Editorial (January 15, 2016) – For those of you living under a sports rock, the San Diego Chargers of the NFL are moving to Los Angeles. They will play the 2017 season at the StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy.
LA Chargers At StubHub Center: Might Actually Be A Good Deal For The LA Galaxy
This move in general has come under a lot of criticism. The Chargers have been looking to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium for years. Once the Rams moved back to LA and owner Stan Kronke is privately financing a new stadium in Inglewood, CA. It is scheduled to be ready for the 2019 season.
No One But NFL Owners And Executives Are Ok With This:
Pretty much everyone hates this move. San Diego based fans are hurt that their team is leaving them, for a city most of them can’t stand. The Chargers have almost no roots in Los Angeles, Despite the Rams having a poor season, they still averaged the seventh best attendance in the league because they have history with the city. There’s nothing suggesting the Chargers will be able to draw support over the Rams in a place they aren’t wanted.
Beyond the backlash of the move in general, the soccer community hasn’t liked this move either. The StubHub Center is considered by many to have one of the best pitches in the country and MLS. There were complaints of football lines and a chewed up field. And it could be at its worst during October and November, during the MLS Cup Playoffs.
There was also joking and trolling. It’s fitting and ironic that an NFL team will be a renter in an MLS team owned soccer specific stadium. In 1996, MLS started with all 10 teams playing in football stadiums. Six of those were owned and occupied by NFL teams at the time.
Figuring Out The Schedule:
Club President Chris Klein wrote a letter to Galaxy fans saying that this endeavor will not be done recklessly and that it will help the Galaxy.
The NFL season usually begins the week after Labor Day and goes til the end of September. The Galaxy have only three regular season home games from the start of September on. All of them are on weekends. That leaves room for four Charger home games (half way to the season total). All with the StubHub grounds crew having a week in between matches (assuming no Chargers Thursday night games).
The Galaxy also only play two home games in August (both on Sundays), giving the Chargers room for their preseason games. Again, no midweek games forcing the grounds crew to scramble or having the Galaxy play with football lines.
Assuming they make it to MLS Cup, the Galaxy will have up to four home playoff games. The wild card match will for sure be during the week. If they Galaxy advance, they would have a home game that weekend. Make sure the week of October 28th the Chargers have an away game.
The hard party after that is depending on seeding, the Galaxy could be playing at home any of the weekends the rest of the month. The Chargers could have a Thursday night home game somewhere in there and the Galaxy could play Sunday at StubHub. That gets us to five Charger home games, with no weekends double-booked.
Lastly, MLS Cup 2017 will be on either the weekend of December 3rd or 10th. The NFL has three weeks following that second weekend. Have the Chargers finish the season with three straight home games. That gets them to eight.
It’s a little weird, but it works. This schedule would avoid all weekend double-bookings. Only once would the grounds crew have fewer then 3 days to convert the field, and in every other case they would have fives days or more. Any Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches could be fit where there was space. This is a lot less complicated with the Galaxy not playing in CONCACAF Champions League group play.
Why It Will Help And Be Good For The Galaxy:
The Chargers will be undoubtedly compensating the Galaxy financially for being a tenant in their stadium.
The club has already made updates to the end zone scoreboard. Other aspects of the facility could be improved. The Galaxy could charge the Chargers to help play for those upgrades. The details are still being worked out, but unless the Galaxy are charging them $1 for next year, they’re going to be able to do something with the money.
In the past, the Galaxy have been able to use temporary and grass seating to get capacity crowds in excess of 30,000. The Chargers may want to bump that number up if they can.
Perhaps they’ll help pay to upgrade the press zone and club level seating. They could expand the stadium by a few thousand and leave those seats permanently when they leave. They could also help pay to improving the parking situation.
The Chargers could also help pay to upkeep/improve the training facility, especially if they’re going to use it as a practice facility. The StubHub Center has seven full size soccer practice fields. There’s plenty of room for the Galaxy, the Chargers, and LA Galaxy two to train there.
The schedule is not going to be a total cluster. When looking at the money side, as long as the Galaxy are getting a good chunk of change, it will help them in the long run. Plus the Galaxy twitter can crack jokes at an NFL team being their tenant, instead of the other way around.