After Sunday, could the San Diego Chargers be no more?
Team chairman Dean Spanos has until Jan. 15 to inform the NFL whether he plans to relocate the Chargers from San Diego to Los Angeles, conditions from a deal reached when the league allowed the Rams to move back to southern California from St. Louis last year.
According to a piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune, some fans have “had it” as it appears the team will be moving a few hours north up Interstate 5 and join the Rams in Los Angeles after numerous stadium plans — including a proposed downtown stadium/convention center which was voted on in the November elections — have failed.
The Chargers, according to the Union-Tribune, have leased office space and a training facility in Orange County (about 40 miles south of Los Angeles) with an out-clause if the team stays in San Diego.
According to the deal reached with the Rams and the NFL last January, the Chargers could join the Rams at their reported $2.7 billion stadium complex which is being built on the site of the old Hollywood Park near Los Angeles International airport.
If a deal is reached between the Rams and Chargers, the two could share the Los Angeles Coliseum with USC for the next two seasons while the Rams stadium is completed in time for the 2019 season.
Last season, the Chargers played their home finale against the Dolphins in what was an emotional time for fans and players. The Chargers stayed, making Sunday’s possible final game a bit anticlimactic.
“It’s hard to reenact a goodbye, which is what we thought it was last year,” quarterback Philip Rivers told the Union-Tribune.
“It’s hard to do it again. It’s like leaving at the airport and you say your goodbyes, then the plane gets delayed. You can go back and say it again or say you’re already driving away. Not saying that is the case, but it’s just hard to replay that one.”
As the Rams had long-time ties in the Los Angeles area before leaving for St. Louis in 1995, the Chargers would also be returning to a city they once left.
In 1960, the AFL began play with eight teams — including the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers spent just one season in Los Angeles, moving south to San Diego for the 1961 season and joined the NFL (along with the Dolphins) in the 1970 merger with the NFL.