James Lambert
Charger owners reject 56 years of fan support!
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By James Lambert
January 28, 2017

Sadly, the team that hundreds of thousands of loyal San Diego Charger fans have supported for years has now left San Diego. This is the same team that left Los Angeles after its first year in the upstart American Football League in 1961. It is also the team that a few years later, won the 1963 AFL Championship game in Balboa Stadium. The city and the team both experienced the transition from an American Football League team to the NFL. The highlight during the next 25 years was the team winning the AFC crown and playing in Super Bowl XXIX (on January, 29th of 1995).

I remember the time well. I was a young boy when my father: long time La Jolla real estate broker: James L. Lambert started a family tradition by regularly supporting our professional football team: the Chargers. By the time the team started playing at 'Jack Murphy Stadium,' many such North County and San Diego families enjoyed seeing 'the local team' play during each fall season.

By the time I got out of college and started my career in the banking industry, I really enjoyed sitting near my parents as they cheered on the local team. Over time I would go to the Sunday afternoon games with friends and members of my own family. Sadly that is now gone for thousands of us.

For a long time Mr. Spanos and his family were residents of La Jolla. They were blessed with a large home with tremendous views of the La Jolla coastline. It staggers my mind that they would walk away from not only this picturesque and beautiful area but a city that so faithfully supported their team. It was only in the last 5 years or so when rumors of the team leaving did fan support wane.

While the voters rejected their tax payer supported move to down town, the logical suggestion to build a new stadium in Mission Valley was rejected by the Spanos family. Certainly, Mission Valley seemed to be the best location for a new stadium. It would have been the most cost effective and certainly the best location for transporting fans to the stadium. AND, the city was willing to give the team 166 acres for a 100 year lease at the cost of only $1 a year.

It's too bad that the NFL ownership (and the NFL commissioner) didn't try to more strongly direct Dean Spanos to accept building a new stadium in Mission Valley where the costs were more reasonable and the land was theirs for the keeping. Nevertheless, Mr. Spanos said no and our beloved city has lost its 3rd national professional sports franchise (the NBA Rockets & Clippers being the others) in the last 40 years. How sad.

© James Lambert

 

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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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