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CBA Q&A with Dean Spanos

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2571">Chargers.com</a>

    <img width="155" height="143" id="image2009" alt="Dean Spanos" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/spanos180.jpg" />

    By Bill Johnston

    How is the new deal good for the NFL and why do you support it?

    "I think it's not only good for the NFL and the players, ultimately the biggest benefactors are the fans."  It keeps labor peace for four years and hopefully for six years."  The fans are the real winners along with the sport itself."  I think that was the main reason that concessions were made in that room at the 11th hour to get a deal done."

    Take us behind the closed doors when the owners met in Dallas."  What were the major issues discussed in the final two days of negotiations?

    "Obviously there was a large discussion relevant to whether we should accept the players' CBA proposal."  It was recommended by the commissioner (Paul Tagliabue) and the negotiating committee."  The Management Council Executive Committee and Commissioner Tagliabue felt that it was the best deal that they could negotiate. there was some serious discussion about certain issues and aspects of it, but ultimately we approved it and moved on to internal league economics, specifically revenue/cost sharing."  Most of the time the last two days was spent on how to shift money around from the high-revenue clubs to the low-revenue clubs in a fair and equitable manner that made sense long term for the league."  We were also concerned with maintaining competitive balance for the low-revenue clubs, which was the most important driving force in this whole thing."  There was a consensus among most of the owners that we would ratify the CBA agreement assuming that we could get some fair and equitable revenue-sharing deal in place."

    Is the revenue-sharing agreement that came out of the meetings to your satisfaction?

    "I think there were huge concessions made on both sides, from the high-revenue and low-revenue clubs."  I think ultimately it's not a deal that anyone in that room particularly wants, which probably means that it's a fair deal for everyone."  I think time will tell."  In the next three or four years as we go through this whole process here of revenue sharing, we'll know whether it's working or not."  At this point, I don't really know for sure because of the compromises that were made."

    How does the new deal impact the Chargers specifically?

    "Small market teams (like the Chargers) are going to have a tougher time trying to compete because it was a more expensive labor deal than the previous one."  It really relates to player costs as a percentage of total gross revenues."  The problem is that the low-revenue clubs are spending 65-75 percent of their total gross revenues on player costs while the high-revenue clubs are spending 35-45 percent."  There within lies the problem and is why there is a major shift of revenues in the league from high-revenue clubs to the low revenue clubs."

    Has the new deal affected G3 stadium financing?

    "There is going to be a funding mechanism for G3 financing to help finance future stadiums."  In the new deal, the players will continue to contribute to the development of new stadiums."  It's a similar program to the one in the old deal, which is a positive."  There are still a lot of details forthcoming, so we're anxiously waiting to see how it will play out."

    Does the new CBA have an impact on the need for a new stadium in San Diego?

    "I think it creates more of a need than ever."  The Chargers are 28th among the 32 teams in terms of total gross revenues - and falling."  The disparity (between high and low revenue clubs) is growing at such a rapid rate that we now have a gap reaching almost $125 million."  It's going to continue to grow."  If you ask me, we can't be competitive with the rest of the league on the revenues that we make now."  We're spending 70 percent of every dollar that we take in on players."  We don't have enough money to pay for the rest of the operation."  That's the simple way of saying it."  The highest revenue club is spending less than 40 percent."  We're both spending the same number for players, and theirs is 40 percent of their revenues and ours is 70 percent.

    "The Chargers had an outstanding year last year relevant to sales."  We've nearly maxed our revenue streams and we're still among the bottom four teams."  There is nothing more to sell."  That's why a new state-of-the-art stadium in San Diego is so important; to maximize our revenues and to keep us competitive on the field."  That's not limited to signing players, but also front office employees, coaches, practice facilities and so on.

    "New stadiums provide so many benefits for the teams as well as the fans."  The vast majority of the seats and suites are between the goal lines."  The suites are larger as are all of the concourse areas of the stadium."  New technologies such as digital scoreboards and signage opportunities allow teams to generate additional revenues while providing added benefits for the fans."
     

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