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Chargers and Raiders to Construct Joint Stadium in LA

In one of the more bizarre news stories we can expect to hear this NFL offseason, AFC West rivals the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have announced plans to jointly construct a “home” stadium in Carson, Los Angeles.

The $1.7 billion endeavour has come as a shock to Californians and NFL fans alike, especially following the relieving news that no team would have to ship up to Los Angeles for the 2015 season.

The black cloud of team relocation that has hung precariously over the heads of so many franchises for so long appears finally ready to unleash a downpour. Along with the St. Louis Rams, both the Chargers and Raiders were high on the list of possible candidates, but nobody could have predicted both teams would make a move.

As the marketing monstrosity is being built, both franchises maintain plans to work out new stadium deals in their respective cities. A cool $850 million each might sound like one heck of a Plan B, but with both embattled clubs making future preservation a priority, the venture is sounding less like an alternative and more like an investment.

Financing aside, the move sounds like a nightmare from a logistical standpoint as well. Assuming both teams will remain in what should become a highly competitive AFC West, who will be the designated home team? Will they enjoy a 1-1 split in ticket revenue? Should the fans view it as one extra home game or an extra away game? And with Los Angeles already considered a de facto member of Raider Nation as it stands, will it even matter?

Currently, the New York Jets and New York Giants are the only teams in the league to call the same stadium home. But that is different. Both clubs have been established in the same city – arguably the biggest sporting city in the world, by the way – for generations. The fanbases are clearly defined, in part because both teams share a healthy yet not-entirely-hateful rivalry.

San Diego and Oakland will have precisely none of those factors in their favour. As the turf war for control of LA heats up both on the field and in the boardrooms, it wouldn’t be irrational to call both clubs losers in these early stages.

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