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NFL's Los Angeles Move Could Bring Divisional Realignment

If the Chargers and Raiders move to a shared stadium in Los Angeles—as currently appears to be the most likely outcome—the NFL will probably not want them continuing to share a division. That’s absolutely no problem, with both teams telling the league they’re willing to be moved if necessary.


Scheduling would be an issue with two divisional rivals in the same building, and the league would prefer to give a single market teams from two different conferences. Carmen Policy, who’s heading up the Chargers’ and Raiders’ Carson stadium plan, says the teams are amenable.

The teams have made clear to the league and NFL owners that “you send us to LA and you’ll make the decision as to who plays in what conference or division,” Policy told reporters after detailing stadium plans for business leaders and a sports group at an event in downtown Los Angeles.

The most obvious answer is to move one of the two to the NFC West—and logic says it would be the Chargers, given the Raiders’ entrenched rivalries in the AFC West. That would mean someone coming back the other way. The Seahawks were in the AFC until 2002, the last time the NFL underwent realignment, but with their recent run of success it’s hard to think of them as anything but an NFC team now. So absent any protests, a swap between the Cardinals and Chargers feels like it makes the most sense.

In new renderings of the proposed stadium released yesterday, the building’s most distinctive features have been removed. Gone is the tower that would have shot lightning bolts during Chargers games and burned as an eternal flame to Al Davis during Raiders games. In is a giant Lombardi Trophy overlooking the field:


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