Ever since the NFL approved the move of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles, speculation has been swirling about where the Chargers and Raiders would end up.
During an all owners meeting in Houston back in January, 30 of 32 owners approved the relocation of the Rams back to Los Angeles. Rams Owner Stan Kroenke wooed owners with his beautiful stadium plans in nearby Inglewood, CA on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack.
During this same meeting, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos, and Raiders majority owner Mark Davis had a joint plan of relocating to a brand new shared facility in Los Angeles suburb, Carson, CA. This plan did not garnish the required 24 votes and the two teams were required to stay in their respective cities for the time being.
However, with the approval of the Rams location approval, the Chargers were given the option to join them in Los Angeles within a year, and the Raiders would be optioned if the Chargers first declined.
Before the 2015 season began, Chargers fans had pretty much accepted the fact that it would be the last season the Bolts would play in San Diego. The January 3rd game against the Denver Broncos almost felt like a send-off, as many fans held signs of “Thanks For The Memories” while others portrayed the arbitrary “F#*K You For Leaving.” Either way, fans knew that they were most likely witnessing the last NFL game in San Diego.
But then, the aforementioned Spanos and Davis shared plan was denied a few weeks later at the owners meeting and Chargers’ fans were given another season with their beloved Bolts.
This time Spanos and his front office hit the offensive to keep the Chargers in San Diego by proposing a hotel “transient guest tax” to create revenue for a new downtown stadium project. Well, Measure C, as it was named on the ballot, was shot down in November by San Diego voters and the Chargers were once again seemingly homeless.
Now in recent developments, according to NBC LA’s Fred Roggin, it is a 99% certainty that the Chargers move north to Los Angeles.
Despite best efforts #Chargers are 99% on the way to Los Angeles. Barring last minute unexpected miracle Chargers leaving San Diego
— Fred Roggin (@FredNBCLA) December 8, 2016
Remember, after the meeting back in January, an actual contract had been written up for the Chargers to join the Rams in Los Angeles. The pen has finally seemed to have hit paper in that deal.
There is no denying that the NFL would like to keep the team in “America’s Finest City,” but after funding was voted down in November, it seems inevitable that the franchise must start anew.
As for the Rams organization, Kroenke needs Spanos to make up his mind as quickly as possible so that he can begin selling his expensive Personal Seat Licenses (PSL).
If a second team must come to the market of Los Angeles, the Rams would undoubtedly be in favor of the Chargers over the Raiders.
Mark Davis has made very public his intention of moving his team to Las Vegas, where the city has approved a partial publicly funded new football stadium right off of the Vegas strip. However, Raider Nation has a storied history in Los Angeles and would have a stranglehold on the market if the franchise returned, not only in terms of football but in pop culture as well. Who knows, his Vegas plan may be a ploy to hold Spanos off for another year, allowing for Davis to exercise his option and uproot to L.A.
Stan Kroenke is a businessman. He knows this. I’m sure he is doing everything in his power to make sure that the Chargers travel up the 5 Freeway and settle into the basin of the San Gabriel Mountains, thus keeping the Raiders out of the City of Angeles.
Dean Spanos and the Chargers organization could still toss up a hail mary that would miraculously keep the franchise in San Diego, but at this point in time, all realities indicate a relocation to Los Angeles where they would be a tenant in Stan Kroenke’s new beautiful football cathedral.