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The helmets of Los Angeles’ soon to be newest sports franchise. Photo courtesy of chargers.com
THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS ARE REPORTEDLY RETURNING TO LOS ANGELES AFTER A 56-YEAR ABSENCE.
For 21 years, the nation’s second largest city was without a team from the nation’s most popular professional sports league.
Next season Los Angeles will have two pro teams as according to a report from ESPN.com the Chargers, after having a ballot measure which would provide funding for new stadium in San Diego fail with only 43% of the vote, plan to exercise the option given to then by the NFL and join the Rams in L.A.
They will eventually share the new stadium in Inglewood with the Rams when it opens in 2019, ground has recently broken on construction of the facility, located on the former grounds of the Hollywood Park race track.
The stadium plans to seat 80,000 and will be used as a significant part of L.A’s bid to get the 2024 Olympics.
Phillip Rivers, the Chargers’ longtime quarterback, handing off to Melvin Gordon. Photo courtesy of nbcsandiego.com
Meanwhile, the Chargers, who began life in Los Angeles in 1960 before moving to San Diego the next season, are also reported to be in talks with the Coliseum to share that iconic place with the Rams and USC football in 2017 and 2018.
For those concerned that the Coliseum would be overused with three football teams, it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened as the Rams, USC and UCLA shared that stadium for 34 years, from 1946 to 1979, the Rams moving to Anaheim the next year.
An artist’s rendition of the place where the Rams and Chargers will call home starting in 2019. Image courtesy of fox2now.com
The Coliseum has actually had a history of multiple teams as there was a four-year span where a fourth team, the Dodgers, shared the place with the Rams, Bruins and Trojans after moving from Brooklyn in 1958, spending four seasons there before Dodger Stadium opened in 1962.
In other words, the Coliseum will be fine with three teams sharing that 93-year old facility as it’s not as it the Trojans, Rams and Chargers will be using it on the same day; the Rams and Chargers will be exclusively Sunday tenants, with one team being on the road while the other team’s at home.
The question remains, can Los Angeles support two NFL teams after going without one for so long?
Defensive lineman Joey Bosa (#99) and linebacker Denzel Perryman (#52) putting in work for the Chargers’ defense. Photo courtesy of chargers.com
The Rams, after all, have seen their homecoming honeymoon end as they have gone 1-7 since their 3-1 start, L.A. fans showing their notorious intolerance for losing teams.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are not doing much better at 5-7 with an aging Phillip Rivers at quarterback.
Personally, I think it’s great that the NFL will have two teams in the country’s second largest market after going two decades without one.
For the Rams and Chargers, I only hope they can both (at least) double their commitment to winning, because it would be a shame if Los Angeles’ two teams are losers.
Starting anew in a new city with a sparkling, state of the art stadium is one thing.
But for those two teams to be truly successful, they need to win.
Or at minimum be strong contenders on a regular basis.
“Los Angeles Chargers” – that has a nice ring to it.
Rivers (#17) calling signals for the Chargers against the Carolina Panthers. Photo courtesy of centriotimes.com