Today's question: There has been plenty of speculation on which team(s) will relocate to Los Angeles beginning in 2016. Will the Chargers play in Los Angeles next season?
Jeff Legwold, Denver Broncos: The Chargers to Los Angeles discussion appears to be a matter of what the team is saying in public and what many in the league say they are doing off the field. The team says it would like to stay in San Diego, but the increasing inevitability of two teams in Los Angeles suggests if the Chargers aren’t one of them that doing business in San Diego will become far more difficult, even with a new stadium. No Los Angeles stadium would be ready for 2016, so that presents the Rose Bowl and Coliseum as stopgap measures. The prospect of lame-duck seasons in the jilted cities is not pretty, especially for many in the league who watched the Houston Oilers' two seasons in the Astrodome after announcing their intended move to Nashville before the 1995 season. Bottom line, it looks like a three-team race to Los Angeles -- Chargers, Raiders and St. Louis Rams -- with two potential spots. Many in the NFL believe the Spanos family could get the eight votes necessary to block the owners’ approval of any move to Los Angeles that doesn’t include the Chargers. And with so much money at stake, so many local governments involved, task forces formed and a two-decade-old grind to get the NFL back in L.A., 2016 still looks to be too soon for much of it to be worked out. The Chargers will most likely play in San Diego in ’16, but beyond that is still an enormous question with a likely scenario being the Chargers end up in L.A.
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs: Two teams among the Chargers, Raiders and Rams will be heading to L.A. in 2016. So everything else being equal, the Chargers have a two-thirds chance of playing their final season in San Diego in 2015. But everything else isn’t equal and I would expect the Chargers to be one of the teams making the move. The Chargers see being stuck in San Diego while two other teams are playing up the road a few miles in Los Angeles as a death sentence in a business sense, and they might be right. The Chargers have plenty of incentive, perhaps the most of the three teams, to move. It would be a shame for the NFL to lose San Diego as a market. The stadium there is behind the times, but San Diego is one of the NFL’s underrated cities for fan game-day experience. The tailgating in San Diego isn’t on par with, say, Kansas City or Green Bay, but it’s up there.
Bill Williamson, Oakland Raiders: Wow, what a question. It is total guesswork to try to figure the L.A.-NFL riddle. I do think it’s pretty clear that the NFL is serious about going back to the Los Angeles area for the first time since both the Rams and Raiders split. The word is there will be an NFL team in L.A. in 2016. But we’ve heard this before. I think it is all wait and see at this point. Now, if it truly does happen, the Chargers are as good a bet as any to land in L.A. We know the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders are also candidates to move to L.A. Yes, the Chargers and Raiders have teamed for a proposed stadium in Carson, California, in case their hopes of staying in their respective cities fail. But the Rams have things going on, too. It’s all fluid. If I had to guess, I’d say the Chargers are still in San Diego in 2016 because we’ve heard this story so many times. Yet, nothing has actually happened yet.