The Chargers may be having trouble attracting fans since their move to Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be moving out of their new home city anytime soon. According to a report by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Chargers are locked into a 20-year lease at the new stadium they’ll be sharing with the Rams in Inglewood starting in 2020.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Florio’s report states that the Chargers will have to play at that venue until at least 2039, after which the team has a pair of exclusive 10-year options that would allow them to stay longer if they wish to do so.
Chargers Struggling to Find Fans in LA
The story comes in the wake of reports that owners have been informally discussing the viability of the Chargers in Los Angeles during their fall meetings this week in New York. While concerns about the team were not a formal topic of conversation, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that multiple owners who wished to remain anonymous said that it was a popular topic in side conversations.
At the moment, the Chargers have been able to fill their current stadium for most regular season games even with the league’s most expensive ticket prices, but that says a lot more about the stadium then their fan base. The team is currently playing in the StubHub Center in Carson, California, which only holds about 27,000 people – about half the size of what would be considered a small NFL stadium. Often, it appears as though a large percentage of the fans who show up are rooting for the visiting team.
On Wednesday, the Chargers announced their first season ticket prices for the 70,000-seat stadium. More than a third of the seats are available for between $50 and $90, and the personal seat licenses (PSLs) start at just $100. That’s going to make them a more affordable option then the Rams, who are charging at least $1,000 for each PSL.
According to ESPN Magazine’s Seth Wickersham, sources now say that the Chargers are expected to revise their PSL revenue goals, trimming their expectations from $400 million to just $150 million.
Move Could Still Be Long-Term Success
All of those numbers might make it sound like the Chargers would be itching to get out of Los Angeles as soon as possible – even if that opportunity won’t come until 2039. But there are still reasons for the team to be hopeful that they can turn things around to the point where they will want to stay in the city by then.
For one, the team is getting an excellent deal on the stadium. The venue in Inglewood is being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, meaning that the Chargers get to act like a tenant and get a modern, world-class facility without paying for any of the construction costs.
In addition, 20 years is a long time for the Chargers to build a fan base in the second-largest media market in the United States. By the time the team starts considering whether to take its first 10-year option, a full generation of new fans may have been developed, especially if the team can continue performing well on the field.
For the moment, though, the Chargers are likely to play second fiddle to the Rams in LA. While the 4-2 Chargers are a reasonable 18/1 pick to win the Super Bowl according to William Hill, the undefeated Rams are the 3/1 favorite to win a championship this season.