Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos announced that the Chargers will remain in San Diego in 2016 as they work toward a stadium solution. Later in the day, he explained how he reached the decision and what he hopes for in the future.
Question: The Chargers have announced that they'll be staying in San Diego for 2016. How did you come to this decision?
Spanos: "Obviously there's been a lot of work and progress the last several weeks. But for the last three days our family has met as a whole, and we all unanimously agreed that we want to stay in San Diego in 2016 and give our best efforts to get a stadium approved."
Question: What does this mean for NFL football in San Diego going forward?
Spanos: "It means that football obviously (for the) 2016 season is going to be played here in San Diego, which we're all excited about. Right now I know we have a big task in front of us relevant to a new stadium, but now it's a little bit back to football, too. So I'm excited about getting our product on the field back to where we want it to be."
Question: You've already met with city and county officials. What was that conversation like?
Spanos: "I met briefly with the mayor, Kelvin Faulconer, today and the head of the county board of supervisors, Ron Roberts. We had a very pleasant conversation. The purpose of the meeting was to let them know that our family was committed to staying another year to give this thing 100% effort. We all looked each other in the eye, and we all agreed that if united on this thing, there is no reason we can't get this done."
Question: How do you build back trust between fans and the Chargers?
Spanos: "I think that will be through time, obviously. I think with the mayor, the city, the county, the Chargers and the business community all working together. It's going to be a process, but the fans will see that we're working together. That's the most important thing. When they see that, I think that will help build the trust."
Question: What is your message to fans that have supported the team for 55 years?
Spanos: "The message is we want to be here in San Diego. We're committed this year, and we are going to give it 100% effort to get a new stadium done here."
Question: Why did it take so long to come to this decision?
Spanos: "There are a lot of moving parts, obviously. These are big, big business transactions. It takes time. It was mostly looking at all the other details of this deal."
Question: Is downtown where your focus is or is the Mission Valley site also acceptable?
Spanos: "I'm going to look at all of the possibilities. Obviously downtown is something we have preferred in the past. I'll look at Qualcomm (site), but in the next couple months or so we really need to focus and zero in on one of those sites."
Question: After going back and forth with the city for 14 years, now you decided to give it one more shot. What do you think has changed that will allow that decision to be made?
Spanos: "I think everybody being on a united front coming together for one specific purpose, one specific site (and) one specific proposal that we all agree on. We've never had that in the past, and hopefully we'll get that. Once we have that, then we have something to tell the public about and they will make the ultimate decision."
Question: How do you get fans excited for this season after everything that's happened?
Spanos: "Like I said, this is going to be a work in progress. It's been a difficult year for everybody, but at the end of the day, everybody being united moving forward sets everything on a positive tone."
Question: Do you regret any part of how the last year has played out?
Spanos: "I wish I could undo the last year, change it, wave a magic wand and made it play out differently. At the end of the day, we wanted to create some options for ourselves. It was a difficult thing for everybody, especially the fans. But we are where we are, and we're going to move forward."
Question: In your heart, what do you really want out of this process?
Spanos: "I want a stadium that everybody in San Diego is going to be proud of. A stadium the Chargers will be in for the next 30 to 40 years."
Question: Finally, lay out what the plan is going forward?
Spanos: "Initially in the next short period of time, we're going to be meeting with the city and the county. We're going to be coming up with a logistical plan to put in place, and then we're going to move forward from there."