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Report: Chargers Owner Looking to Sell Minority Stake

Big news out of Chargersland today.

Team owner Alex Spanos has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to sell a minority stake in the Chargers, according to a report Monday afternoon on NFL FanHouse [1].

Alex Spanos, who became the club’s majority owner in 1984, is now 87 years old and reportedly in poor health. He and his wife now own 36 percent of the club, while each of his four children have 15 percent stakes, and they have hired Goldman Sachs to sell a minority share in the team. Representatives from Goldman have met recently with several wealthy individuals in L.A. about the Chargers’ stake, according to people familiar with the matter …

Mark Fabiani, who has been leading the Chargers’ efforts to develop a new stadium, told FanHouse that the Spanos family is looking to sell a stake in the team solely for “estate-planning purposes.” Greg Carey, a managing director at Goldman and its point man on stadium and sports deals, confirmed that the company is working with the Chargers but has not been retained by the NFL or (potential L.A. stadium developer) AEG to find partners for a potential L.A. ownership group.

The news about Spanos’ potential sale of part the team comes as a stadium project in L.A. hurdles forward. AEG recently issued a proposal [2] to design a $725 million stadium next to the L.A. Live sports and entertainment complex it owns in downtown Los Angeles. The home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the Staples Center, anchors the complex.

In the meantime, Fabiani broke his silence [3] last Friday about the biggest gift given to the team’s quest for a new San Diego stadium for years — the lifting of the downtown redevelopment cap. The cap’s elimination allows for easier public subsidizing of a stadium at the proposed East Village site.

“Of course, whether any of that money would be spent on a stadium is up to city leaders and the voters,” Fabiani said in a Q&A on the team’s website [4]. “But, at least in theory, there are newly available resources to work with.”

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org [5] or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam [6].