The Chargers' Value Has Barely Increased Since Moving To Los Angeles

Ryan Phillips

When the Los Angeles Chargers moved out up San Diego and up Interstate 5, a huge part of their argument for doing so was the increased value it would bring to the franchise. Well, that flat out hasn’t happened.

Forbes released its annual valuations of NFL franchises and the news was really bad for Dean Spanos and the Chargers. Among the 32 NFL teams, the Chargers ranked 22nd and are worth an estimated $2.275 billion. That value is unchanged from last year, their first season in their new huge market.

In 2016, the year before they opted to move from San Diego to LA, Forbes valued the team at $2.08 billion. That ranked them 21st in the NFL. Yes, you read that right, moving to Los Angeles has not only failed to increase the franchise’s value, it has actually decreased relative to other NFL teams.

It’s worth remembering that when the Chargers had been granted the chance to move to LA if they didn’t get a stadium done in San Diego, Forbes spiked the team’s valuation. The value jumped 36 percent that year but if you carefully read what was written, there’s a key part of that valuation people tend to miss.

"The Chargers get first dibs on becoming Kroenke’s tenant, or can opt for a new stadium in San Diego, which is why the team is valued at $2.08 billion."

So the value went up because they had the option to join Stan Kroenke or build their own stadium in San Diego. It wasn’t just because of the move to Los Angeles, Forbes basically said it would be a similar rise in value based on either option.

If that isn’t enough for you, check out the write up for this year’s valuation. It is posted it below:

"The Chargers played their first of three seasons at the 27,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. last season. As expected, the Chargers were last in the league in attendance (202,687), drawing less than half the league average. Our $2.275 billion valuation of the Chargers reflects their move to Inglewood for the 2020 season, where they will be tenants in a new stadium controlled by Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams. It was a risk-adverse decision by the Spanos family to be tenants–whereby the team will pay just $1 a year in rent but get no revenue from non-game day events–rather than build their own stadium. With their wealth already concentrated in real estate, the Spanos family did not want any more bricks and mortar on their balance sheet. The Chargers will effectively have the same type of economic situation, albeit in a bigger market, as the Indianapolis Colts."

So this valuation includes the move into Kroenke’s new palace, where they will be nothing more than tenants. That means any arguments about the value going up after the move to the new stadium is flat out wrong.

Oh, and the best part? The Chargers left San Diego and alienated their entire fan base to chug up the road and have a similar economic situation to the Indianapolis Colts. That’s right, a team in the second biggest media market in the country has the same financial situation as a team in the 27th media market. Incidentally, in those media market rankings the Colts place just ahead of … (looks at list … looks up … does double take) … San Diego.

You couldn’t make this sh*t up.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams are thriving in their new home. Before leaving St. Louis, Kroenke’s team was valued at $1.45 billion, 28th on the list. Now the Rams are worth $3.2 billion, enough to be the fourth most valuable team in the NFL.

In every aspect of life — other than hairpiece choices — Stan Kroenke has run circles around Dean Spanos. This is nothing new.

To recap, the Chargers moved up to Los Angeles to increase the value of their franchise and that value has barely gone up. Despite that slight increase, the value has actually dropped one spot relative to the rest of the NFL. And if they had gotten a stadium deal done in San Diego, they would have been worth roughly as much as they are now. Plus they would have actually had a fan base cheering for them.

Folks, when I’ve repeatedly told you the Chargers were going to fail in Los Angeles, I haven’t been talking out of my ass. They are a colossal, enormous, monumental failure already and have become an embarrassment to the rest of the NFL.

Only the Spanos family could move an NFL team to Los Angeles and not see its value rise substantially. When I’ve repeatedly told you Dean and his sons are morons who would screw up something this easy, I wasn’t lying to you.

This is an organization run by the worst of the worst. Everything they do proves it. The team’s value will never rise substantially with Spanos and his kids in charge.