The San Diego Chargers have two more home games left on the season. And as of right now, it looks like those will be the team’s two final games in San Diego.
Even prior to new information being released on Sunday, the sense was that the Chargers were pretty much etched in stone to relocate to Los Angeles.
Back in November, San Diego voters failed to pass a ballot measure that would have provided public financing for a new venue in that city. Just a short while after that, reports surfaced that the Chargers were likely to utilize their opt-in clause to join the Rams in Inglewood.
Then, earlier this month, the NFL decided that it would help the Chargers with their relocation fee. That came at the same time that a lease agreement was conducted between the Chargers and Rams (more on that here).
Now comes this report from CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora suggesting that some within the league now conclude that the Chargers have already decided to relocate.
“He doesn’t have a choice from an economic standpoint, and he knows it,” said one ownership source with another club with strong ties to Spanos. “He’s as good as gone. He basically told us that he has no choice.”
That’s an astonishing amount of finality used by two high-ranking officials with other teams. And it paints a dim picture as it relates to any last-ditch effort by the city of San Diego to keep the Chargers.
The backstory here is also intriguing. In the lead up to Sunday’s home game against the Oakland Raiders, the Chargers had to actually pump fake noise into their practice to prepare for Raiders fans taking over Qualcomm (more on that here).
If you don’t think all this is correlated, we’re not sure what to tell you.
Without a strong base of support in San Diego and in the midst of a no-win stadium situation in that city, the Chargers would be smart to move to Los Angeles.
Financially speaking, it makes even more sense. A state of the art venue in Inglewood will be a cash cow for both the Rams and Chargers. Compare that to an unattainable stadium situation in a smaller market, and it makes us wonder why an announcement hasn’t been made yet. Add in the lack of support for the on-field product, and this makes more sense.
Another source was quoted in saying: “It’s over. They’re going to Los Angeles. It’s just a matter of announcing it. There aren’t any miracles here.”
Said announcement will likely come sometime next month. Until then, the Chargers and their fans will be playing out the string in a lame-duck manner.