Owner Alex Spanos looking to sell minority stake in Chargers

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos is looking to sell a minority stake to help with estate planning.

Attorney Mark Fabiani, who has led the Chargers' push for a new stadium since 2002, said Tuesday that the percentage to be sold will be determined by negotiations with a potential buyer. The 87-year-old Spanos and his wife, Faye, own 36 percent of the team. Their four children each own 15 percent. Two minority owners own the other 4 percent.

"To be clear, this is a sale of a minority stake only; the Spanos family will continue to hold a controlling majority stake in the team under all circumstances," Fabiani said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The sale was first reported by FanHouse.com.

Spanos, a billionaire developer who lives in Stockton, revealed two years ago that he suffers from dementia. His son, Dean, is president of the Chargers, the only NFL team in Southern California.

Fabiani said the sale of the minority share has nothing to do with efforts to get a new stadium built in San Diego. The team is currently exploring options to build a $750 million stadium east of Petco Park in downtown. The team could eventually seek hundreds of millions of dollars in public assistance.

The Chargers have long been rumored as a possible tenant if a new stadium is built in Los Angeles. The team began play in 1960 as the Los Angeles Chargers of the AFL. After attracting small crowds at the Coliseum, it moved to San Diego prior to the 1961 season.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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