The Chargers terminated their Qualcomm lease, making the move to Los Angeles that much more official. Troy Aikman, who spent part of his childhood in L.A. and even played for the UCLA Bruins, is glad L.A. is back in the NFL business.
L.A. is back in the NFL business twofold. The Chargers joined the Rams, who relocated from St. Louis last season, and will begin play at the StubHub Center for two seasons before sharing a stadium with the Rams in Inglewood in 2019. According to NBC 7 San Diego, the Chargers will use a temporary headquarters in Costa Mesa before playing at the StubHub Center.
Troy Aikman has some interesting thoughts about this. Giving his perspective as a former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins, Aikman offers up his feelings about pro football being back in the City of Angels:
“I’m glad there’s a team there, I guess I’m glad there’s two teams there… I hated to see San Diego leave San Diego. I’ve only known the Chargers as the San Diego Chargers. But hey, that stadium needed to be replaced. You know, that’s the reality of it. It didn’t get replaced, they had to take alternative measures.”
Obviously, fans in San Diego aren’t glad L.A. has two teams. Also, most San Diego fans will not agree with Aikman’s assessment of the effort the team made to stay. A month still hasn’t passed since the team officially relocated, so wounds are still fresh and feelings frayed.
And, as if to remind fans:
Chargers make it official
It is just a formality, but the team today drove the final nail into the San Diego coffin. The Chargers terminated their Qualcomm Stadium lease. To do so, the team paid an early termination fee amounting to $12.57 million on top of the $650 million relocation fee the team will pay back to the NFL over 10 years.
Qualcomm has a seating capacity of 70,561. Meanwhile, the StubHub Center seats 27,167. The Chargers are working with StubHub officials to expand capacity, but the difference will be glaring, especially to players. Aikman had the following to say regarding playing in front of a smaller crowd:
“…that’s hard when you’re used to playing in 70, 75 thousand seat stadiums and then you go to a 30 thousand seat, whatever stadium it is… I wouldn’t be too crazy about it.”
Football-less in San Diego
Unless the Raiders can mount a convincing campaign to move, next year will be the first, after 56 years, of no professional football in San Diego. The city of San Diego has reached out to the NFL and the Raiders, and the team has expressed interest. In other sports news, San Diego officially applied for a MLS expansion team, too.
In regards to the NFL, Aikman’s stadium comments above are shared by most owners, thus limiting the chances that the Raiders move.
Can San Diego, the NFL and the Raiders work something out? Would you welcome the Raiders now that the Chargers are gone?