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Here are some thoughts on the concept of public ownership of the Chargers:
1. San Diego is never going to be able to put forward a deal soon enough: The city is broke and city government is broken — and probably isn’t going to be fixed any time soon so public financing of a new stadium isn’t going to happen and is a waste of time to pursue. (Disclosure: I live outside city limits, but in the immediate area.)
2. Private financing of a stadium is probably the only possible route that keeps the Chargers in San Diego and on the balance sheet of the Spanos family, but not necessarily as 100 percent owners.
3. Private financing that involves the public like in a public offering could be done in a heartbeat without interfering in a big way with the Spanos family’s operational control over the team and its finances.
4. Since interest rates are so low, involving the public in the financing could enhance the income of investors. There is enough money in pro football that the team could divert enough funds to a “sinking fund” to pay either dividends or interest and start buying back the publicly owned securities that represent interests in the team entity (debt or equity or both). The team would stay in the control and under the management of the Spanos family. The league has enough leverage over the owners to avoid most problems.
Barry Naiditch lives in El Cajon.
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