NFL: Why the Rams and Chargers Relationship Will Never Work Out

The Los Angeles Rams’ and Chargers’ abrupt moves to Los Angeles were always the targets of ire, specifically with regards to the Chargers. While unfortunate for the fans of St. Louis, the Rams, at least, had a following in Los Angeles thanks to previously playing in Los Angeles. The Chargers, however, were never going to be a draw in Los Angeles,

While the stadium that will soon house both is being built, some are now wondering if the Chargers can even afford their part of the investment. 

Los Angeles, the NFL, and the Chargers

After many years without the NFL, the idea of moving two teams back to the Los Angeles market made sense. However, with much of the city still holding loyalty to the Raiders, who will not too far away in the near future, the Chargers may be the victims of an oversaturated market where they may be the third wheel in a two-team city. 

The Rams played in Los Angeles from the 1940s until 1995, when they moved to St. Louis. Four years later, they’d win the Super Bowl. The Chargers did have a history in the city of Los Angeles, but it was only for one year in 1960. After moving to San Diego, where the bulk of their history occurred, had over 50 years to build a relationship with the fans, but some believed that the team was chasing dollar signs to Los Angeles. 

Those dollar signs may be hard to catch, however. 

Chargers paying rent to the Rams

The Los Angeles relationship between the Rams and Chargers isn't off to a great start.
Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke. | Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chargers set their PSL goal, or season ticket goal, at around $400 million as they headed into Los Angeles. They thought that the prospect of another NFL team in Los Angeles and the excitement of the new stadium would drive people toward the team. In 2018, however, they revised this total by cutting it in half, and then some. 

The 2018 PSL goal was a $250 million drop off at $150 million. Los Angeles just has not shown that it can be interested in the Chargers, even if their journey into the city was only a couple of hours north from San Diego. With the Rams expecting some sort of partnership, this could not have helped an already struggling relationship. 

A rift forming between the two franchises

The Rams and Chargers are split partners in the new arena, and if the Chargers cannot cover their part, it does not do good things for the teams’ relationships with one another. There have been rumblings throughout the NFL that Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers owner Dean Spanos are not exactly friends, so this situation cannot be helping the matter. 

That $400 million figure helped convince the NFL of the viability of the Chargers’ move. Their cooperation in the new stadium project was meant to ease the load for both teams. After all, they were perfectly fine with having their own stadium, and it wasn’t until the NFL stepped in that the Chargers were going to share it with them.

Kroenke’s doubts seem to be coming true, and after being forced into the agreement, people have to ask if this whole thing can be salvaged.

Is there hope for the Chargers?

Theoretically, the Chargers could pick up some fans if they became one of the NFL’s elite teams. In a market such as Los Angeles, there should be enough people to fill a football stadium. However, the Los Angeles experiment for the Chargers could be a trainwreck before it even leads the stadium. The lack of fans, the mediocre play, and the perennial place as a third wheel mean that they will have to dig themselves out of this hole, themselves.