I remember reading one of the tipping points for the Rams owner moving the team in 1994 was her frustration that the only sell out every year in L.A. was against the 49ers and 60-80% of the crowd were 49er fans. My Dad went every year, flying down and making a long weekend out of it. He claimed it was over 90% 49er fans at the those games. I don't know why anyone would think that would have changed over 25 years.
IT did have my conspiracy theory hackles up last year as the Rams had their way handed to them to the Super Bowl. The NFL seemed to do everything possible, including stuffing yellow flags inside of jock straps no matter how bad the foul, to inspire some sort of local support for the Rams. They failed. A few weeks ago an LA Times Op-Ed blamed the NFL for the lack of fan support in LA. Imagine that?
The 'story' in the Athletic was complete crap. The worst kind of blogging dressed up as journalism you can have. Basically the story was one report heard from one guy in the NFL office that two guys in the office where talking about moving the Chargers. Where's Indybob when we need him to explain how that's not a news story. Then every other outlet around picked it up and basically their second source was each other. It doesn't even qualify as news to then be classified as fake news. IT's gossip.
The Spanos family is firmly rooted in Stockton CA, They're not leaving the state, and if I was a betting man I'd bet the Chargers end up in the East Bay or Sacramento eventually. NFL teams will never be sold again. They're cash cows and with the repeal of the inheritance tax there's no financial need for any family to ever sell again. The owners you have now, are the owners you're always going to have.