San Diego voters this week rejected a measure that would have funded a new stadium for the Chargers, thus leaving the future of the franchise in doubt.
“At this point, the Chargers have to make a fundamental choice,” former NFL executive Amy Trask said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Do they want to remain in San Diego and give additional time? It certainly is the case that the Chargers have made a very good-faith, honest effort and committed tremendous resources to trying to get this initiative through and a deal done in San Diego. They weren’t able to do so, so now do they spend more time in San Diego working on a solution, or do they opt to leave? That’s the fundamental decision. The Chargers want to do what’s best for their business, but all the NFL teams, the 31 other teams, want to see the Chargers do what’s best economically. Would they like to see the team stay in San Diego? Absolutely. I think the league would like the Chargers to stay in San Diego and the Raiders to stay in Oakland, but only if there are deals there that make sense. Because a rising tide raises all ships, and they want to make sure that the deals in place are deals that will be good for the health of the long-term health of the teams.”
Speaking of the aforementioned Raiders, they’re 7-2 and atop the AFC West.
“It’s very, very exciting for Raiders fans,” said Trask, a former Oakland exec. “I think the offense has been doing sensationally, and last week the matchup – Raiders versus Broncos – was strength versus strength: Raiders offense versus Denver defense. And the Raiders strength certainly outplayed Denver’s strength.”
Despite the rise of Oakland – not to mention Dallas, Atlanta and a handful of other teams – NFL ratings are down this year. Why?
“I think as in the case with most things in life, there’s not just one answer to a given issue,” Trask said. “We consume product and content differently than we did in years past, and it’s not simply the NFL that is simply declining ratings and it’s not simply sports that are seeing declining ratings. One of the ones that comes immediately to mind is the Emmy’s. We’ll see what will happen at the Oscars. We consume content differently today than we did two or three or five or eight years ago. There’s a lot of smart people at the NFL and at the television networks that are looking at this issue. I think that’s at play. I think there are other factors as well, but I don’t think we should reach conclusions until the end of the season. Let’s look at a full 17-week regular season and playoff, see what the numbers are and see how those compare to non-sport declining numbers.”