Roger Steinman/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Chargers may not host the AFC Championship Game in their own stadium even if they are the higher seed.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the NFL is concerned about the possibility of playing the league title game in the 30,000 seat Dignity Health Sports Park and will discuss backup options should the Chargers and Indianapolis Colts win their divisional round games and set up a situation where Los Angeles would host.
One backup option is playing the AFC Championship Game in the Los Angeles Rams‘ Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. If the Rams are still alive and set to host the NFC Championship Game, the league could hold the conference title games on Sunday and Monday nights rather than setting up a doubleheader.
“Playing a game of that magnitude in a stadium that small is a big issue to a lot of people around here,” a league source said. “There isn’t any plan in place to move it now that I am aware of, but there was a lot of talk about that when it looked like the Chargers might win the division. I would expect there to be conversations about that through the weekend as things happen.”
There are specific outcomes that must occur during the divisional round for these scenarios to play out.
The only way the fifth-seeded Chargers could host the AFC Championship Game is if they beat the New England Patriots on Sunday and the sixth-seeded Colts beat the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.
The Rams need to both beat the Dallas Cowboys and hope the sixth-seeded Philadelphia Eagles beat the top-seeded New Orleans Saints if they are to host the NFC Championship Game.
There also remains the possibility that the Chargers could host the AFC Championship Game and the Rams are either eliminated or in New Orleans, which would clear the way to hold the Chargers game in the Coliseum without worrying about the Rams.
Dignity Health Sports Park has been a storyline all season as the Chargers wait for their new stadium to be built following their move from San Diego to Los Angeles. Opposing fans have frequently taken over the small venue that pales in comparison to many contemporary stadiums across the league.
The stadium may not see another game this season even if the Chargers advance in the playoffs.