Moved by money, the Chargers come to LA

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It’s rags to riches for LA football fans with news that the San Diego Chargers are joining the Rams in Los Angeles next season.

LA has gone from having no NFL team for 22 years to getting two in the span of a year.

But is there enough fandom to go around? The last time LA had two teams, they both left, in part because of less-than-rabid support. The Rams and the Raiders split in 1994 for greener pastures in St. Louis and Oakland. And when we say green, we’re talking about the prospect of cold, hard cash

And what of San Diego? It’s now replaced LA as the largest city in the country without an NFL team. Will professional football ever return?

San Diego Union-Tribune business columnist Dan McSwain, for one, thinks San Diego is unlikely to get another team, at least not anytime soon. And he says the Chargers may be in a disadvantageous position compared to the Rams, but it still beats what they had going in San Diego, at least when it comes to dollars and cents:

“The Rams absolutely have an edge. They have an historic edge, they have a lot of fans, people go back way back with the Rams. The Chargers are building it from scratch,” McSwain says.

But he’s not surprised they’re leaving a place with strong fan support. Like most things in the NFL, he says this was a decision based on money:

“(In Los Angeles) there is just so much potential. If you do a local sponsorship deal in San Diego, the revenues are just potentially so much larger in Los Angeles. San Diego is the 8th largest city by population, but it’s only the 28th largest media market.”