The Spanos family owns the majority shares of the Chargers franchise.
As the team lobbies for public money to subsidize a new convadium in the East Village, the Spanoses’ wealth has become part of the public conversation.
The root of the family’s wealth can be traced directly to bologna sandwiches.
In the summer of 1951, Alex Spanos, the family’s 93-year-old patriarch and the son of a Greek immigrant, was jobless and a father of two living in Stockton.
He saw business opportunities as a new wave of migrant farmworkers came into the Central Valley. They were known as “braceros,” Spanish for laborers, and they were coming to harvest crops as part of a deal between the U-S and Mexico. Spanos sold the braceros bologna sandwiches for lunch.
In this week’s San Diego Explained, VOSD’s Ry Rivard and NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean detail how Spanos’ bologna sandwich business set him on a path to becoming a successful businessman and real estate mogul.