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Report: Kroenke supporters wants a Chargers-Rams partnership

Dean Spanos, Mark Davis


With the Chargers currently enjoying more support than the Rams for a Los Angeles relocation, Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his supporters apparently have activated the Hail Mary option.

According to Scott M. Reid of the Orange County Register, Kroenke allies have begun lobbying for a shared stadium in Inglewood, with the Rams and Chargers playing in the same venue.

A league source with knowledge of the ownership dynamics previously told PFT that Chargers owner Dean Spanos has no desire to partner with Kroenke, in part because Spanos doesn’t want the Chargers to be a tenant in someone else’s stadium. Which makes the term “equal partner” in the Register report even more significant.

Of course, it’s one thing for the arrangement to be called an equal partnership. It will be quite another for the arrangement to actually be an equal partnership. At a minimum, Spanos will need to be persuaded that the two teams will indeed be equal in the project that Kroenke is proposing.

A Chargers-Rams solution has been on the radar for weeks, ever since it became clear that both Spanos and Kroenke could be able to muster the nine owner votes needed to block the other from moving. But the notion that some owners are proposing a Chargers-Rams equal partnership creates a potential problem for the Chargers -- and for the owners encouraging the Chargers to partner up with the Rams.

Spanos already has agreed to partner with the Raiders and owner Mark Davis. Under California law, it’s entirely possible that certain fiduciary or other legal duties have attached to Spanos and the Chargers, preventing him and the team from cutting Davis and the Raiders loose without incurring various potential liabilities. With the rest of the league on notice of the existence of the Chargers-Raiders partnership, any owners encouraging Spanos to ditch Davis and to embrace Kroenke could be tortiously interfering with existing business relations.

If Mark Davis emerges from the situation with a new stadium in Oakland or elsewhere, he may not be as inclined as his father would have been to sue everyone. Nevertheless, the Chargers-Raiders angle is something that the owners will need to take very seriously, if the Chargers eventually will be leaving the Raiders at the altar and marrying the Rams.

And perhaps the only way to make it work will be to give Davis the money he needs to bridge the current gap between the total cost of a new Oakland stadium and the current funds available to build it.