In an expected move, the formerly known San Diego Chargers announced their move to Los Angeles.
The Chargers will return to LA, their initial home until 1961 when they moved to San Diego, and join the LA Rams who made the move last season.
This move, although good for business if they do well, is bad for San Diego and all of its loyal fans. These are the same fans who supported the Chargers through the good, but mostly bad teams they have put onto the field since 1961. These are fans in a military town, whose only entertainment attractions are a whale, the Padres, and the Chargers, with the whale being the main attraction.
This is reminiscent of the famed Baltimore Colts’ move to Indianapolis in 1984 that sent fans in Baltimore into an outrage and had owner Bob Irsay hated by the people of Baltimore. When you take a long-standing establishment from a place where it has been nurtured and embraced, there will certainly be backlash whether it was the right decision for that establishment or not. Cities, towns, and the fans that encompass them truly take to the establishments that help to define their place that they call home. This is why when moves like these happen, it is naturally met with negative reviews from home base.
When you take an honest look at it, however, you realize that the move to LA from San Diego is an upgrade for any business or establishment. LA is where everything happens. It’s one of the epicenters of America and one of the biggest markets in the world. LA is where all of the stars are and where so many people and business go to thrive and attain success. So, in this case, the Chargers are no different because they are following a common trend that so many before them have followed.
This method of following the crowd is what can ultimately either help them or hurt them, no in between.
When you are in LA, you are either widely known, or not known at all. This is the same for any business and especially any sports franchise that resides there. If you win, you will be remembered forever and be revered like never before. However, if you do not win, and worse if you’re mediocre, the people will forget about you, because in LA, very few people are loyal.
This is the risk you run when chasing the LA dream coming from a place like San Diego, it’s either the top or the bottom, and your success defines you.
If we’re adhering to this method, then the Chargers are in a lot of trouble because for the past decade, they have been the definition of average. Some teams have had great talent, but failed to deliver in the playoffs while others have just been downright terrible. This is not the best standard to uphold when making a move to a big time city to plant your sports team. This is especially true when you plant it in a city that didn’t even necessarily want you back in the first place.
Case and point: Days after the announcement, the Chargers and owner Jeff Cumberland, revealed their new logo at a Lakers-Clippers game, and it was meant by a chorus of boos by the LA crowd. The Chargers then admitted that the roll out for the logo wasn’t exactly their best first move for promotion… just a little taste of how things can get in the City of Angels. This has caused the team to change their logo three times in two days.
So, to be clear, any move to a big market is good business-wise as long as you prosper and profit there. In San Diego, although the fans were loyal, the team wasn’t making money. In addition to that, when they were in competition to initially move to LA last year with the Rams and Raiders, the owners would not contribute to the $300 Million it would take to do so. On top of that, when Cumberland considered staying in San Diego, the NFL Stadium and Finance Committee showed a lack of support in financing a move to a stadium in downtown San Diego, which ultimately caused ownership to make the move.
It’s not necessarily the best start for the new LA Chargers, but if they win, it can certainly be a great fit business and football-wise.
How do you think the Chargers will fare in LA? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.