The NFL has also issued a statement regarding the report that NFL personnel has discussed the possibility of moving the team to London:
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 5, 2019
Chargers owner Dean Spanos addressed the report from The Athletic on Tuesday about London being a potential home for the franchise.
“It’s total fuc**** bulls**,” Spanos said, per Omar Ruiz.
Spanos added that the story is “a lot of crap.”
“It’s total f—kin bullshit. We’re not going to London. We’re not going anywhere. We’re playing in Los Angeles,” Spanos said, per Eric Williams. “This is our home, and this is where we are planning to be for a long f—king time. Period.”
Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic reports that the possibility of the Chargers moving to London has been discussed among NFL personnel.
According to Bonsignore, the Chargers remain committed to Los Angeles, but they would at least listen if the NFL approached them about a possible move to London.
Bonsignore adds that NFL owners are concerned enough about the Chargers’ situation in Los Angeles that they would provide the necessary support for a relocation to London if the Chargers were to pursue it.
The Rams have established a better foothold in Los Angeles and the London market would offer a potential solution to the Chargers’ situation.
“Some would be happy …” a high-ranking NFL official tells Bonsignore. “But all of them (are concerned) about them in L.A. So I think they would get (support).”
Even so, Chargers owner Dean Spanos told Bonsignore last week they’re “fully committed” to Los Angeles.
“We are fully committed and focused on Los Angeles and look forward to continuing to build our fanbase as we transition to our new stadium,” Spanos said. “We’re seeing progress every day, and we look forward to building on that.”
Bonsignore mentions that the NFL could transfer the $650 million relocation fee the Chargers paid to move to L.A. Beyond that, Bonsignore says they could change divisions and move to the AFC South with the Texans replacing them in the West.
As for the idea of returning to San Diego, Bonsignore says it’s a “nonstarter” considering that there isn’t a path to a new stadium.
There are obvious logistical issues with the NFL placing a team overseas, but London could offer the Chargers their own NFL-ready stadium and the chance of developing a larger fanbase.
“I think we’ve proven the fanbase is there,” the managing director of NFL UK Alistair Kirkwood said. “The fact (is) we can sell out games for pretty much any type of matchup, and that the fanbase will come out and support it, so I think that test has been met. I think from an operational and logistics perspective, we have a lot of experience in transportation and managing timezones. There’s hotels and practice facilities. I think there’s an awful lot of opportunities there.”
We’ll have more regarding the Chargers as the news is available.