Jan 25, 2022 - Sports

NFL sued over Chargers' relocation from San Diego

Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The NFL is being sued for allegedly violating the league's relocation policies over the Chargers' move to Los Angeles, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by two former San Diego city attorneys.

Driving the news: The suit, which also names all NFL team owners and the city of San Diego as defendants, accuses the NFL and the Chargers of hiding that they had intended to move the franchise since 2006 and failing to negotiate in good faith.

  • "The Chargers' statements suggesting the Chargers Football was looking for a way to stay in San Diego in and after 2006 were false," the suit alleges.

The big picture: Chargers owner Dean Spanos had previously said in 1997 that the team would remain in San Diego unless the franchise suffered "severe financial hardship."

  • He announced the team was moving back to L.A. in 2017 because it couldn't compete with the rest of the league financially at the old stadium in San Diego, per USA Today.
  • Spanos allegedly "broke his word" and moved the Chargers despite being worth more than $1 billion as of 2017, the year he announced the team's move, according to the lawsuit.

What they're saying: "The team did not meet with the community nor the city in any meaningful way,” the suit claims.

  • "The city relied on the false representations and in fact, spent considerable time, effort and funds to work on plans to meet the Chargers' demands for additional public taxpayer subsidies."
  • San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and City Attorney Mara Elliott said in a joint statement that "suing the NFL would be a costly and uphill battle," but wished the lawsuit luck since "city taxpayers would be the recipient of any damages and restitution the court may award if litigation prevails."
  • The NFL and Chargers did not immediately return Axios' request for comment.
Go deeper