus months, but there are already some winners and losers emerging from the team’s relocation north.
A look at the scorecard:
Winner: The Spanos family — This move makes them even richer. The Chargers were valued at $2.08 billion in 2016 — not bad when you consider Alex Spanos bought 60% of the club for $48.3 million in 1984, later acquiring virtually all of it. Moving 120 miles north to the nation’s second-largest media market will mean another giant increase in value. By comparison, according to Forbes, the Rams jumped in valuation from $1.45 billion in their last season in St. Louis to $2.9 billion in their first season in Los Angeles.
Loser: Dean Spanos — The Chargers president wound up doing a couple things he long said he didn’t want to do. He left San Diego, where he’s now a pariah, and he moved into a stadium as a tenant, as opposed to an equal partner. There’s plenty of blame to go around in San Diego, but he failed to make it work.
Winner: Chargers fans in Los Angeles — They might be small in number, but they’ll surely grow. Now they have their favorite team in their back yard.
Loser: Raiders fans — The good news for them is they’ll get to see their favorite team in Los Angeles at least once every season. Their dream of the Raiders ever moving back here is over, though, and CBS will be obligated to show Chargers games in Los Angeles and not those of Derek Carr, Khalil Mack & Co.
Winner: The Raiders — With San Diego vacant, the Raiders have a good option on the table if Las Vegas falls through. Heaven knows they have lots of fans in San Diego, as the Chargers can attest from those annual “home” games when Qualcomm Stadium was awash in silver and black.
Loser: Las Vegas — Not only is there new competition on the landscape — somebody at some point is going to figure out how to privately finance a stadium in San Diego — but the NFL has to be circumspect about green-lighting a third relocation in less than two years. The Chargers’ move to Los Angeles, even though people knew it was a very real possibility, has left a lot of shellshock at the NFL’s headquarters on Park Ave. The latest development was the O’Doul’s of relocations: Absolutely no buzz.
Winner: Stan Kroenke — The Rams owner gets more help paying off his $2.6-billion stadium in Inglewood, thanks to the Chargers’ $200-million NFL loan and PSL sales, and he gets 10 more games a year on his 298-acre sports and entertainment complex. He also doesn’t have to share his palace with the Raiders, who have a lot more fans in Los Angeles than the Chargers and would be stiffer competition in the marketplace.
Loser: The NFL — Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t want the Chargers to leave San Diego, and nor did several owners. People might not believe that, and the league could have done more to get the team to stay put, but there weren’t champagne corks popping when Spanos announced his decision.
Winner: AEG — They will reap the benefits of the Chargers playing two seasons at their 30,000-seat StubHub Center, and for that matter, StubHub looks smart for securing those naming rights.
Winner: Eli Manning — The Chargers made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2004, remember, before trading him to the New York Giants. Manning, who had told the Chargers he didn’t want them to draft him, was despised in San Diego for even refusing to put on a team cap when he was selected. It’s logical to think that now, 13 years and one relocation later, America’s Finest City now nods sympathetically.
Loser: The Dodgers — They want their overlapping LA logo back.
Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer
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