The Spanos family has owned the LA Chargers since 1984 when the late Alex Spanos purchased 60% ownership of the team. Since then, ownership has been passed down to son Dean Spanos and the Chargers have changed cities as many times as the team has made it to the Super Bowl.
It now seems possible that the Chargers could be up for sale, something that always seemed extremely unlikely with the Spanos family in charge.
Dea Spanos Berberian, sister of Dean Spanos, has filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court in an attempt to force the Spanos family to sell the Chargers. Spanos Berberian argues in the petition that the team has caused a mounting debt that “has imperiled the family’s finances” (h/t Nathan Fenno, L.A. Times).
According to the L.A. Times report, the petition reveals a promise that Spanos made to eventually sell the team.
“In a November 2019 letter included with the court filing, Dean Spanos vowed to his three siblings that he would retain an investment bank at the end of the 2024 season in an effort to find a new owner. Berberian contends the situation is too dire to wait.”
So it appears that the LA Chargers were eventually going to be up for sale regardless and that sale could be expedited by this petition. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the LA Chargers may have a new owner.
Fenno brings up a very interesting candidate to purchase the Chargers if they were to hit the market: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who according to Forbes.com, is the richest person on Earth with a net worth of $184 billion.
Bezos definitely has the funds to purchase the Chargers and it appears as if he could be interested as well. Per Fenno’s report:
“The petition noted reports that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, worth an estimated $180 billion, is interested in becoming an NFL owner and said “the Chargers could be a perfect opportunity.”
Jeff Bezos buying the LA Chargers would be the best moment in franchise history.
The Spanos family has not built up a track record of being big spenders and is extremely unpopular with a large portion of the fanbase. Spanos’ unwillingness to pay for the majority of a new stadium in San Diego led to the team flocking for Los Angeles, leaving many fans without their hometown team that they grew up on.
Bezos purchasing the team likely won’t result in them moving back to San Diego. Los Angeles is too valuable as a market and the Chargers’ worth has skyrocketed since moving to LA. Bezos is a businessman and he knows this.
However, this alone could be enough for some of those San Diego faithful to come back and support the Chargers. Sure, they may be a two-hour drive away, but the person who stripped their favorite team from their hometown is now out of the picture.
It is more than just that, though. Bezos purchasing the Chargers would instantly make them the most relevant team in the league. They would have the financial backing that no other team could even come close to matching, including the Dallas Cowboys.
While the LA Chargers won’t suddenly get a higher salary-cap figure to spend, there will be more capital in providing resources for these players. Better practice facilities, better training staff, more resources to convince players to come play for the Chargers.
Just look at the impact Steve Ballmer has had on the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. The Clippers are one of the true title contenders in the league and for the first time in franchise history don’t simply feel like the Lakers’ little brothers (something the Chargers may feel like with the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders).
The Clippers are building a brand-new, state-of-the-art arena right next to SoFi Stadium that they can call home. While the Chargers still have a 20-year lease at Sofi, Bezos owning the team would make it possible for them to be more than tenants at the Rams’ stadium in the future.
Money talks and while Jeff Bezos cannot buy success for the LA Chargers, he could completely reinvent the culture of the team, how the team is perceived by the rest of the league and put in the proper capital to guarantee a better future for a franchise that has very little success in its history.
I’ll take some two-day shipping on the Jeff Bezos purchasing the LA Chargers. Hopefully, it happens.