Well, that was awkward.
The Chargers’ logo was shown during a Clippers/Lakers game at the Staples Center on Saturday – and it was promptly booed. Does the NFL have an embarrassing situation on its hands less than one week after Dean Spanos announced that his franchise was relocating?
“I don’t think the Chargers wanted to be in L.A., the league didn’t want them in L.A., and I don’t think L.A. necessarily wants the Chargers,” The MMQB’s Albert Breer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “To me, this is a business arrangement, and Dean Spanos and his family had to make a decision. Basically, do we want to risk losing the L.A. market and do we want to risk losing all of that leverage? Because that option was about to roll over to the Raiders. I think the business decision to them was we’d rather take something with some certainty. We know we’re going into a new stadium in 2019. We know where we’ll be the next two years – rather than staying in San Diego, fighting the same fight they’ve fought the last 15 years and potentially losing the leverage of the possibility that they go to Los Angeles. Bottom line, if the family is going to sell the team in 10 years, that’s a much more valuable asset if it’s the Los Angeles Chargers rather than the San Diego Chargers. That’s the reality of it.
“Now that does not mean it’s going to work,” Breer said. “I think the Rams saw firsthand the challenges of winning over the people in L.A. and sustaining fan support in L.A. It’s not an easy thing to do – and that’s a team that has 50 years of history there. The Chargers need to somehow organically grow a fan base, and that’s not going to be easy to do with so may options there for all the fans and everything else.”
Breer sees only one solution for the Chargers.
“They’re going to have to win,” he said. “If they don’t win, it’s a potentially embarrassing situation for both the league and the Chargers because you could be looking at – believe it or not – empty seats in a 30,000-seat facility.”