Unnamed Chargers official says team is “not going back” to San Diego

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When NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters this week that there have been “no discussions” about the Chargers possibly returning to San Diego, he wasn’t as dismissive as maybe he could have been about a possible re-relocation. Indeed, merely stating that there have been “no discussions” implies that there could be discussions in the future.

An unnamed Chargers official has given Ian Rapoport of NFL Media a more clear position on the matter: “We’re not going back.”

The decision to remain off the record seems odd, frankly, because the source should be willing to say it loudly and proudly. Providing the quote anonymously creates the impression that there’s something sensitive or controversial about the notion that the Chargers have left San Diego and aren’t looking back. Anything other than an unequivocal and unconditional “of course we’re not going back” creates the vague impression that, well, maybe they will.

And maybe they want to create the vague impression that, well, maybe they will. Maybe some San Diego fans start to become a little more interested in the team, if there’s a chance that the team comes home. And maybe it ultimately will be the best business decision for the team to make, if the eventual move to the new stadium in Inglewood, which will give rise to constant apples-to-apples comparisons between Rams and Chargers attendance, results in conspicuously empty seats and/or a 50-50 split between Chargers fans and fans of whichever team they’re playing.

Of course, there wouldn’t be anything easy about a move, especially since Rams owner Stan Kroenke may not be inclined to rip up a lease agreement that ties the Chargers to Kroenke’s stadium for 20 years. While the fact that Kroenke is one of the league’s owners could make him more inclined to cut the Chargers some slack, he’s surely not going to just walk away from 10 days per year of revenue generation at a $2.6 billion stadium that he’s paying for on his own. Getting him to let the Chargers walk wouldn’t be easy or automatic.

Regardless, the Chargers would be wise to keep all options open. Which could be why the Chargers have yet to officially change their “Fight For L.A.” slogan to “Here To Stay In L.A.” or maybe, more fittingly, “To Live And Die In L.A.” or maybe, even more fittingly, “To Live Or Die In L.A.”

37 responses to “Unnamed Chargers official says team is “not going back” to San Diego

  1. Greed, one of the7 deadly sins. And it has certainly killed the Chargers franchise. I’m loving how badly this has backfired on the Chargers owner and the NFL.

  2. Who is “we” ….best thing that could happen is a change of ownership/ leadership and head right back down I-5 : this outfit is like a transplanted organ that gets rejected by the host body …. will always be 3rd fiddle to Rams and Raiders

  3. There are millions of transplanted NFL Fans in Los Angeles. What the Chargers are doing now is providing them an opportunity to see their teams locally, in a home like atmosphere. Like Jason Peters said after the Eagles game, they have 16 away games. The Chargers can barely get 10,000 people to buy tickets now in a 27,000 seat stadium. Moving into the new stadium is going to be a disaster of epic proportions.

  4. They should go back to San Diego. They aren’t going to win over the LA fan base with how good the Rams are doing. It’s ok to admit your wrong and go back before all the bridges are burned.

  5. NFL programming is amazing, and the ratings have never been better. I can see why working dolts keep handing over their hard earned money for tickets and t-shirts – the product is INCREDIBLE!

  6. Spanos can’t relocate again! It would cost him another $650 million! He’ll wait it out till hell freezes over. The relocation has completely unraveled and he’s going to wait until the league and owners find him some way to bail out. He’s still making money from TV.

  7. But it was never about the fans or how many were visiting ones, it was about Spanos (having seen his $80M Chargers investment reach $1.5bn) not being able to screw even more municipal funds out of San Diego. And about selling exec boxes and ad-revenue in a far bigger catchment. Even if LA stays semi-disinterested, he figures that market is more lucrative than an interested San Diego one.

  8. I think fewer teams will be moving due to the publics outcry against the NFL. The public has to speak up and not allow their local governments to give in to the greedy owners and pay for their billion dollar stadiums

  9. My ex doesn’t want me back either. Best option is to hop a train out of town, cut your hair and reinvent yourself.

    San Antonio Gun Slingers anyone with Farve as the OC drawing up plays in the dirt with a stick.

  10. For the 650 million relocation fee he’s paying, Spanos could have built a beautiful stadium in San Diego along with a complex of stores, restaurants, movie theaters, bars, nightclub, hotel etc around it like Kraft did in Foxboro. He could have owned outright a profitable venue and complex.

    Instead he threw a fit because San Diego taxpayers wouldn’t pay for a billion dollar palace for a billionaire, and I hope this franchise goes down the tubes. He deserves to lose it for his vast greed and the way he shafted his fanbase.

  11. Official fan reply from San Diego is…….”As long as Spanos owns the team they are not welcome back in San Diego”

  12. Official fan reply from San Diego is…….”As long as Spanos owns the team they are not welcome back in San Diego”

  13. I am curious to see what they could do with the tagline “LA Confidential.” Come down and see an actual NFL team play in a tiny stadium. On the QT. Very Hush Hush.

  14. What he really means, the Los Angeles Chargers will be sold to somebody else who will keep them in Los Angeles.

    His name is Bob Iger and this move was made more than 5+ years ago.

  15. Been saying this all along. This was the Chargers plan to begin with. Leave for a few years to make San Diego “feel grateful” that the Chargers want to return. This way they not only will get the stadium they always wanted, the team will get it on the terms they want.

  16. Spanos would have to sell to move the Chargers back to San Diego. I know this sounds crazy but how about Mexico City? Spanos wants a big market clearly, and Latin America is a gigantic untapped market for the NFL.

  17. “With the 1st pick of the 2018 draft, The Cleveland Browns trade The Cleveland Browns to San Diego via Los Angeles, straight up for the Whatever Chargers.”

  18. If the NFL were smart they’d force Spanos to sell. What he’s done to the Chargers franchise is horrible and should not be allowed. Cheap and greedy, not a good mix.

  19. San Diego doesn’t want them. LA doesn’t want them (the game this morning at the Giants is on channel 9, not even on the networks main channel, CBS 2, which has an infomercial, This Is LA, on at the moment). San Antonio?

  20. Only way to move back is new owners with a deal for a new stadium. Otherwise NFL will not look back with mud on its face since the owners are the ones who approved the move in the first place. 2% chance it ever happens since now SDSU wants to develop a new 35,000 seat SDSU/Pro soccer stadium on that site. Knowing this city management, pro football doesn’t have a chance.

  21. After leading on the city for 10 years, got up and packed at the first opportunity. The Spanos always wanted LA and got it. San Diego wants the chargers back, but no way in hell if a spanos is an owner

  22. @streetyson says: “it was never about the fans or how many were visiting ones, it was about Spanos (having seen his $80M Chargers investment reach $1.5bn) not being able to screw even more municipal funds out of San Diego. And about selling exec boxes and ad-revenue in a far bigger catchment. Even if LA stays semi-disinterested, he figures that market is more lucrative than an interested San Diego one.”

    B-I-N-G-O! The most correct answer out of all of them… Well done..

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