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Chargers Dispute Report on Possible London Move

Los Angeles Chargers

A report from The Athletic indicates interest willingness from the Los Angeles Chargers to consider a move to London, but it has been strongly refuted by team owner Dean Spanos.

After failing to secure a replacement for the then Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles following the 2016 season. The move put a second team in the Los Angeles market, and positioned the Chargers to eventually join the Rams at a new Inglewood stadium. While awaiting the completion of the new stadium, the Chargers have played home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in suburban Carson–a soccer-specific stadium that is primarily home to MLS’s LA Galaxy.

Although the franchise has had some on-field success since relocating, games at Dignity Health Sports Park have become known for being played largely in front of visiting team fans. That has contributed to questions about whether the Chargers have a sustainable future in Los Angeles, and a report earlier this week suggested that the franchise might will be willing to look elsewhere. According to a report Monday in The Athletic, the Chargers “would at least listen if the NFL approached them about London as a possible option” for a move.

However, on Tuesday, Spanos used strong language to dispute the story and say that the franchise is fully committed to Los Angeles. The NFL issued a statement of its own, claiming there have been no discussions about the Chargers moving elsewhere. More from ESPN:

“It’s total f—ing bulls—,” Spanos said. “We’re not going to London. We’re not going anywhere. We’re playing in Los Angeles. This is our home, and this is where we are planning to be for a long f—ing time. Period.”

Spanos was responding to a story Monday by The Athletic, which reported the Chargers and the NFL could look at moving the team to London, partly because of concerns over the Los Angeles market.

The NFL issued a statement later Tuesday, saying there was “no substance” to the report.

“No consideration has been given to the Chargers playing anywhere other than Los Angeles at the new stadium in Hollywood Park next season and beyond,” the league’s statement said. “There have been no discussions of any kind between the NFL and the Chargers regarding moving to London. Both our office and the Chargers are entirely focused on the success of the team in Los Angeles.”

Certainly, the Chargers have some work to do as they try to entrench themselves in Los Angeles. A big part of that has always been expected to be the upcoming move to SoFi Stadium, their shared home with the Rams that will open next year. SoFi Stadium should, in theory, give the Chargers the venue they need to gain a stronger share of the Los Angeles market, and time will tell how it shapes the organization’s future.

Rendering courtesy Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park.

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August Publications