What will the Chargers' move to LA mean for the Galaxy?
The San Diego Chargers are moving to Los Angeles and, according to multiple reports, they will play home games at the StubHub Center in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. That's the same StubHub Center that is the home to the LA Galaxy, so what does that mean for the MLS club?
The exact details of the Chargers' two-year stay at the StubHub Center are still unclear so there is a lot to be determined, but the first concern will be the condition of the field. The entire history of MLS has been littered with teams playing on terrible pitches because they share the venue with a football team that tears up the grass. Right now, seven other MLS teams share their stadiums with football teams on a regular basis, but six of them use artificial turf. Only Toronto FC's BMO Field has a grass surface for MLS and a regular football team, and they had to work extremely hard to keep the playing surface in decent shape. Yet, Sebastian Giovinco still found fault with it and aired his grievances in public.
It will be extremely difficult to provide the Galaxy with a good playing surface. And the StubHub Center field isn't the greatest in MLS to begin with, so the Chargers will only make things more difficult.
The Chargers will undoubtedly invest in changes to the StubHub Center, too. The stadium only seats 30,000 and they may try to expand it somewhat to increase capacity since they will already have the smallest stadium in the league by more than 20,000 seats. How and where those extra seats go in, how permanent they are and what needs to be done to make room for them will bear watching.
On top of that, facilities like restrooms and concessions will need to be expanded to serve any additional capacity. Premium seating may be improved and signage, from LED boards to scoreboards, could be improved as well. So could any number of other aspects of the stadium.
Al of that could be extremely valuable to the Galaxy, who won't just collect rent from the Chargers, but they may get an improved stadium as well. Of course, that comes with the downside of a more worn field, sharing dates or impacted space and headaches, but there is upside, too. Getting stadium upgrades along with rent make for big upside.
The exact details of the Chargers' stay at the StubHub Center are still to be determined. How they figure out which dates go to which teams, the right way to maintain the playing surface and any upgrades are still unclear, but the stadium has been one of MLS's preeminent stadiums for years. Now it will also be (temporarily) inhabited by an NFL team. That's a big change and the Galaxy will be impacted by it, hopefully for the better.