Football

Are the Los Angeles Chargers relocating to London?

On Tuesday, rumours circulated that the Los Angeles Chargers were considering a second relocation with London the next destination. The Chargers franchise relocated to Los Angeles from San Diego in 2017 and have since found life difficult in the City of Angels.

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Even before the Chargers officially arrived in Los Angeles, the media and football fans of the city were vocal that they did not want the franchise. Since starting play at Dignity Health Sports Park, the Chargers have struggled to draw fans to the venue. Several times this season, away fans have been more vocal and outnumbered the home supporters.

Just a day after the LA Chargers were reportedly moving to London, team owner Dean Spanos came out to deny the franchise was interested in moving to the English capital.

“We are not going to London,” Spanos said. “We are not going anywhere. There have been no discussions of any kind between the NFL and the Chargers regarding moving to London. The Chargers are focused on the success of the team in Los Angeles.”

“No consideration has been given to the Chargers playing anywhere other than at the new stadium in Hollywood Park next season and beyond.”

The Chargers will move into the new $5 billion SoFi Stadium for the 2020 NFL season. The Chargers will not be owners of the stadium but paying tenants.

Spanos has put a considerable amount of money into the team’s move into the SoFi Stadium, but that doesn’t mean the franchise won’t head to London in the near future.

A lack of support could send the Chargers to an NFL hungry city such as London. The NFL currently stages four games a season in the Engish capital and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was built with housing an American football team in mind.

In October 2018, ESPN reported that NFL owners were worried about the Chargers sustainability in Los Angeles. The NFL could give the Chargers a few more seasons in Los Angeles before pulling the trigger on another move for the franchise.

Rumours of the Chargers relocating to London are not the only stories going around about a possible move for the franchise. One report states that the NFL could force Spanos to sell the club allowing it to move back to San Diego. Despite that rumour, it has been claimed that there is no chance whatsoever of the Chargers moving back to San Diego.

The Chargers’ move to Los Angeles has made the team far more money (at least potentially) than they would have made in San Diego. For anyone that is familiar with the NFL, there is one thing that truly matters to the league and that is money.

San Diego only offered the franchise around 4 million people to attract to games. Los Angeles has a population of around 15 people in and around the city to draw from according to Chargers’ chief of staff Fred Mass.

The Chargers are in for a marathon in Los Angeles. While they left a football-mad city, Mass stressed to Forbes that the franchise is in for the long-haul. With fickle sports fans in Los Angeles, it may not matter how willing the franchise is to wait it out for them to accept the Chargers, however.