Dean Spanos is having a bad few weeks. Awful crowds at the Los Angeles Chargers games at StubHub Center and an 0-3 record have been made worse by a billboard and banners flying over the stadium disparaging him. Well, now the Federal Aviation Administration has reportedly piled onto Spanos’ misery.
FOX 5 in San Diego is reporting Spanos tried to stop the banners being flown above StubHub Center on game days by requesting a temporary flight restriction (TFR). The FAA rejected the request and the reason is delicious. You see, TFRs are only granted for stadiums and arenas that hold 30,000 or more. Spanos’ soccer stadium home only holds 27,000, so the FAA shut down his request.
As a San Diego resident and former Chargers fan I had one reaction to this news:
Yes, Dean Spanos moved the Chargers to Los Angeles where no one wanted them. He was forced to shove his team into a tiny soccer stadium because there was zero chance he’d get crowds at the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum. As a result of that decision, fans can fly whatever banners they want over StubHub center on game days. It’s beautiful.
Joseph MacRae, the man behind the flyovers, had the following to say:
“Spanos and the NFL don’t control everything. The skies are owned by the government and there is nothing Dean can do about this.
“This only adds more fuel to the fire to get a flyover every single home game for the entire season. I want to treat Dean Spanos just like he treated the great people of San Diego: like dirt. We’ll continue our flyovers until Dean Spanos sells the team.”
MacRae’s first banner read: “Worst owner in sports? Dean Spanos. Pay your rent!” while the banner in Week 3 read: “Free the Chargers. Bring ’em back to SD. #SPANOSSUCKS.”
Another banner will fly over the stadium on Sunday during the team’s Week 4 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. It will read: “If Spanos sees a sellout, he should look in the mirror.”
And there’s nothing Dean Spanos can do to stop it.
UPDATE: The Chargers claim their request to halt the flyovers was due to safety concerns, not the message being displayed by the planes. Sure it was.