According to multiple reports the Chargers will announce today they are bolting (sorry) for Los Angeles. Dean Spanos will meet with his staff shortly, ostensibly to inform them of this decision.
It’s probably too late to start a petition to keep the team name and colors here (al la what Cleveland did when the first Browns left). I’d absolutely support that initiative, by the way.
Dean Spanos leaving town will have a profound impact on the Padres. I wonder how they will react today. I hope they have thought it through and have an actionable plan in place. They’ve had two years to prepare. Their world is different starting at 8am this morning.
The Padres have been the second banana in San Diego for as long as Major League Baseball has been played here. Even during their brief forays into baseball respectability, and the occasional playoff appearance, the Chargers dominated the narrative. Now, I know using local sports talk-radio as a barometer isn’t the best idea, but for the last two years those who listen have been treated to incessant conversations about the stadium issue, new developments, theories, recriminations, speculation, and so on. It didn’t matter how well or poorly the Padres were playing, or what stupid thing the Padres did, San Diego Charger stadium discussions dominated. Only when a story became national news (like the medical file flapex) did some lip service get paid to the Padres and what they were doing; it was then rapidly swamped by more stadium discussion.
The Padres had the perfect cover. Now that cover is gone.
Although the Chargers are moving barely 150 miles up the road I can’t imagine news about that football team will continue to be the top story for the local media. All eyes should shift to the one Major-League franchise left. The Gulls will get some additional coverage, sure, but hockey is a niche sport (which is too bad, because it’s awesome). The Padres have sucked for the past six years and only the diehard fans really complained and discussed it. Now the casual sports fan will be paying more attention because there’s really nothing else to talk about.
Get ready, Padres. You’re front and center on the San Diego Sports Stage. If we ever needed our baseball team to both play well and have a realistic chance for a playoff appearance, it’s right now.