by Chris Reed | February 21, 2015 6:44 pm
The Chargers and Raiders’ plan to move to Carson and share a privately funded $1.7 billion stadium has hit like a bombshell in the teams’ home bases. It is sinking in that California’s second- and third-largest metropolitan areas seem on track to lose NFL teams to California’s largest metropolitan area.
The reaction was harsh in San Diego. Sports columnist and veteran Chargers watcher Kevin Acee likened the announcement to the Chargers being “in bed with a silver and black whore,” a reference to the team’s long and at times ugly rivalry with the Raiders. That characterization was soon toned down, but Acee’s bitterness — and San Diego’s mayor’s bitterness — was still plain:
Both the Raiders and Chargers are desperately trying to find public or private money to build stadiums in their existing communities. With no legitimate plans forthcoming, it seems like the two NFL franchises are throwing a hail-mary pass to the deep reaches of L.A. County, hoping their professed desire to move will unlock local riches.
Or maybe they really do want to move to Los Angeles. Carson certainly seems to want them.
“If you can’t work it out with your cities, we’ll welcome you here in Carson,” said Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-Los Angeles). “ We’ll give you a new stadium. We’ll give you fans like you’ve never seen before. This is not going to be at the public expense. This is not going to be taxpayer dollars. Chargers and Raiders, come on down.”
Sounds fabulous. Like a fabulous pipe dream. While the two teams announced they have actually bought land in Carson to help facilitate the plan, concrete financing is a long way away. And the absence of team executives at Friday’s press conference was downright mind-boggling.
The difference may be that San Diego journalists have considered the chance of the team leaving to be credible for several years. In the Bay Area, the Raiders are considered dysfunctional even years after the death of controversial, irascible owner Al Davis.
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