Dean Spanos

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Dean Spanos
Dean Spanos.jpg
Spanos in 2012
Dean Alexander Spanos

(1950-05-26) May 26, 1950 (age 70)
Alma materUniversity of the Pacific
Years active1984–present
Known forOwner and chairman of the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers franchise
Board member ofManagement Council Executive Committee
Business Ventures Committee (NFL)
Spouse(s)Susie Spanos
Parent(s)Alex Spanos
Faye Papafaklis

Dean Alexander Spanos (born May 26, 1950) is the chairman and owner of the National Football League (NFL)'s Los Angeles Chargers franchise. He is the son of Alex Spanos, who purchased majority interest in the team in 1984.[1][2] Spanos took over daily operations from his father in 1994, becoming president and CEO, until he passed operations to his own sons in 2015.[3] Spanos took over full ownership after his father's death in 2018. Spanos is responsible for the Chargers move to LA from neighboring San Diego, earning him criticism from San Diego football fans, and managing to shoehorn his way into a shared tenant situation with the Galaxy until 2020, where the Chargers will share Sofi Stadium with the Rams.

Early life and education[edit]

Spanos was raised in Stockton, California,[4] the son of Alex Spanos and Faye Papafaklis, both of Greek ancestry.[5]

He attended Lincoln High School where he earned varsity letters in football and golf and received the Lincoln High Hall of Fame Award.[citation needed] He graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1972.[6]


San Diego Chargers[edit]

Spanos was named team president and chief executive officer of the Chargers in early 1994.[7] Under Spanos's leadership, the Chargers won 113 games between 2004 and 2014, which included five AFC West championships and four playoff game wins.[4]

In May 2015, Spanos ceded control of the team to his sons, John and A.G. He stayed on as chairman with the understanding he would oversee the new stadium process, which resulted in the team playing its home games in the 27,000 seat LA Galaxy's StubHub Center, which was not full for several games in 2017, and often has more seats filled by fans of the visiting team than Chargers fans.[7][8][9]

Spanos demanded the San Diego taxpayers finance a new stadium for the Chargers to be built in downtown San Diego. After 15 years of attempting to get others to pay for a downtown football stadium, a ballot measure to raise hotel room tax for a new stadium only received 43 percent approval.[10]

Los Angeles Chargers[edit]

In January 2017, Spanos infamously exercised the option to relocate the team to Los Angeles.[11] The move was met with criticism by the San Diego fan base, due to Spanos's lack of effort in attempting to find a stadium solution in San Diego.[12][13] The team's temporary headquarters was in Costa Mesa under a 10 year lease.[10] The 2017 season was played at the 27,000-seat Dignity Health Sports Park (known as StubHub Center until 2019) and the Chargers are scheduled to play at SoFi Stadium as a tenant of the Los Angeles Rams in 2020.[14]

Moving the Chargers from San Diego to Los Angeles was reportedly unpopular among San Diego citizens, specifically San Diego Tribune columnist Kevin Acee.[15]


In 1999, the family launched Chargers Champions through the Community Foundation to support local schools.[16][17]

In 2011 Spanos held a fundraiser for Rick Perry at a private event at Sacramento.[18] In 2014, the Spanoses donated $500,000 to the University of California, San Diego for the Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center. The donation brought their total support to UCSD to $1.6 million.[19][20]

He also led the Chargers to partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in San Diego in honor of his wife Susie, who is a breast cancer survivor.[21] During his tenure with the Chargers, Spanos created The Chargers Champions All-Star Gala to recognize high school students and educators in the San Diego area.[22] After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Spanos and the Chargers donated $500,000 to hurricane relief.[23][24]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2016, Spanos was ranked number 21 on the USA Today list of 100 most important people in the NFL.[25] He was an honoree at the American Hellenic Council's (AHC) Annual Awards Gala, which recognizes individuals from the Greek-American community.[26]

He was appointed to the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2006.[27] Spanos received the 2005 Distinguished American Award from the San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation.[28] He was also awarded the 2004 Jose A. Cota Award for philanthropy and the Chargers support of law enforcement.[29]

In 2002, Spanos was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 16 years after his father received the award.[30] He also was inducted into the DeMolay International Alumni Hall of Fame.[31]


  1. ^ Dean and Susie Spanos article Giving Back. Retrieved on July 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Dean A. Spanos.
  3. ^ "Dean Spanos legacy more than Bolts". The San Diego Union-Tribune. March 5, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "President of the NFL team San Diego Chargers". March 5, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Taking Charge - Dean Spanos". Fine Magazine. June 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "Chargers owner Dean Spanos driven by work ethic". Los Angeles Daily News. July 16, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Chargers owner Dean Spanos cedes day-to-day control of team to sons". Sports Illustrated. May 18, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "Chargers owner Dean Spanos relinquishes control of team to sons". The Score. May 18, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  9. ^ "Dean Spanos gives up day-to-day control of Chargers to his sons". Fox Sports. May 19, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Charging Ahead". Pelican Hill Magazine. August 30, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  11. ^ "Chargers announce decision to relocate to Los Angeles". National Football League. January 12, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Fox 5 Digital Team (January 17, 2017). "Ryan Seacrest asks Chargers owner Dean Spanos about being a 'villain'". KSWB-TV.
  13. ^ Acee, Kevin (January 12, 2017). "Dean Spanos could have been a hero, but now he's San Diego's villain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  14. ^ "Chargers Confirm Move To Los Angeles For 2017 NFL Season". Deadline Hollywood. January 12, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  15. ^ "Dean Spanos could have been hero, now San Diego's villain". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 12, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  16. ^ "Spanos Family, Chargers Donate $250K In Grants To San Diego County Schools". CBS Los Angeles. November 28, 2012.
  17. ^ Matt Potter (February 15, 2016). "Spanos clan saves its charity for Stockton". San Diego Reader.
  18. ^ Matt Potter (November 23, 2011). "Spanos Fundraiser for Rick Perry A Family Affair". San Diego Reader.
  19. ^ "At Home With Dean & Susie Spanos". Ranch and Coast. November 9, 2014.
  20. ^ "UC San Diego Breaks Ground on Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center". UC San Diego News Center. June 11, 2015.
  21. ^ "San Diego Chargers partner with Susan G. Komen San Diego". Del Mar Times.
  22. ^ "Charger Champions All-Star Gala Marshall Faulk Technology Center". San Diego Magazine. September 2004.
  23. ^ Derek Togerson. "Chargers, Spanos Family Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort". NBC San Diego.
  24. ^ Dan Woike (September 1, 2017). "Chargers pledge $500,000 to help victims of Tropical Storm Harvey". Los Angeles Times.
  25. ^ "Chargers' Dean Spanos among NFL's 100 most important people". CBS Sports. June 28, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  26. ^ "American Hellenic Council Honors LA Chargers Owner Dean Spanos". The National Herald.
  27. ^ "Culture vulture". San Diego Reader.
  28. ^ "National Football Foundation to honor three South County individuals". The Star-News.
  29. ^ "Chargers accept police award".
  30. ^ "At Home With Dean & Susie Spanos". Ranch & Coast. November 9, 2014.
  31. ^ Dean A. Spanos profile,; accessed September 24, 2016.

External links[edit]