SBD/April 21, 2017/Franchises

Rams, Chargers To Host Home Games In L.A. Simultaneously Three Times This Season

Chargers games will be played at StubHub Center until the '19 season
The NFL on Thursday night released its '17 schedule, and the Rams and Chargers will split L.A. in "half on three separate days" next season, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Both teams will play simultaneous home games Sept. 17, Dec. 12 and Dec. 31, but by using each team's bye weeks, five mutual opponents and Thursday and Monday night appearances, the schedule-makers "managed to soften the blow as much as possible." There will be a New Year’s Eve home and home in the form of a "NorCal vs. SoCal rivalry feast" in which the 49ers visit the Rams at the Coliseum and the Raiders play the Chargers at StubHub Center. These are "interesting new times for fans, too, as many will use the next few years to decide which team to support." The schedule and how it plays out "could play a role" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/21).

RUN THIS TOWN: In L.A. Bill Plaschke writes the NFL "pushed the Chargers forward into the spotlight while leaving the Rams hanging on the edge of the shadows." The Chargers "got New Year’s Eve against the Raiders, Thanksgiving in Dallas, and a StubHub debut" against the Dolphins. The Rams "got Sunday in London, Thursday in traffic in Santa Clara, and three games wallowing in a mess left by USC." The Chargers will "own the town at the end of a schedule in which the NFL seemingly purposely designed to help them establish themselves." Plaschke: "The league scheduled the Rams and Chargers to play on the same day, at the same time, three times! Instead of attempting to build this market as a two-team town, they are forcing fans to make a hard choice" (L.A. TIMES, 4/21). In L.A., Sam Farmer notes the Rams and Chargers will "eventually share a stadium in Inglewood" for the '19 season. NFL Senior Dir of Broadcasting Michael North said, "Truth be told, this is as easy as it's going to get for us. Because as soon as they start sharing a stadium they're the Jets and Giants, and obviously only one can be at home each day." NFL games have not been played simultaneously in the same market "since before" '83, when the Giants and Jets "began sharing a stadium" (L.A. TIMES, 4/21).
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