Chargers officially file to relocate

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On Monday, January 4, 2016, the San Diego Chargers made three very big announcements:

  • 1 Head Coach Mike McCoy would return for the 2016 season
    2 Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich was fired, along with four offensive position coaches: offensive line Coach Joe D’Alessandris, assistant offensive line coach Andrew Dees, tight ends Coach Pete Metzelaars, wide receivers Coach Fred Graves, and defensive line coach Don Johnson.
    3 The Chargers announced they had officially filed the paper work to make the move from San Diego to Los Angeles, in particular the L.A. suburb of Carson.
rendering from San Diego stadium offer (YouTube)
rendering from San Diego stadium offer (YouTube)

There a re a lot of questions to be answered before any teams move to the second largest media market in the nation. Besides the Chargers, the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams have filed relocation paperwork as well. Monday was the first day any team could file paper for relocation. Three-fourths of the NFL teams (24) have say yes before any team can move and the teams aren’t voting until next week.

Many analysts believe the Chargers have the biggest chance of the three; viewers of Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the Denver Broncos may have heard one of the men calling the game for CBS, Jim Nantz, say the game would be the last time the Chargers represented San Diego. Maybe it was a slip of the tongue on his part, maybe viewers didn’t hear the entirety of his comment. But everyone is sure of one thing: there is a very good chance the Chargers played their last game representing the city of San Diego.

Around the league owners haven’t tipped their hand one way or another, but last month Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay wasn’t optimistic there would be any teams relocating, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sounded optimistic the league would find a “Los Angeles solution.” He said, “I think the debate is, one, how do we address the home markets? Who’s going to meet our relocation policies and then let’s get to making a decision and move forward. Let’s try to get back to Los Angeles in a successful way for those teams that qualify. We still have more work to do on that to make sure we understand fully the certainty of those projects and the viability of those projects in those core markets.”

Rendering from San Diego’s stadium offer (YouTube)
Rendering from San Diego’s stadium offer (YouTube)

The three cities that stand to lose their teams have all submitted their final stadium plans (The deadline was Dec. 28) and the Chargers have rejected everything the city of San Diego has proposed. The city’s final offer was to help fund a new stadium in Mission Valley, an offer the Chargers rejected in August.

This much we do know: the NFL wants a team — or teams — in Los Angeles and one in San Diego. The Chargers seem very committed to the stadium deal in Carson, with the Raiders. We will have to wait at least another week before we learn if any teams are moving. San Diego Chargers fans are hoping for the best and bracing for the worst news.

Top photo by Claudia Gestro.