Should Dean Spanos be off the hook?
By Travis Wakeman
News of the San Diego Chargers staying in San Diego for the 2016 season had to have some fans rejoicing on Friday afternoon. But is it too early to celebrate?
Spanos is sure to use the entire season to play the cities of San Diego and Los Angeles against each other, looking for the most lucrative deal for his team. This is because the Chargers and Rams have reached a deal to share the stadium in Inglewood, as reported by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
So yes, the Chargers will play football in San Diego in 2016, but what does that mean for the long term?
Dean Spanos in statement: "I am committed to looking at this with a fresh perspective and new sense of possibility" pic.twitter.com/6eeCRN4wU8
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) January 29, 2016
For starters, Spanos will feel that he now has leverage to get a new stadium built. In essence, he’s told the city of San Diego that if his team doesn’t get a new stadium built, he has no problem sharing a stadium elsewhere.
In other words, the news that came out Friday means the city has the next year to put together a deal to build that stadium. If not, Spanos has covered his bases by agreeing to the deal with the Rams.
Though San Diego still has a relatively new stadium that was built for the Padres almost 16 years ago, Qualcomm Stadium needs to be replaced. The Chargers have played there since 1967 when it was known as San Diego Stadium and later, Jack Murphy Stadium.
On the flip side of the coin, Spanos has also prevented another team from coming into San Diego. Had the Chargers left the city, the Raiders coming in was a strong possibility. At this point, Chargers fans likely don’t know how to feel about Spanos and at least for another year, that won’t change.
Dean Spanos 'We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego'
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 29, 2016
So where does Spanos stand with the fanbase and the city? Fans can’t feel comfortable about the long-term future of the team, but at least the prospect of having to decide whether to root for the San Diego Raiders or not is gone. Most fans are probably just happy that football will be played in San Diego next season and are tired of hearing about the issue.
Yet, this issue isn’t going away.
Friday’s news alleviated some stress for Chargers fans. If the city wants to keep the team, it will have that opportunity. Because of that fact, fans of the team should be happy.
At the same time, they can’t fully trust Spanos. After all, San Diego was his second choice.