NFL: No Consideration Given To Moving Chargers To London
The NFL said there has been "no consideration" given to the idea of the Chargers "playing anywhere other than Los Angeles at the new stadium in Hollywood Park next season and beyond," according to Jeff Miller of the L.A. TIMES. Chargers Chair Dean Spanos yesterday "emphatically -- and colorfully -- denied a story about the team possibly moving to London." Spanos said, "It's total ... bull----, OK? We're not going to London. We're not going anywhere. We're playing in Los Angeles. This is our home, and this is where we're planning to be for a long ... time." Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said, "I know there's not anything to it." Miller notes Spanos and Lynn were responding to a report by The Athletic earlier in the week that had said that the Chargers would "at least listen if the NFL approached them about London as a possible option." The "issue of the Chargers' long-term stability in L.A. has remained a topic" as the team has "struggled to fill Dignity Health Sports Park with their own fans" (L.A. TIMES, 11/6).
LOCAL TROUBLES: ESPN.com's Eric Williams wrote the Chargers have "experienced an uphill climb in building a fan base" in L.A. since moving from San Diego in '17. Despite this, the Chargers "believe they will have more success earning new fans" once they move into the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood next season (ESPN.com, 11/5). In California, Gilbert Manzano notes the team when it moved "launched a marketing campaign" in which it claims to be "entering a 'Fight for L.A.,' hoping to win over fans in Southern California." That fight has "proven to be a difficult one" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/6).
POINT OF NO RETURN: NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said there is "too much tied to the Chargers being in L.A. and being at this new stadium” because the “point of no return has already passed” (“NFL Total Access,” NFL Network, 11/5). PFT’s Mike Florio said Rams Owner Stan Kroenke is not going to let the Chargers “out of that lease” at SoFi Stadium. Florio: “He needs those 10 home games. He doesn’t care if it’s 80% Steelers fans or 70% Packers fans, he wants to have football games played in that stadium to generate the revenue that will help pay for the $5 billion complex” (“PFT,” NBCSN, 11/6).
JUST A BAD FIT: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote Spanos' denial of the London report "may have been the most endearing thing the Chargers have done in years." Maybe that "will win them some fans ... or not." The Chargers are "in a bad spot playing in L.A.," but this is a "disaster of Dean Spanos' making." Wetzel: "You think the rest of the NFL's team owners are going to bail that guy out and just change the direction of the league by handing him London, a market larger than L.A.?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/5). ESPN's Mike Greenberg said of Spanos, "He’s the same guy who promised everyone he would never leave San Diego because that’s his home forever and then jumped to L.A. as fast as he could" ("Get Up," ESPN, 11/6). USA TODAY's Nancy Armour writes the Chargers and the NFL have "backed themselves into a corner of their own design." The success of the NFL's London games means that "some team is moving there, likely sooner rather than later," and the Chargers and Jaguars are the "most obvious candidates." Armour: "Let's see what happens after a season or two of the Chargers dragging down the NFL's attendance numbers." The Chargers always were "going to be a bad fit in Los Angeles, and just about everyone could see that." To "foist two teams on a city ambivalent about the NFL and think both would thrive was either arrogant or ignorant or a little bit of both" (USA TODAY, 11/6).