On just about every subject I’ll hear from fans who don’t agree with me, which is fine.
I’ve written often about how the Los Angeles Chargers‘ relocation is the worst in modern American professional sports history, how L.A. didn’t want the Chargers and how its apathy has grown more obvious now that games have started. I’ve yet to hear from one fan who has argued with me on this subject. Everyone seems to agree that the Chargers’ move was ill-conceived.
Even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti can’t pretend to be fired up. When you read this quote, keep in mind that every single time a team has moved in modern sports history, it has generated plenty of excitement in its new city.
“We embrace any team that comes, we’re certainly happy to have the Chargers in L.A.,” Garcetti said during a recent interview on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “But I think we could have been happy with just one [team], too.”
That one team would be the Los Angeles Rams. During the interview, Garcetti (who is an admitted Rams fan) said getting the Chargers was “gravy.”
It’s amazing. Through the years, cities have treated landing a new pro team like a historic, city-changing event. In many ways, it is. Los Angeles didn’t exactly go crazy about the Rams, but there was some buzz. There’s practically none for the Chargers, and Garcetti said the city would have been fine had the Chargers stayed in San Diego.
“Absolutely. Absolutely, and I said that at the time,” Garcetti said. “I said it’s great and both the Raiders and the Chargers, it would have been nice if they could have stayed put where they are because Oakland and San Diego have huge fan bases, there’s a big tradition … I’m glad the Chargers will build up a fan base and it really is Southern California, but I believe in players playing for a long time on teams, and teams staying in a city for their lives.”
You have to wonder what the NFL thinks about moving two teams to Los Angeles now, especially with photos of a half-full Los Angeles Coliseum for Rams games and stories of the Chargers’ issues filling a 27,000-seat stadium in Carson, California. The Chargers and Rams both played home games Sunday and they didn’t have a higher combined attendance figure than the USC-Texas game the previous day. Maybe it turns around for the Rams and Chargers, especially when the new stadium in Inglewood opens, but no other relocated teams have struggled this much early on.
The NFL has to privately wonder if it would have been better off taking Chargers owner Dean Spanos’ relocation fee and all the other costs associated with moving a team and put that money toward a new stadium in San Diego. Everyone would have been better off. But Spanos and the league had their feelings hurt that San Diego taxpayers didn’t pay for a new stadium, then they made what appears to be a bad business decision.
The Chargers’ move has such little momentum, you have to wonder if Los Angeles will even still be their home years from now. If they move again, the mayor of Los Angeles wouldn’t seem to mind, and everyone else in the city might not even notice.
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