Chargers owner history: Full list and timeline

Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

LA Chargers fans had a shared disdain for the team's ownership prior to the 2024 offseason. However, the Bolts then went out and hired Jim Harbaugh before opening a brand-new state-of-the-art training facility to completely squash the "cheap" allegations.

Despite now being a family-owned team, the Chargers haven't always had the same ownership group. The Bolts have gone through several different ownership changes for various reasons in the 60-plus years of the franchise's existence.

Most fans know who owns the team now, but what about the previous owners? Let's dive into everyone who has owned the Chargers in some capacity through the years.

Chargers owner history:

Barron Hilton - 1959-1966

Barron Hilton, the son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, was already the vice president of his father's company before he added Chargers owner to his resume. As a Los Angeles businessman, Hilton was offered an AFL franchise and he accepted.

After just one season in Los Angeles, Hilton moved the Chargers to Balboa Stadium in San Diego as the AFL-based team could not compete with the Los Angeles Rams in the market. For the next fifty-plus years, the Chargers would call San Diego home.

Hilton took over as CEO Hilton Hotels after his fathers death in 1966 and sold his majority share of the Chargers for $10 million.

Gene Klein - 1966-1984

Hilton sold the Chargers to an investment group that was led by businessman Gene Klein. In addition to owning the Chargers, Klein was also on the founding ownership group for the Seattle Supersonics.

Eighteen years after buying the Chargers for $10 million, Klein and his investment group turned a big profit and sold the franchise for $80 million (a number that seems minuscule by today's standards). While explaining his decision to sell, Klein simply stated that owning a pro football team had become "too stressful".

Alex Spanos - 1984-2018

Alex Spanos purchased a majority stake in the Chargers from Klein in 1984 and continued buying more ownership stake as time went on. Spanos owned 97% of the Chargers a decade after his initial purchase, making him the overwhelming majority owner. As it stands today, the Spanos family owns 96% of the franchise.

After that decade, Alex Spanos ceded control of the team's day-to-day operations to his son, Dean Spanos. Alex remained the principal owner of the Chargers until his death in 2018.

Dean Spanos - 2018-present

Like his father, Dean Spanos ceded control of the franchise to his sons after doing the job for 20 years himself. Dean relinquished the day-to-day operations to John and A.G; John has been running the football side of the franchise, while A.G. has been running the business side.

Dean still serves as the principal owner even though he doesn't actually have a majority ownership stake in the team. Each of Alex Spanos' four children (Dean, Dea, Michael and Alexandria) has 15% ownership stake in the team. The remaining 36% that Alex Spanos owned is in a family trust.

Michael Spanos serves as the team's vice chairman, overseeing financial and management decisions. His son, Michael Spanos II, is special advisor business operations. Alexandra Spanos is not connected to the team while Dea Spanos sued Dean Spanos in 2022 for accused 'misogynistic' behavior.

In March 2023 it was reported that Dea was looking to sell her 24% ownership stake in the team (15% individual ownership plus her 9% from the family trust). At the time of writing, Dea Spanos still has her ownership stake.