KUSI EXCLUSIVE: First 1-on-1 interview with Dean Spanos followin - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

KUSI EXCLUSIVE: First 1-on-1 interview with Dean Spanos following the Chargers' relocation announcement

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INGLEWOOD (KUSI) — Chargers owner Dean Spanos is in Los Angeles as he finalizes the announcement that he will move the franchise from San Diego. KUSI's Brandon Stone was in Los Angeles and spoke with Spanos for the first exclusive one-on-one interview following the move. 

Spanos reiterated that he felt the franchise had done everything it could to stay in San Diego during a 15-year back-and-forth about a new Chargers stadium. 

"We spent the last 15 years trying to put a stadium proposal and getting one approved on in San Diego, and last year we actually went to the voters and it was turned down," Spanos said, "We also had the option last year to come [to Los Angeles], but we've pretty much exhausted whatever possibilities there were down there and it was time to come.

"We're excited to be here and we're looking forward to spending the next 25-30 years here."

Spanos also noted that the option they were looking at remained the same following Measure C being shut down at the polling booths. 

"The option was the option that we got last year, it hadn't changed. It was pretty much the same," Spanos said when asked if the NFL or city had provided any additional incentives to stay in San Diego. 

Whether he's worried about the backlash from San Diego fans, Spanos can only point to time healing the wounds left from the Chargers' departure.

"Obviously the fans are upset and they should be upset, but it's more than just that. I think a lot of the people really understand what's happened in the last 15 years, and as time goes by I think they'll understand even more," Spanos said. "I can't change emotions of that type. They're tied to the team, tied to the community, and when something like this happens it's very difficult for everybody."

15 years is the number repeated in any discussion about the Chargers and San Diego, clearing the air of a decade-long debate.

"It really is a breath of fresh air," Spanos told KUSI. "There's a decision, there's direction, there's resolution. We have a plan in place we're ready to implement. We know we're going to have to fight hard to prove ourselves in this community. We've gotta put a winning product on the field to start with, but we're up for the challenge. We don't expect anything for nothing. We're going to have to earn it."

The decision remained fluid following the November results, leaving a few months for ownership to reflect on what comes next. "This is something that my family and I have been talking about for the last several weeks. It wasn't something that was determined November 8 when we had the vote, and we really put a lot of thought into it," Spanos said when asked when the decision was finalized. "I wouldn't say there was any specific day, but it was a work in progress."

The relocation to their new home in Los Angeles won't be immediate. with a two-year stint first in Carson. The Chargers will play at StubHub Center, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy in an arena that seats roughly half of Qualcomm Stadium.

"I think that it's going to be a unique experience," Spanos said of the temporary residency in Carson. "We have 10,000 parking stalls, and the fact that the stadium is much smaller I think that every seat in the stadium is going to be spectacular. It's going to be a different type of venue, and I think fans are really going to like it."

Spanos sounded resolute to the fact that he exhausted his options in San Diego, going back to the number 15 as proof of how long the fight for a new stadium had lasted

"Time will tell everything, but in the last 15 years we worked pretty hard, and I can say honestly and look myself in the mirror and say 'look, we did everything we possibly could.'”

With the Chargers goes Dean Spanos from San Diego, who will be joining his team in Los Angeles with a new path in front of him.

"Eventually I'm moving up to LA. This is our home. This is our new home.

"[I spent] half my life in San Diego but it's a new chapter, and we're looking forward to a new beginning."

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