COSTA MESA, Calif. — Blood boiling, Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos strongly denied his team has any interest in relocating to London, addressing a report broaching the possibility Tuesday.
“It’s total f—ing bulls—,” Spanos said. “We’re not going to London. We’re not going anywhere. We’re playing in Los Angeles. This is our home, and this is where we are planning to be for a long f—ing time. Period.”
Spanos was responding to a story Monday by The Athletic, which reported the Chargers and the NFL could look at moving the team to London, partly because of concerns over the Los Angeles market.
The NFL issued a statement later Tuesday, saying there was “no substance” to the report.
“No consideration has been given to the Chargers playing anywhere other than Los Angeles at the new stadium in Hollywood Park next season and beyond,” the league’s statement said. “There have been no discussions of any kind between the NFL and the Chargers regarding moving to London. Both our office and the Chargers are entirely focused on the success of the team in Los Angeles.”
Since the Chargers relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles three years ago, the team has experienced an uphill climb in building a fan base, with opposing fans regularly taking over the team’s temporary home at Dignity Health Sports Complex, a 27,000-seat soccer stadium that serves as the home of Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy.
However, the Chargers believe they will have more success earning new fans in Los Angeles once the team moves into its new home of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, starting next year.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, when asked if he had talked with his players about the relocation story, said his focus is on Thursday’s game on the road against the Oakland Raiders.
“I just found out about the story last night,” Lynn said. “I don’t think there’s anything to it — well, I know there’s not anything to it. We’re not going to let it be a distraction for us. We’ve got a job to do Thursday night, and that’s what we’re getting prepared for.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers, who has continued to commute from San Diego to Orange County since the team’s move to Los Angeles, declined to comment before practice.
“I don’t see any reason to comment on it, to be honest with you,” Rivers said.