McDonald: The NFL Needs To Take Care Of The City Of San Diego

Oh the outrage over the Los Angeles Chargers! Can everyone just get over it?

After the citizens of San Diego voted down the referendum this past November to finance a new stadium for the Chargers, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion Dean Spanos would take his duke and move up the coast to Los Angeles.

He had the option. Everyone knew it.  And he took it.

This should not be news.

But the outrage by Chargers fans and pretty much everyone else who does not reside in Los Angeles is something of a curiosity.

Los Angeles is just two hours north of San Diego and an easy Sunday drive for anyone who wants to see their beloved team play. For those of us living here in New York, it would be the equivalent of going to see the Jets or Giants in the Meadowlands on a Sunday coming from Long Island.  

Everyone wins here, right? Spanos gets richer, the people of San Diego stood for corporate greed and still get to see their football team – albeit with a longer ride – and the NFL gets to put two local games on TV every Sunday in its second largest market.

However, it’s not that simple.

Because of civic pride or just the provincial nature of these smaller cities, the name San Diego means more to the Charger fans than the word “Chargers.”

When the Islanders moved to Brooklyn last year, many season ticket holders refused to renew because they didn’t want to take a train into the city and the Nets didn’t bring too many fans over from Jersey when they opened up Barclays five years ago.

More clearly, a better example would have been if Joshua Harris moved the 76ers to the Prudential Center after he bought the Devils and the arena. The fans in Philadelphia would more than likely abandoned their team rather than traveled an hour and a half up the turnpike to Newark.

So it may not be when Walter O’Malley moved the Dodgers out of Brooklyn or even Art Modell taking the Browns to Baltimore, but you can understand the outrage.

The NFL needs to come up with a solution here and it should be an easy one. They should take the Cleveland Browns approach to this move in order to keep the NFL as a viable option in San Diego.

Commissioner Roger Goodell should tell Spanos he can move his team, but the name “Chargers,” team records and history belong to the city of San Diego. Spanos’s Los Angeles team would be treated as an expansion club. And maybe his people can do a better job on the logo this time.

Then a promise will be made to the city. If a new stadium is being built – either privately or publicly – the NFL will expand to allow the new Chargers to return to the schedule.

That way everyone wins. If you are a Phillip Rivers fan and want to see him play for the Los Angeles team, you can drive up the coast, but civic pride in San Diego is restored and the Chargers can come back when a new stadium is built.

Now everyone wins.

Speaking of stadiums, why is it the Chargers have to play in the Stub Hub Center that seats only 30,000? With all the money the NFL makes, can’t they go to the city of Pasadena and work something out with the Rose Bowl people. Offer them a fine payment and maybe a future Super Bowl? Come on Goodell. Make this work.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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