NFL: “No discussions” regarding possible Chargers return to San Diego

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The L.A. Chargers are more like the Washington Generals, a perpetual road team with no zealous fan base to ever welcome them home. And it will remain that way, indefinitely.

During a Tuesday media briefing, and in response to a specific question based on recent reports/rumors/speculation of a possible re-relocation of the team, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said there are no discussions regarding a possible return of the Chargers to San Diego. If there aren’t, maybe there should be.

The league and the Chargers hope to tread water (or sink slowly) for the next three seasons, hopeful that the opening of a new stadium in Inglewood that will be shared with the Rams will serve to invigorate the fan base. But that may be wishful thinking; chances are the current dynamic at the StubHub Center — where all tickets are sold but too many of them end up in the hands of the visiting team — will happen once the Chargers are playing in a larger stadium. Quite possibly, there will be more Chargers fans, more fans of the visiting team, and the same vibe in the new, bigger stadium as there is in current, smaller one.

We all should have seen this coming. After 20 years with no team in Los Angeles, NFL fans there developed a wide array of interests and tastes and rooting interests. It’s the second largest market in the country; there’s a good chance that most if not all NFL teams have a fan base in L.A. that would mobilize to fill up a large chunk of the StubHub Center. Some teams (like the Raiders) have enough to fill up a large chunk of a large stadium.

For the Rams, who had been in Los Angeles for decades, a fan base remained. For the Chargers, who last were in L.A. in 1960, that simply wasn’t the case — as the total Chargers fan attendance at a 27,000-seat stadium has shown.

The only way for the Chargers to change that will be to do what they haven’t been able to do since the Super Bowl era began: Win a Super Bowl. Or two. On-field success will be the way to get local fans interested in the team and/or to build the kind of national fan base that will prompt fans to travel to L.A. to watch them play in person.

At 0-4 and with an aging franchise quarterback, that won’t be happening any time soon. By the time it ever does, it could be too late.

25 responses to “NFL: “No discussions” regarding possible Chargers return to San Diego

  1. Whatever they do/want to do regarding San Diego will not be made public until the law suit with St Louis is resolved. They do not want anything that comes up with San Diego to influence St Louis and make the issue worse!!!

  2. Go home, Spanos. Do banners telling you as much have to fly over EVERY home game this season?

    For 12 years the Raiders played in LA at the Memorial Coliseum, and the San Diego Chargers were division foes. When we had Raiders season tickets, we often trucked down to San Diego to cheer on the Raiders and boo the Chargers.

    Now Spanos thinks you just go from division foe to carpetbagging interloper. I’m sure if the Niners relocated to a suburb in Seattle, they would find the same kind of success Spanos should be looking forward to.

  3. Maybe next they’ll try to enter a stadium sharing agreement up in Saskatoon. It would be new territory for then NFL, right?

    But seriously, I can see more likely destinations south of the border – Mexico City or Tijuana. There is some precedent for the NFL in Mexico, and a much larger set of stadiums with untapped markets. Mexico City has 30 million people. If even 1/4 have the purchasing power of US citizens, that makes a much larger potential fanbase than many US cities. Don’t think the owners don’t know this….

  4. It’s very early but the failure of the Chargers in LA really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Spanos and the NFL were so wrong on this it was laughable. I still feels bad for San Diego fans who supported that team for generations then got kicked in the b@#&s by the NFL.

  5. Serves them right for leaving San Diego. That city has supported that franchise through thick and thin – mostly thin.

  6. I never got why owners always want a shiny new stadium. It not like Jerry Jones, most stadiums are owned by the cities. So a customer paying 25 dollars a ticket in a old stadium or 25 dollars in a new one does it matter? As long as the fans keep coming.

  7. How anyone figured that putting two teams in a city that didn’t seem particularly desperate to have one was a good idea is beyond me. Talk of the Chargers needing to win a Super Bowl or two to energize the fan base leaves out one particular fact. The same predicament applies to the Rams as well.

  8. I have an idea…. they move to Oakland in 3 years… then Vegas goes bust and the Raiders look for a new home and find one in San Diego. It’ll take a few years to play out, obviously, just remember where you heard it first.

  9. It’s just a matter of time before they hit some adversity too, then we’ll see how great they are, same with the Bronco’s.

  10. I want to know if I am wrong to say that its to expensive to go to a game or more at Stubhub Center for a lot of fans. $200 dollar tickets and $100 dollar parking is not a way to increase your local fans. The 0-4 record does not help neither.

  11. The Chargers have already burned the bridge that leads back to San Diego, and it’s obvious that the transition into LA is failing. They should start researching an alternative location, like San Antonio, St. Louis, Sacramento, Portland, or some other major market that doesn’t already have a team.

  12. Hey fans! Wake up! Spanos/Fabiani are trapped! They can’t relocate for another $650 million and can’t sell it while it’s in L-a-L-a-Land. It’s a failed business model. A new owner’s not ponying up $650 million relocation on top of the purchase price! YOU ARE WATCHING THE DESTRUCTION OF A BUSINESS FRANCHISE!

  13. Joe Lockhart is lying. There are no FORMAL discussions, but Goodell and league personnel are talking a lot about this massive Charger relocation failure. This has them re-looking at the Raider relocation already approved and what to do about Spanos and the Chargers. The NFL doesn’t want to call an emergency meeting about it as it will become press focus so they’ll let Spano/Fabiani stew in their own grease.

  14. Move the franchise to San Antonio, St. Louis, Portland, Oklahoma City anywhere. Just one LA team is enough. Second franchise there was set up to fail and so far it has.

  15. I would root for the Chargers again, if they moved back to San Diego. However, I must admit it really isn’t all that bad rooting for them to lose now that they are playing in Stubhub and eventually moving to LA.

    An argument could be made that the league really ought to consider eliminating teams. There are too many teams and not enough good players and coaches. I don’t know what the process is for downsizing the number of teams in the league. Would owners have to be bought out? Would the players’ union have to approve it?

    The NFL has to know that they have a problem with Chargers move. I just don’t know if they care at this point. I have seen very little coverage in regards to the lack of Charger fan support in Stubhub. Most of the NFL coverage that I have seen has nothing to do with the league itself. Most of the coverage has been all about non-football related issues, that some players and coaches have dove head first into getting involved in.

  16. Wow Spanos and the Commish looking quite depressing walking out of the Chargers tunnel together. Guess misery really loves company

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