Wednesday, January 20, 2016

San Diego Chargers Should Stay in San Diego

Argues Bill Plaschke, at the Los Angeles Times, "The San Diego Chargers should stay right where they are":

The Rams haven't even been here a week, and already they are risking a penalty for too many men on the field.

The Chargers need to get out of the their huddle, and stay out.

The Chargers need to remain in San Diego where they belong. The Chargers need to forget sharing Los Angeles with the Rams, because they can't.

To welcome the Chargers back to Los Angeles as a second NFL team would be to ignore climate, dismiss history, and ultimately be doomed by both.

First, the climate. There is none. This isn't a Chargers town. This has never been a Chargers town. The Chargers had 21 years to woo us as an uncontested suitor and still couldn't make it a Chargers town.

Do you know one Chargers fan who lives within 60 miles of the proposed Inglewood stadium? In two decades, have you known one fan from L.A. County who drove to San Diego on a Sunday morning to watch a game who was not rooting for the opposing team?

The Chargers will cite statistical evidence that 25% of their fans come from Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire. I've never met one.

There are Chargers fans on the southern and eastern outskirts of San Diego County, but the longtime NFL heartbeat in this town beats through the Rams, and the crazy passion comes from a love for the Raiders. There are more Raiders fans here than Chargers fans, and it isn't even close.

Second, the history. The Chargers have tried to share a stadium with the Rams before. It lasted a year. And the Chargers couldn't wait to leave.

In 1960, the Chargers were part of the fledgling American Football League and played in the Coliseum, and nobody knew they were here.

The Rams averaged more than 70,000 fans, the Chargers would barely draw 10,000. Even for their L.A. debut, the Chargers drew just 17,724, and many of those "fans" were employees of team owner and hotel magnate Barron Hilton...

Also, watch, at ABC News 10 San Diego, "Fans launch 'love letters' campaign to save Chargers."