A San Diego Chargers Los Angeles decision for the 2016 season could come from team owners by the end of the week, as they faces a no-lose situation — at least in the beginning.
As you’ll recall, NFL owners voted to let the St. Louis Rams move to Los Angeles — where the team is already branded as the Los Angeles Rams and sold 45,000 season tickets for an inaugural season at the Los Angeles Coliseum — and gave the Chargers owners the option of moving as well. If the Chargers pass on a move and decide to work on a new San Diego stadium plan, the Raiders will have the right to move to Los Angeles. (Or, if the Chargers move, Oakland owner Mark Davis could conceivably move his Raiders to San Diego and work out a new-stadium plan as well.) So much is riding on the Chargers decision.
On the plus side, there’s no doubt that the Chargers would be much more profitable in the Los Angeles marketplace. The NFL and the Rams had worked out a financial plan before a final vote on relocation, so the Chargers know exactly what’s on the table in terms of financials. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The Chargers and Rams are closing in on a limited partnership deal. The Rams would assume all the risk and realize the majority of revenue. The upside for the Chargers is that they would assume no risk via construction costs, minimal debt and still realize significant revenue gains over what is available in San Diego.
“There is not a (financial) downside to L.A. (for the Chargers),” said a league source thoroughly versed in the financial structure of the revenue-sharing deal in Inglewood.
Multiple league sources have said something similar.
“The deal will be good-to-great for the Chargers – if and when they choose to relocate,” one league source said Thursday morning.
On the minus side: the Spanos family have done business in San Diego for a very, very long time, and while moving the team sounded reasonable during the negotiation stages, it’s another thing to actually pull the trigger on the move and uproot your business operations to a new city, even if San Diego isn’t that far from Los Angeles. Still, the Chargers ownership has already laid some groundwork on the move — plans for a new Santa Ana training facility have been submitted to the city — and announcing the team is staying in San Diego isn’t binding past the 2016 NFL season: technically, the Chargers have a year to decide, so management could continue to negotiate a new stadium deal in San Diego while holding an optional Los Angeles move as leverage.