The Chargers Have Most of the Leverage in Los Angeles Relocation Bid

By 

(Photo: OBSEV / Getty)

The San Diego Chargers sent a powerful message to the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday and the owners committee on Los Angeles opportunities listened.

As the Oakland Raiders, Rams, and Chargers all continue their effort to relocate to Southern California, the politics are getting more intriguing. It’s becoming clear the Chargers have most of the leverage, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

“Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics of the situation, the Chargers could resist a forced marriage with the Rams in Inglewood by employing nine votes to block the proposed Rams-Chargers partnership there. This would, as a practical matter, delay the L.A. relocation by at least another year, forcing the Chargers to stay in San Diego and, more importantly, forcing the Rams to stay in St. Louis.”

This is what the Chargers are prepared to do in order to share a stadium with the Raiders in Carson, rather than partnering with the Rams for a stadium in Inglewood a few miles to the north.

The Rams cannot afford to spend another year in St. Louis, especially since they pretty much trashed the city and its effort to keep the team in town in their relocation bid. Not to mention, the NFL agreed with them, calling St. Louis’ plans “unsatisfactory and inadequate.”

Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams, clearly wants out of his current city more than the other two owners. That’s why it would likely be easier for him to give in and go solo on a stadium plan in Inglewood, allowing for the other two teams to partner up in Carson.

Perhaps that’s why the owners committee on Los Angeles opportunities recommended the Carson plan on Tuesday. Nobody wants this mess to go another season, and there’s no bigger buzz kill than a filibuster.

Each franchise will need approval from three-quarters of the league’s owners. With that in mind, it may seem impossible for all three teams to be approved. But the Rams and Raiders are both in messy situations in their current cities, and the Chargers seem to have lobbied the hell out of the other owners, so they have most of the leverage.

Right now, there is a greater possibility than ever that all three teams will be in Los Angeles by next season.