The Los Angeles Chargers. Nearly a week after the Spanos family announced they would be taking their team to Los Angeles the name still does not seem quite right. Maybe that has something to do with the new logo that seems to appear every other day. While the fans of San Diego will be rightly upset that their Chargers are now gone, there is one big place they must look at when placing the blame on this relocation, themselves. They Chargers tried for years to get the city to assist in renovating or replacing the outdated Qualcomm Stadium, but to no avail. After many threats of relocation it has finally happened, and I believe the franchise could really benefit from the move.
The first reason relocation is going to benefit this organization is their selection of stadium. The Chargers will be playing at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California which is currently home to MLS club LA Galaxy. This stadium will be the smallest in the NFL with only about 30,000 seats, but this will be great for the atmosphere at games. This is because it is a true soccer facility which places the fans very close to the field and will make the stadium feel as if there are 80,000 people inside. Another advantage to fewer seats is that it creates more of a demand for the tickets which means they can charge more for them. The Stubhub Center is also a much newer facility which means it will keep fans happier at games even if the team is a train-wreck.
The next reason the move will be beneficial for the franchise is the location of Stubhub Center. Carson is in the suburbs of Los Angeles which will make travel to games easier than it would be to go see the Los Angeles Rams, still not used to this name despite it being almost a year, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which is inside the city. This makes even Thursday night games a better drive as you will not have to waste as much time to drive into the city for a game.
The final reason the move can be a successful one for the team is it presents the chance to rebrand the team. Now that the team is in a new city, it would seem like they could use a new name. For the last 57 years the Chargers name has been attributed to the San Diego area so one would think that to set themselves apart the franchise would select a new name and new colors. Part of a rebranding should include the on field product and that starts with the coach. Shortly after announcing their move, the Chargers also announced the hiring of Anthony Lynn to fil the vacancy at head coach. He is lucky in the sense that he has a franchise quarterback to build around, however Philip Rivers is aging and has shown that he can struggle at the end of seasons. This may lead to the drafting of a new quarterback in the near future. While it may not be an immediate replacement, a few years from now they will be happy they developed a young player instead of waiting until Rivers retires before bringing in a replacement.
While the transition will be difficult on fans to start with, the Chargers relocation to Los Angeles was the correct decision and ultimately will lead to greater success for the franchise.