By James Fedewa – 2/19/2015
The Chargers and Raiders announced a possible joint-venture today, mutually perusing a $1.7 billion stadium option in Carson, California. A “super” stadium / mega-complex that both teams could call their home. Initial football fan thoughts have been very negative, regarding two divisional rivals, that share a mutual hate for each other, splitting the same home field. But moving one of those two teams to the NFC West makes this move a very interesting scenario and discussion, which could be a very smart business move for the Raiders, Chargers and the NFL.
If you are a Chargers fan, your biggest rival are the Raiders. Same applies with the Broncos and the Chiefs, who call the Raiders their largest Rival. 75% of the AFC West hate the Raiders the most, which is outstanding, considering the Raiders that have been the worst team in the NFL over the last ten years. Yet the Raiders are still the largest rival and most hated team in the AFC West.
In contrast, the mere words “San Diego” generally makes people smile. The beach, the warm weather, the lifestyle, the fun… it’s a vacation city. If the Chargers dropped their team name and just went with their city name, the team would still have a large fan base. Would you be a fan of The San Diego’s? YES! Granted, a city does not necessary make a team (but it could in San Diego). Other than the actual team, what creates and generates an overall team? THE FANS. Chargers fans are generally a very nice bunch, which makes it easy, fun (and some what mild) to root for the Chargers.
So which team would join the NFC West? The Raiders or The Chargers?
Could the Raiders sell out a stadium in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis? Probably (San Francisco for sure because of the Bay Area Oakland fans, but one of those city will be moved to the AFC West).
Could the Chargers sell out a stadium in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis? This is debatable, but probable. San Diego fans could travel to Phoenix and San Francisco fairly easy, and Seattle is an old rival from when they were in the AFC West. If any teams FANS would be more accepting of a team moving cities, it will be a mild (and loyal) Chargers fan. Losing the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos rivalry would be devastating for those Charges fans though, but Chargers fans might like a mix up (like Seattle did not too long ago)…
To keep the most rivalries in the AFC West, the Raiders would be the logical team to stay in the AFC West, but which team leave the NFC West? St. Louis Rams? And that’s another debatable geographical oddity for the NFL. Best case scenario for the real fans and the NFL to leave everything alone and move the St. Louis Rams to Carson instead. (sorry St. Louis fans, L.A. is the real home for the Rams)