The Chargers failed to sell out their home opener on Sunday, despite the fact that they’re playing a few seasons in a 27,000-ish seat MLS stadium. (Ironically, in Atlanta, an MLS team sold out a new 71,000 seat NFL stadium.) That’s not good! And as you can see above, it was filled with more than a normal share of Miami Dolphins fans, as well.
It’s perhaps not surprising; the team’s San Diego fanbase was never thrilled about the Chargers leaving to begin with, and understandably so. (Remember the hero who documented himself throwing eggs at the practice facility?)
They’re not going to trek up to Los Angeles. People in Los Angeles now have two teams to choose from, the Rams (who at least had some history of being in Los Angeles before) and the Chargers, and they also, you know, live in Los Angeles, which means they have plenty of other entertainment options, and getting around is a hassle. So, what can the Chargers do as they await their stadium to be completed, which won’t be for a few years?
Well, not selling out a tiny stadium isn’t a great reflection on the league’s product, and at least one reporter is hearing that the league is already considering what to do to remedy the situation. That could, reportedly, include a move back to San Diego. The reporter in question, The Athletic’s Don Banks, said as much in an interview with 1090 AM in San Diego.
The Big Lead transcribed it here:
“I have been painted a picture from people I’ve talked to that the league was sympathetic…to Dean Spanos’ plight. Feels like he had been a ‘league guy’ feels like he had waited kind of his turn on the relocation front, thought he had the votes the year before — Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke pretty much outmaneuvered Dean and Mark Davis with the Raiders to be the first in line for LA. So it was almost as if this was a bit of a make up.
“I can tell you this Darren, there are people in the league — including the commissioner — they did not want to see San Diego forsaken. They would rather there be a team in San Diego. If there’s anything viable that they could find to put the league back in to San Diego, I think they will be in that camp strongly.”
And on whether the league is considering sending the Chargers back to San Diego:
“I think they’re talking about it. I do. I think there’s already a level of concern at how far south it’s gone, that there are at least people talking about it…I don’t think a true tipping point has been reached, it’s too early for that. But I think there’s enough concern that people are saying, ‘What’s the best option perhaps among bad options?’”
That would just be an astounding reversal from the league, and would certainly result in plenty of chaos. It’s almost unfathomable that it would happen. And yet, here we are, just a few weeks into the season, with a reliable reporter willing to say it’s being discussed.
The NFL, everybody!