A short time ago, Magic Johnson sold his ownership stake in the Lakers and announced a partnership with Tim Leiweke of AEG designed to bring an NFL team back to Los Angeles. KC residents should know AEG as the organization that runs the Sprint Center. KC residents should also know Leiweke, the president of AEG, Missouri native and former part owner of the Kansas City Comets. Though there is a stadium proposal on the books that would build a new NFL venue in east LA County, Leiweke recently made news by suggesting a plan to build a new football stadium in downtown LA adjacent to the Staples Center. The new stadium (which is in the extremely early planning stages) would have a retractable roof allowing LA to host other events such as the Final Four and the Superbowl.
News broke yesterday that Phil Anschutz (the A in AEG) intended to buy a 35% ownership stake in the San Diego Chargers with an intention of relocating the franchise to LA. There's been a lot of denials of this deal, but often when there's smoke there's also fire. The Chargers have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get the city to build them a new stadium. The old Jack Murphy Stadium (I'm not sure what corporate name they've whored the place out to recently) is quite a bit older than Arrowhead and hasn't been kept up as nicely. It was also one of the shit-boxes from the late 60s/early 70s that housed both baseball and football. Without a new deal for a modern stadium the Charges could bolt from the area.
The new downtown LA stadium wouldn't utilize any public money -- AEG would build the $1 billion facility themselves. The NFL has stated they want at least one team to move to LA (Jacksonville and Minnesota had seemed like likely candidates) that had local ownership. If the Chargers sell at least part of the team to AEG the move to LA could be pretty quick.
I'm not sure if the move would have that much of an impact on the area. Like the Chiefs, the Chargers played their first season in the AFL in a different city before relocating to where they are now. It wouldn't be a major chore for their "fans" to stay close to the team -- it's only a 2 hour drive up the 5 to get to LA.
But the LA market is significantly bigger than SD is. The Charger fans in SD are at best low key. They've had 3 of their first 5 home games locally blacked out and word just came down a couple hours ago that they have sold enough tickets for the Raider game to be shown on local TV. This is a team with both the #1 offense and #1 defense in the NFL playing a division rival in a game with massive playoff implications and they nearly failed to sell it out. That really boggles my mind. The Chargers have been a good team for a number of years and yet the SD community seems to no really give a shit.
Would a move to LA change that? A better stadium, a larger fanbase?
What are the odds this sale and move happens?
If the Chargers moved back to Los Angeles, would that affect the Chiefs in any noticeable way?