5 reasons the Chargers relocating to Los Angeles is the right move

The Chargers have announced that they will move to Los Angeles, ending a 55-year stint in San Diego. Here are five reasons relocating is a good thing.

It seemed inevitable. The longer the stadium issues with San Diego continued, the more likely the Chargers would be to relocate to Los Angeles. On Wednesday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that the team will be making the relocation a reality.

The plan for relocation is to play at the 27,000-seat StubHub Center, home of the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy in Carson for the next two years while the new stadium in Inglewood is being built. In Inglewood, the Chargers will be joint occupants of the new stadium with the Los Angeles Rams.

Seeing professional teams relocate can be tough, but here are five reasons that the Chargers to Los Angeles is only a good thing.

5. More attractive destination for free agents

This sounds odd given the climate of Southern California, but by relocating from San Diego to Los Angeles, it makes the Chargers organization all the more attractive to free agents. The weather is awesome in both cities, but Los Angeles is a city of stars.

For the same reasons that professional athletes like to play in New York, the same rules apply to playing in Los Angeles. In the course of two offseason, the NFL went from having no teams in the second biggest media market in the country to having an NFL franchise in each conference: the Chargers in the AFC and the Rams in the NFC.

This gives Los Angeles two 53-man rosters to sell players on in NFL free agency. It drives up the level of competition in free agency between the new-found rival Chargers and Rams. A player that wouldn’t have considered either the Rams or Chargers organization in free agency in 2015 may be more inclined to sign with either club in 2017 now that they are in Los Angeles.

Of course the Chargers are going to need to continue to draft well, but relocating to Los Angeles increases their media exposure considerably and makes them a more lucrative free agent destination. Chargers stock has a huge bump because of the move, similar to what the Rams experience last season.

Dec 4, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 4, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

4. More star players than the Rams

Though they will play in a soccer stadium for two years, by moving to Los Angeles, the Chargers actually have a leg up on the Rams heading into 2017. There are three big reasons for this: 1.) Philip Rivers is a Hall of Fame level quarterback. 2.) The Chargers will rent to the Rams in the Inglewood stadium. 3.) They honestly have more star players than the Rams.

Rivers, running back Melvin Gordon, and defensive end Joey Bosa are three players that are more marketable than most players on the Rams. Outside of Todd Gurley or Jared Goff, who do the Rams have to get people into seats at cavernous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum?

The Rams organization feels compelled to make a splash head coaching hire to keep fans interest. Frankly, the Chargers are the better job and will probably get a better head coach than the Rams do on this search. The Chargers have two strong coordinators in Ken Whisenhunt and John Pagano. Who do the Rams have? Exactly.

For a team that is changing cities, the Chargers seem to have it more together than the Rams do even a year after their move. They may play in only a 27,000-seat stadium, but the Chargers have players on their team that can be marketed as stars. Teams need stars to work in Los Angeles. Expect the Chargers to win quicker than the Rams. The Rams won’t be competitive for a while, but the Chargers can push for playoff contention in the AFC immediately.

Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith looks on prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith looks on prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. A clean break for an incoming head coach

By moving to Los Angeles, it has done wonders to the Chargers head coaching search. So much loomed on the possibility of relocation that it made the Chargers job more unattractive than it should have been. There is a good chance that the Chargers will end up winning the head coaching carousel in all honesty.

Jacksonville promoted interim head coach Doug Marrone. Denver hired former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Buffalo hired former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. None of those feel like home-run hires.

That leaves three head coaching vacancies: the Rams after a grease fire of a 2016 season, the ultra-dysfunctional San Francisco 49ers that also need a general manager, and the Chargers. San Francisco is a complete rebuild and the Rams’ first season in Los Angeles could not have gone any worse than it did.

Not having to move his family twice to San Diego then Los Angeles in two years makes this the best job left in the NFL. Ownership is a bit strange, but the Chargers have a good roster and solid coaches in place should the next head coach feel like keeping them around. Regardless, the Chargers are going to get somebody great they may not have by staying in San Diego.

Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

2. The Chargers are in need of a rebrand

By leaving behind a 55-year legacy in San Diego, it is in the best interest of the Chargers organization to go with a complete rebrand. Leave the powder blue jerseys, the lightning bolts, and maybe even the Chargers moniker behind.

Adopting a new nickname and color scheme could make the relocation go a bit smoother. It will give off the allure of an expansion team, but not the trying times associated with those bottom of the barrel rosters.

Let’s use the NHL for example. When the Quebec Nordiques left Quebec City in the mid-1990s for Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche, they won a Stanley Cup in their first year since relocation. In the NFL, once Tennessee dropped the Oilers moniker and became the Tennessee Titans, they went to a Super Bowl in their first year in the rebrand.

The Chargers roster is solid, albeit energy prone. Los Angeles can market its team any way it chooses, but creating a new identity might help them breakaway from the preconceived notions of the same sorry old Chargers. Rebrands do an absolute killing in moving merchandise. It makes too much sense for this football team to not go for a complete identity change with the move to Los Angeles.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers1. The stadium issue is no longer a beast of burden

With the Chargers opting to relocate to Los Angeles, it means that the beast of burden that was trying to finance a new stadium in San Diego is no more. The Chargers weren’t going to play at outdated Qualcomm Stadium forever.

It was strange in the last few years to see the Chargers actually have a negative home-field advantage while playing at Qualcomm. Most of the time, half of the stadium would be filled with fans of the opposition. There may have been more Oakland Raiders fans at Chargers games that Chargers fans in recent meeting between these AFC West rivals.

By the end of the decade, the Chargers will play in the same state of the art stadium in Inglewood with the Rams. It doesn’t really matter that they’ll be playing in a soccer stadium the next two years.

If Spanos would have told stayed in San Diego for the next two years with the intentions of taking up the Rams’ Inglewood offer, nobody would be going to the games any way. It would be as bad as the demise of the Houston Oilers once their late owner Bud Adams announced he relocating his team to Nashville.

2017 will be strange to not have an NFL franchise in San Diego, but the Chargers deserved better than having to jump through hoops of fire to keep their team in town. The NFL has always been a business and a great one at that. It’s full steam ahead for the Chargers in Los Angeles, or whatever the team is going to be called going forward.

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