NFL Owners Examining Relocation Fees

The Chargers’ potential relocation fee to move their headquarters less than two hours north could be more than $200MM, according to’s Eric D. Williams.

With the Chargers, Raiders and Rams sharing interest in jettisoning their cities for Los Angeles, the NFL owners commissioned an outside firm to study relocation charges. The owners estimate a set cost wouldn’t be determined until the process, in its early stages, nears its conclusion.

The Oilers’ 1997 trip to Tennessee cost the franchise $29MM — as did the Browns’ sojourn to Baltimore in 1996 and the Rams’ exodus to St. Louis in ’95 — but considering how much more the league generates now and the prospect of playing in the country’s second-largest media market, the upcoming fee for a Los Angeles move will dwarf that. Vanderbilt economics professor John Vrooman estimates the Chargers would have to pay between $200MM and $250MM to move to L.A.

This range could be conservative, however. Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune hears numbers as high as $500MM for such a relocation. But this fee could be paid over time.

It can be done in any number of ways to help fill the Los Angeles market with a team,” ex-Raiders CEO Amy Trask told The Mighty 1090 AM radio. “It doesn’t make sense for the league to impose upon a team, or teams, a relocation fee that will put that team in an economic back seat. Because otherwise, why do the move?”

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