Los Angeles Chargers: Could The League Legally Force Them To Relocate?

With this recent London talk, it has re-opened a lot of old wounds for the Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) Chargers fanbase. The owner Dean Spanos came out the day after these rumors surfaced on CBS Sports and said, “we are not f***ing moving, Los Angeles is our home.” Thing is, does he really have a choice if the league deems it a necessary evil?

The main thing in the NFL is their bottom line. They don’t care about “feelings” or “fans” unless it makes them cash. This is why the NFL gave approval for the move of the Chargers and Rams to Los Angeles in the first place. Since each team’s value increased dramatically as soon as the words “Los Angeles” popped up next to their name.

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Each team has had their struggles in LA it’s clear. Although the difference is, only one has been able to stake the claim as “LA’s Team”. To say the least, it’s not the boys in powder blue. Chargers’ home games have become a 9th home game for close to every single team that comes to town. However, that’s not the thing that scares the other owners in the NFL the most. It was reported in early October by Forbes magazine that the Chargers are 300 million dollars short of the 400 million dollars required of them brought forth from personal seat licenses. The league, on the other hand, projects the Rams to bring in over 500 million dollars “easily”.

Section 4.3 of the NFL’s Constitution & By-Laws states, “Relocation pursuant to Article 4.3 may be available, however, if a club’s viability in its home territory is threatened by circumstances that cannot be remedied by diligent efforts of the club working, as appropriate, in conjunction with the league office.” This seems pretty cut and dry, but it does not end there, it goes on to say,” or if compelling league interests warrant a franchise relocation.”

It has been no secret that part of the league’s interests is to gain a worldwide audience. In the past few years, they have played NFL games in London and Mexico City. These two cities are large world markets. If pursued could possibly mean massive profits for the league as a whole. If the league has a long term interest in sustainable success, then having a team in the largest market without a concrete fan base is not the correct course of action.

Sure, the Los Angeles Chargers are still making money. Especially when other teams come in and overload their stadium because ticket sales are ticket sales. However, the Chargers and the league as a whole are losing out. In fact, they are losing on merchandise and everything else when there is no home team. The NFL will end up finding out that it is better to have a decent home team with a good following for the long term future of the league. As opposed to a name in a big market playing 16 away games per year despite a good on-field product.

Therefore, this could end up in a case where Dean Spanos does not have a choice in where the team goes. Which would be poetic justice for America’s Finest City, San Diego.

What do you think should happen with the Los Angeles Chargers? Leave a comment below.

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Corey Decker
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