It's over. The San Diego Chargers are no longer. The team has announced that they are moving north, to Los Angeles. It's a move that is several years in the making but is finally becoming a reality. While many Chargers fans are angry, it's time to remember that this isn't the end of the world.
It sucks to have a team skip town after 56 years, there's no question about it. But the move makes sense. It made sense when the San Diego Clippers relocated to Los Angeles in the 1980's, even though they came to a city with little to no fan base and were second class citizens to the already established team. More recently, it made sense when the St. Louis Rams did the move to Los Angeles.
Is it sad? Yes. As a Chargers fan it doesn't seem real, like a bad dream you're expecting to wake up from at any moment. I wish they were still here. I really, really, really wish they were still here. But it's asinine not to acknowledge the financial implications at play here.
The Chargers will play in the nation's second-biggest market and by 2019 they will play in one of the most state-of-the-art stadiums in professional sports. San Diego wouldn't have been so kind. In November 2016, a resolution to build a new stadium in the downtown San Diego area was soundly defeated. The measure had asked for $1.15 billion increase in the hotel occupancy taxes to go towards a $1.8 billion downtown stadium and new convention center. This marked the unofficial departure of the San Diego Chargers.
Television is the #1 reason why this isn't the end of the world. No matter where the Chargers are playing, we have the ability to watch all of their games in full HD. When the Colts left Baltimore, fans didn't have this option.
Most fans never attended games before so what difference does it make if their team is playing a few miles north? The only noticeable difference will be new acronym, "LAC" instead of the old "SD"—maybe they will have to go with "LACF" and the Clippers will need to be "LACB."
The Chargers couldn't have migrated in a more anticlimactic fashion. Their last couple games against the Raiders and Chiefs saw more opposing fans than Chargers fans in the stands. This isn't to blame the move squarely on the fans, since a lot of their apathy has been affirmed by the unstable ownership.
The Chargers loss to the awful Cleveland Browns was the moment when it felt like the team was all but gone. It almost felt like, "okay LA... we get it... you won."
And now the Padres make San Diego the only city in America with just a baseball team. Will they ever hoist a trophy representing this beautiful city? Probably not for some time. But when they do, it'll be that much more special.