When I awoke from my slumber at the crack of noon yesterday, it seemed as though the Rams and Chargers were destined to share Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. The news was that the two teams had worked out a deal for the Chargers to move to Inglewood next year and share the brand new, state of the art mega-stadium complex that is being built on the site of the once majestic Hollywood Park Racetrack. This seemed like the right move in order for the Chargers to remain relevant in Southern California.
As Friday wore on, news changed a bit. Turns out the Chargers agreed to terms and have the option to move into the new stadium, but will remain in San Diego in 2016 and continue to try and get a new stadium built there. If they can’t come to an agreement on a getting a new home in San Diego this year, they will likely move to Inglewood next year, if for no other reason than to keep the Raiders out of Southern California. This makes sense because if the Raiders and Rams are both in LA, the Chargers position in SoCal becomes much less appealing. With the already well established Raiders fanbase in town, they will have gone from being the only kid on the block to third-fiddle. That will make it a lot harder to fill up any NFL sized stadium.
The City of San Diego doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to help finance a new stadium which leads me to believe that the team will probably end up in Los Angeles regardless. But by the time the team gets here it may be too late. LA has been desperate for a football team for a while now and once the Rams arrive the bandwagon will fill up quickly. If the Chargers were to come up north this year, the same time as the Rams, that would give Los Angelenos another initial option for football fandom, and a good amount of people would jump on the Chargers wagon.
With an entire year alone in the City of Angeles, the Rams have a chance to snatch up the Lions’ share of football fans, and no matter who arrives for the 2017 season. The Raiders at least have a history here and tons of devoted fans around the world, but the poor Chargers will be the Clippers no matter what. Simply put, by the time they get here the Rams will own this town. The Rams always made the most sense to come to LA because this was their city for fifty years and I anticipate the city getting behind them in full force. With one year as the only show in town they will have a stranglehold on pro football, and that spells bad news for anyone else who may come after. Sorry Chargers, but you missed your chance to gain a share of the market and now Los Angeles belongs to the Rams.