How Will Madden NFL 18 Handle The San Diego Chargers' Relocation?

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Stay classy, San Diego. 

What once was Ron Burgundy's sign-off at the end of every broadcast is now what the National Football League is likely telling America's Finest City.

Thursday morning, the NFL and San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos confirmed a Wednesday night report that the Chargers, who had been in San Diego for over 50 years, would be relocating to Los Angeles for the 2017 season. He said:

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season. San Diego has been our home for 56 years. It will always be part of our identity, and my family and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted out a link of the team's new logo following the official announcement. 

With the Chargers leaving San Diego, the time to reminisce on memories from LaDainian Tomlinson's MVP season in 2006 to those legendary powder blues. I think all NFL fans will agree that there's one single moment that was the greatest during the Chargers' tenure in San Diego.

What? Oh, this was the one single moment that was the greatest during the Chargers' tenure in San Diego.

I'm sure we'll see The Terminator back at some Chargers games in Los Angeles, but the Bolts' upcoming relocation is sure to raise more important questions for Madden players.

How will the relocation be handled by EA? Will we see the Los Angeles Chargers in Madden NFL 17? Can we move a team back to San Diego in Madden NFL 18?

Though we're months away from even the most basic Madden NFL 18 news, let's look at how EA has handled relocations in the past and what we do know about the Chargers' planned move. 

Will the Los Angeles Chargers be in Madden NFL 18?

This one is simple: yes. Unless there was an unprecedented lawsuit that resulted in EA Sports losing the rights to the likeness of the organization and their players, you will be able to play with the Los Angeles Chargers in Madden NFL 18 complete with their uniforms (if they make changes), stadium, and tendency to see players wind up on injured reserve.

A report came out Thursday morning from Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News that the Chargers may consider a rebrand; it likely wouldn't be immediate, but a change could happen in the next few years when the Chargers adopt new uniforms and a new logo. 

But, I wouldn't be worried about that just yet. As of right now, previous Chargers uniforms -- including the throwback blue and gold ones -- are most likely to be in the game.

The reason why I say most likely is because that comes down to rights and likeness issues, but given that Madden NFL 17 kept all of the Rams' throwbacks after moving to Los Angeles following last season, I wouldn't be worried.

Speaking of the Rams...

Will the Rams be sharing their stadium with the Chargers?

In the short-term, no. Later on, yes.

Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that as part of the immediate move to Los Angeles, the Chargers will play the 2017 and 2018 seasons in the StubHub Center. Located in Carson, California, the StubHub Center - which hosts the LA Galaxy soccer team - only holds about 30,000 people. 

But, the Chargers will be playing there and not sharing the Los Angeles Colosseum with the Rams, which is probably for the best. Come 2019, though, the two teams will be sharing the City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood. Which leads me to...

Which stadiums will the Chargers have access to in Madden NFL 18?

One of the things EA does is right is coding new, unopened stadiums into the game. Even if the stadium isn't open yet, a team who is set to open a stadium within a few years (i.e. the Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium) will have access to it when the time comes during franchise mode.

In short, what this means is that the Chargers and Rams, come 2019 in your franchise mode, will both move into the City of Champions Stadium. Madden NFL 17 teased the move with a playable City of Champions Stadium that the Rams would move into once your franchise mode hits its fourth year.

Shortly after the game's release in August 2016, one YouTube user showed off what the virtual City of Champions will look like.

Can I relocate another team to San Diego?

If Madden NFL 18 does what they did this year by putting the city of St. Louis as a relocation option, then I don't see why they wouldn't also add San Diego -- unless they took relocation out, which I doubt. If anything, they'd revamp the mode to allow more customization, but that's a conversation for another day.

The only issue one might have with moving to San Diego -- and it's a glitch that happens in Madden 17 with St. Louis -- is that you're stuck keeping the current brand and logo. You want to bring back the St. Louis Hawks or create the St. Louis Storm? Good luck with that, unless the glitch is fixed.

Will the Los Angeles Chargers be in Madden NFL 17?

Unless you relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, the answer is no. You're not going to see EA add the Los Angeles Chargers as DLC, nor will there be a patch completely overhauling the team's look if the league announced new uniforms for the Bolts.

If you want to relocate the Chargers, feel free, but remember that you'll miss out on the new stadium (which some people who want to use one of the game's default stadiums won't mind) and you won't have the creativity to keep the name with new uniforms.

Come the spring, we should know more about the Los Angeles Chargers and GameSkinny will keep you updated with any additional news regarding LA's newest team in Madden NFL 18. But, for right now...

Are you excited to see the Chargers move to Los Angeles? Does that alone make you want to start a franchise with them? Make sure to let us know in the comment section below!

Published Jan. 12th 2017

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