The NFL on Friday refuted speculation that league owners are talking about sending the Chargers back to San Diego.
A story surfaced this week indicating some people in the league were concerned with the fan response to the Chargers in L.A. and might step in to send them back to San Diego.
“I’ve heard no discussion of that,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We are committed to and confident of the long-term success of two teams in Los Angeles.”
Two other league sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity refuted the report as nonsense, baseless and ridiculous.
That also reflects the position of the Chargers, who continue to maintain a firm commitment to Los Angeles and who have had zero second thoughts about relocating to L.A. or returning to San Diego.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos, in multiple conversations, has expressed excitement and anticipation for his franchise’s long-term future in Los Angeles. And while he understands there will be a process for the Chargers in creating their niche and fan base in the crowded L.A. sports landscape, he believes over time – and by fielding a compelling product – the Chargers will forge a connection in their new market.
The Chargers will play three seasons at the StubHub Center before moving into the new stadium they’ll share in Inglewood with the Rams.
The Chargers have sold out their season ticket packages at StubHub Center and built a waiting list for future season tickets sales. But the announced attendance was 25,381 for Sunday’s home opener against the Dolphins at StubHub, which seats 27,000.
Spanos and others in the organization believe the next three years at their temporary site will provide a sufficient runway to building a strong fan base in time to move to the new stadium.
There are financial dynamics in play, from both a team and a league standpoint, that make the NFL forcing the Chargers to move again illogical.
The Chargers have invested millions into their move to Los Angeles, including construction of their temporary practice facility in Costa Mesa. And they are investigating a permanent headquarters site they envision as a sprawling destination campus.
There are ongoing efforts to market the new Inglewood stadium as a two-team venue, with luxury suites already sold at a price reflective of two teams and not one. A naming rights deal is also being negotiated with two teams and 20 NFL games a year in mind.
“There are aspects in place to all this that can’t be undone,”…