NFL has no concerns with Chargers’ L.A. viability

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The Steelers beat the Chargers on Sunday in Heinz Field West. In a few weeks, the Packers will play the Chargers at Lambeau Field West. Two weeks after that, the Chiefs return to Arrowhead West.

You get the picture. And it’s an ugly one for the Chargers, who have no home-field advantage in a 30,000-seat stadium that is routinely overrun by fans of the visiting team.

On Wednesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked whether the league has concerns about the Chargers’ long-term viability in Los Angeles.

“No, not for us at all,” Goodell said, via a transcript of Goodell’s press conference that was generated by the league. “We’re not seeing that as they’re approaching coming into their new stadium, either with the Rams or the Chargers.”

Goodell downplayed the issue of fans of the visiting team taking over a home stadium as a product of legalized, electronic scalping.

“I think that’s the reality of what you see in a lot of stadiums around the league,” Goodell said. “Secondary ticketing is a big issue now. We have certain teams that travel better than others — fans. Pittsburgh is notorious for that, by the way. You see that on a regular basis in markets. I think it’s in part, the technology, and the fact that tickets are available on a secondary platform and are more accessible than they have been in the past. So, I think we’ll continue to see more of that in many of the markets.”

In L.A., however, it’s not about people flying from Pittsburgh to L.A., although surely some do. (On the weekend the Steelers played the 49ers in San Francisco, there were plenty of Pittsburgh fans in full regalia at the local airport.) It’s about the market already having a baked-in base of fans that support teams out-of-town teams like the Steelers.

That’s a very real dynamic for a massive market that the league abandoned for more than 20 years. A full generation of kids grew up in Los Angeles without a local team to follow. So they picked other teams. With both the Chargers and the Rams back in L.A., fans of those other teams can periodically see them play in person. In a market the size of L.A., there are more than enough fans of teams other than the Chargers and Rams to make it hard for the home teams to have a true home-field advantage.

It’s far worse for the Chargers than the Rams. The question becomes whether the same percentages of fans of the visiting team will show up for Chargers games when capacity mushrooms from 30,000 to 70,000.

From the league’s perspective, they don’t care about the home-visitor fan ratio, as long as the stadium is full of people who will plunk down cash for overpriced food and overpriced beer and overpriced merchandise.

They just need to stock more options for the road team’s fans to buy, apparently.

22 responses to “NFL has no concerns with Chargers’ L.A. viability

  1. Lifelong Steeler fan who has lived in LA for 3 decades and was at the game on Sunday night there were 80% Steeler fans! LA can build on existing fan base and will support the Rams in the new mega Stadium. The Chargers are another story. Wake up Roger! The Chargers have zero chance of succeeding in LA

  2. I think Goodell misses the point. This bigger issue isn’t the larger percentage of opposing team fans are in attendance, its that there just aren’t many Charger fans in LA and this will become a glaring issue next year. Deano and his pathetic Chargers will fall way short of their projected attendance and the how will they pay their rent?
    Deano wont be able to get the city or county to help him pay up like he did in SD. His well deserved nightmare hasn’t even begun.

  3. “We’re going to make so much money off the relocation fee and the revenue from 2 teams in the new stadium. They’re just fine.”

  4. Chargers should move somewhere else. LA is not a good sports town. They had 2k open seats for thier elimination baseball game last week. Rams have the worst attendance in the nfl.

  5. “Secondary ticketing is a big issue now”

    Yeah, it’s not like the Chargers play in the StubHub Center or anything. Oh wait…

    NFL doesn’t even know when it’s being ironic.

  6. The league behind closed doors will suggest the Chargers either relocate back to San Diego or another NFL starved city…if not Spsnos maybe forced to sell. NFL won’t let any franchise fail.

  7. I grew up in Arizona in the 70”s/80’s before the Cardinals came to Phoenix and when I was a kid and getting into football the Cowboys and the Broncos were the hometown favorites. When the Cards came, every home game at Sun Devil was mostly a filled with NFL fans of other teams who had been desperate for football in the desert but necessarily for a new team to root for. Games were routinely 80-90% fans of the other teams. It took years but eventually the Cardinals built up a very good fan base and now they have a very strong local following. That said, 30 years after moving, the Cards still struggle to outdraw fans of certain teams that always travel well or have a large following (Packers, Bears, Cowboys, Giants, etc.). The move out of the NFC East helped rid the Cardinals of getting outdrawn by all those east coast transplants to a large degree because there was already a hatred of all things California by Arizonans in the 80/90’s because of USC/UCLA dominance over ASU/UA. eally establish any substantial rivalries with a west Coast teams except for a few good years with the Hawks and 49ers.

  8. they have no concerns – as they push a narrative of how they have no support.
    every game they open up talking about how many opposing fans are at the stadium, which is a unique way of covering the Chargers games. They ignore the fact that other teams have the same issues, such as the rams in a sea of red last weekend. They also ignore facts such as the solid 1/3 attendance by Chargers fans in Miami a few weeks ago.
    They want to push a negative narrative because they hate the way spanos held them hostage.
    The only positive that can come from that is he sells the team, which would be great because he is a crap owner, but still the negative press the nfl gives the chargers is absolute bs.
    and dont tell me about how they moved, bla bla bla.
    the raiders are moving, and the rams moved too. wheres the negativity and full time coverage of pissed off fans for that?

  9. Goodell’s denial of the clear and present problems in the NFL dates back to before the last CBA. Making him the worst and most hypocritical Commish in history. Money is made short term but the long range forecast for the NFL brand of football is very suspect at best.

  10. I’m sure being crammed with a bunch of unruly, obnoxious Steelers’ fans is upsetting for LA. Fortunately, no other team’s fans are as obnoxious or unruly as Steelers’ fans.

  11. FACTS:
    1. Spanos must finish paying off the “relocation” fee of $650 million to owners in 7 years
    2. NFL owners seriously dislike Spanos
    3. Spanos is trapped in LA market as there are too many other pro sports options for fans.
    4. There will be no move back to SD as Spanos would have to pony up another $650 million.
    5. There are no buyers as he/she would have to move the team at $650 million “relocation”
    6. Goodell is lying. NFL is concerned about a “failing franchise” but have no solution.
    7. Beyond shared TV revenues the LA Charger franchise is “revenue short.”
    8. Spanos has already cut ticket and PSL prices for next years move into Kroenke stadium.
    9 Spanos is literally renting everything in LA/Costa Mesa. What does that tell fans?
    10 Spanos has a brutal one-sided contract with Kroenke and can’t break it.
    11.Spanos promised a new contract for Rivers but is delaying because of revenue problems.
    12.The “relocation” is a total disaster for the LA Chargers and the NFL.
    13 The once fun-to-watch Chargers have no fan base and will not build one even in decades
    14.Without a fan base the LA Chargers will not survive.
    15.This “relocation” will go down in Harvard Business Schools case studies as a massive business failure.

  12. Nfl fans are stupid. Goodell doesn’t care about how many fans are at the game. They only care about how many people are watching on TV. The only way to get to them is to stop watching and buying all their merchandise. In the meantime stop complaining

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