Chargers Refute Rumors Of Sale To Phil Anschutz-Magic Johnson Group
"There is no truth to the rumor out of Toronto [on radio station Fan 590] that the Chargers have agreed to sell a portion of the team to Mr. Anschutz," Fabiani said in a statement e-mailed to several reporters late Tuesday night.
The team announced a couple of weeks ago that they had hired Goldman Sachs to seek out bids to sell a portion of the franchise, which Forbes valued at more than $900 million in August. The Chargers have also been searching for locations for a new stadium, most recently focusing on a location in Downtown San Diego. Building a $750 million stadium there is considered the only remanining way to stay in San Diego.
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson added fuel to the rumors when he said Tuesday on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he is working with AEG to move an existing NFL team to L.A.
Anschutz already owns a stake in the Lakers, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Los Angeles Kings. Forbes pegged Anschutz's wealth at $6 billion on the magazine's 2010 listing of the 400 richest Americans. His company, Anschutz Entertainment Group, owns the L.A. Live complex, including the Staples Center, in Downtown Los Angeles as well as the Home Depot Center in Carson.
AEG recently announced plans to build a $725 million sports stadium at the complex, primarily geared toward soccer and not reliant on football.
The U.S. will learn Thursday if gets to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Currently, the L.A. Coliseum and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena are listed as two of more than a dozen possible sites across the country to host games should the U.S. win a bid. It's likely the AEG stadium, if built, would be added to the mix.
The plan for downtown contrasts a stadium idea from L.A. real estate developer Ed Roski, who wants to build a football-only stadium in the City of Industry--15 miles away from downtown. And that proposal is different from a potential redevelopment of the L.A. Sports Arena into a soccer stadium--three miles away from downtown.
L.A. has been without a football team for 16 years.
Spanos owns 36 percent of the Chargers while his four children equally split a 60 percent share. Two others own a combined four percent.
The L.A. Times' Sam Farmer posted a tweet late Tuesday, saying "AEG wants to build stadium but won't know for months if it's a go. If it can't build a stadium, it isn't in the market for a team. That's it."
In mid-November, Fabiani told the San Diego Union-Tribune that if AEG buys a piece of the Chargers, then fans have a right to be concerned about a move to L.A.
According to the Associated Press:
Between Feb. 1 and April 30 of each year through 2020, the Chargers can announce their intentions to leave if they pay off the bonds used to expand Qualcomm Stadium (the team's current home) in 1997. That figure is currently around $26 million.