Friday, January 13, 2017

Professional Sport Teams Moving to Two Team Areas

The San Diego Chargers NFL franchise has elected to move to Los Angeles for the 2017 football season. For the next two years, they will play as the Los Angeles Chargers in the 30,000-seat StubHub Center (a soccer stadium) on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA. After years of trying to get a taxpayer-supported stadium, Chargers owner Dean Spanos, other investors and the NFL feel there is a better chance of business success in LA than San Diego. The Chargers will share the 80,000 seat Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park with the LA Rams starting in 2019.

For twenty years, LA did fine without an NFL team; now it has two.

Where is the Charger fan base going to come from? Its fan base is weak as it is. A few years ago, I attended a game between the Chargers and Vikings in Qualcomm Stadium. About 1/3 of the fans were in purple, not baby blue and gold. Many, if not most, of the spurned Charger fans will quit the team; plenty will quit the NFL. Couple this with the general consensus that San Diego inhabitants have negative feelings about LA. The only thing the Chargers have going for them is that the Rams, although it started in LA, just returned after a twenty year stint in Saint Louis. Its fans base is in its own infancy. So younger people that may not have an NFL team will have a chance to pick "its team."

I wonder why the powers-that-be believe large metro areas -- Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Bay Area -- should accommodate two or more teams? The LA Clippers (who moved from San Diego) is subservient to the Lakers; the White Sox second to the Cubs; the Angels second to the Dodgers, the Nets second to the Knicks; the Islanders second to the Rangers; and the Raiders (who may move to Las Vegas) second to the 49ers (who recently moved to the San Jose area.)

I'd rather see consolidation or elimination of teams rather than adding a second team to a currently served metro area.

Taxpayer-funded stadiums primarily benefit the team owner(s) and some politicians; only secondary benefits are realized by others. For many, especially those who care nothing about sports, receive little. Even though I am a huge sports fans, I support those communities, like those in San Diego, that vote down bonds to build sports stadiums or complexes. It is a rip-off and poor investment.

Professional sports need to stand on their own, without massive taxpayer subsidizing.

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