Some NFL Owners Worried About Chargers Long Term In L.A.
The NFL and Chargers have said that they are not moving to London, but some owners and league officials are looking at the team as a "long-term viability" in L.A., according to NFL Network's Steve Wyche. Some owners have said that they "don't like what they see in terms of there just not being much support whatsoever for the Chargers," and it will be "interesting to see 3, 4, 5 years from now if they're going to be able to make any headway in that market." Wyche added the NFL cannot force Chargers Chair Dean Spanos to leave L.A. because the league "gave him this opportunity." Wyche said he had "never heard" that the Chargers would consider relocating to London ("The Darren Smith Show," XTRA-Fox, 11/6). The Athletic's Vincent Bonsignore said "not every owner" wanted the Chargers to move to L.A., and it has "undercut some of what the Chargers have been trying to do." Everyone "knew that the Chargers weren't going to walk into Los Angeles and just boldly claim themselves property of Los Angeles," and the Chargers "forging their own way ... is unfolding in a way that many predicted." The team needs the "time to just stay in Los Angeles, be committed to it, be understanding of the fact that it's going to take some time and just be committed to that process" ("OTL," ESPN, 11/6).
ULTERIOR MOTIVES? CBSSN's Jason La Canfora said the Chargers are "not moving to London," and it has "never been discussed internally." But there "could be some people that have an agenda at the league office in terms of getting this London thing sped up because there's a CBA negotiation going on," and if they can "wrap up the move of a team to London within that, then that would make a lot of people happy" ("Time to Schein," CBSSN, 11/6).
IN TOO DEEP: In L.A., Arash Markazi writes London "isn't the answer to the Chargers' problems" in L.A. They are the "second pro football team in L.A.," but in London, they would be "14th -- behind the 13 professional soccer clubs that call the city home." The Chargers "didn't move from San Diego to Los Angeles hoping to reverse the trend of opposing fan takeovers." They moved to L.A. "so that they could play in a brand new" $5B stadium in the country's "second biggest media market." They are "not going to pull the plug on that months before the stadium opens" (L.A. TIMES, 11/7).
NOT EVEN CLOSE: Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said he does not think the NFL is "anywhere near close" to having a team in London. Khan said, "We don't want to have more games than there's really organic demand for." The Jaguars play an annual game in London, and Khan "wants to extend that partnership with the deal set to expire" after the '20 season. However, Khan said there are "no plans" to move the Jaguars to London (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/6).