• Loading stock data...
Friday, March 1, 2024

Charged Up: L.A.’s Other NFL Team Seeks Spotlight With Harbaugh Hire

  • The hire of the CFP-winning coach is one of the NFL team’s biggest moves in franchise history.
  • The Chargers look to escape the long shadow of the neighboring Rams.

One of the runts of the Los Angeles pro sports litter is making one of its biggest moves in franchise history, altering the shape of the local sports scene and the NFL in the process. 

On Wednesday night, the L.A. Chargers completed a five-year agreement to bring on Jim Harbaugh—fresh off his College Football Playoff championship run at Michigan—as its head coach, giving the Bolts a major jolt of energy aimed at resetting the team’s prospects both on and off the field.

The Chargers have struggled mightily in their seven seasons since relocating north from San Diego, reaching the playoffs just twice and perpetually existing in the long shadow of the much-more-popular L.A. Rams. That already-uneven dynamic—based in no small part on the teams’ sharing of SoFi Stadium, which is controlled by Rams owner Stan Kroenke—only grew further with the Rams’ triumph in Super Bowl LVI, two years ago. 

In each of the six non-COVID seasons the Rams and Chargers have played together in L.A., the Rams have surpassed the Chargers in average attendance. Team valuations tell a similar story, with the Rams’ $6.9 billion ranking third in the league, compared to the Chargers’ 25th-place ranking at $4.15 billion. The Rams’ annual revenue of $686 million and operating income of $125 million, according to Forbes estimates, also easily outdistance comparable figures of $518 million and $65 million for the Chargers.

But the Chargers now look to make all that ancient history with Harbaugh. “Who has it better than us?” team owner Dean Spanos asked in announcing the hiring, echoing Harbaugh’s recent catchphrase.

Mark Your Calendars

The hire immediately isolates an upcoming 2024 game between the Chargers and Baltimore Ravens as one of the biggest on the NFL’s schedule for next season. The Ravens—coached by Harbaugh’s older brother, John—will play the Chargers at SoFi Stadium, and the matchup will be highly coveted by each of the league’s rights holders as the NFL completes its schedule construction process this spring. That game will be a rematch of sorts of Super Bowl XLVII, in 2013, when the John-led Ravens beat a San Francisco 49ers team coached by Jim. 

The arrival of Harbaugh additionally extends Los Angeles’s status as a hub for many of the most prominent figures in sports, with the title-winning coach joining local luminaries such as Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Matthew Stafford, and Anze Kopitar. Many of those stars, however, will not have coverage on the road from the city’s newspaper of record, The Los Angeles Times, after a massive bloodletting at the outlet earlier this week. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Next Women’s Sports Bar Is Inspired by Tennis’s Barrier Breaker

Althea Gibson is the namesake for a bar opening in New York.

Paris Games Gain Momentum With $2B Completion of Olympic Village

The $2.2 billion housing project finished on time and was essentially on budget.
Caitlin Clark

Iowa Star Caitlin Clark Makes It Official: She’s WNBA-Bound

Iowa star Caitlin Clark announced she is declaring for the WNBA draft.

NFL Combine Is Buzzing With Talk of Nearly $1B in Extra Cap Space

The 2024 NFL salary cap is $255.4M per team, a $30M-per-team jump over last season.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Jenny Cavnar is Breaking Barriers During Oakland’s Strange Season


Featured Today

Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, points to the lettering outside of the museum Tuesday.

How Do You Keep Negro Leagues Baseball History Alive? Put It in a Video Game

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum attracting increased donations, visits from ‘MLB The Show.’
February 26, 2024

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.
February 25, 2024

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.
Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
February 24, 2024

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Carolina Panthers

For Panthers, the Cost of a Two-Win Season Is a 4% Ticket Hike

Lower-level tickets are going up an average of 7%.
February 26, 2024

What Is a Clipper? Behind the Scenes of an NBA Rebrand

The NBA team is leaning into its nautical heritage.
February 26, 2024

Trouble in Winnipeg As Bettman Plans Visit for Ailing Jets

NHL commissioner set to meet with local politicians, sponsors, and fans.

How LivePass is Redefining Ticketing for the Next Generation of Fans

The next wave of ticketing technology.
Matt Araiza
February 22, 2024

Chiefs Sign Matt Araiza, Former Bills Punter Dismissed for Now-Dropped Rape Allegations

Rape allegations against the punter were dropped in December.
February 20, 2024

An About-Face in D.C. As Lerners Pull Nationals From the Market

MLB club no longer for sale as ownership family changes course.
Phoenix Suns
February 15, 2024

Suns Last NBA Team To Add a G League Squad

Mat Ishbia made his latest move a year into owning the Suns.
February 13, 2024

Royals Trust Owner’s ‘Gut,’ Commit to Downtown K.C. Site for New Stadium

MLB club targets late-emerging location near downtown for ballpark development.