by Rob Toledo Rob Toledo

The SportFacts office is located in Seattle, so we know firsthand the pain and turmoil of losing a team, a few of us here still struggle watching NBA games, and a large percentage of us were all for Durant leaving if it meant turmoil for the Thunder. Is it way past time to be getting over it? Probably. But we’re not.

With that in mind, we’re sympathetic with San Diego, who, due to one of the least popular owners in the NFL doing terrible owner things, had their team ripped away and plopped in a seemingly uninterested city. But we found a statistic this weekend that might make those in San Diego laugh just a bit.

We surveyed 853 NFL fans who stated they watched at least one game this weekend, and found that 41% of them do not know where the Chargers are located. 32% of the respondents thought that the Chargers still play in San Diego, and 9% responded that they didn’t know or listed another city.

Where are the Chargers currently located?

Los Angeles 502 59%
San Diego 271 32%
Not Sure/Other 80 9%

Respondent location certainly mattered here, with most of the  incorrect responses from out of the state, but there were still plenty of Californians who also thought the Chargers were still in SD (about 18%).

We polled numbers on the other team that recently moved, the St. Louis-turned-Los Angeles Rams, and the responses were quite a bit more accurate. Only about 20% of people mislabeled the Rams’ current home as either St. Louis or other incorrect cities.

In order to test against how “off” this is compared to other teams, we ran similar polls for three randomly selected teams (Giants, Broncos, Steelers), only about 8-12% of people couldn’t name the team’s home city or named it incorrectly.

So why were people so much less accurate naming the Chargers home city? A few theories:

  1. The most obvious one is that the Chargers only moved this season, the Rams have two seasons in LA for people to get used to.
  2. The Chargers’ move didn’t get as much media attention as the Rams. For example, The Rams were the first to move to Los Angeles, and seemed to get most of the press. The Rams were also featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks their first season in LA, likely raising the profile of the move.
  3. A little bit of the “Oh I knew that” thought process, where when asked the question, their initial reaction was to say San Diego, per habit, but in reality they are actually aware that the team is in Los Angeles now. We catch ourselves still saying “San Diego Chargers” from time to time here, so this could be possible. Even ESPN still does this from time to time (check the citation at the bottom), so we don’t feel that bad.
  4. Some people might just suck at geography.

The Chargers have already had a rough home opening weekend, with a large portion of the crowd at StubHub Center cheering for the Dolphins. and a 30,000-seat stadium not even selling out. We’re very curiously watching to see how Los Angeles ends up supporting two NFL teams alongside two very popular college sports teams in the Bruins and Trojans.