Chargers leaving San Diego for Los Angeles
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Chargers leaving San Diego for Los Angeles

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / SEPT. 18

    San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te‘o, a Punahou alum, reacted during the first half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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SAN DIEGO >> The San Diego Chargers are moving to Los Angeles, where they will join the recently relocated Rams in giving the nation’s second-largest media market two NFL teams for the first time in decades.

Team chairman Dean Spanos made the announcement that the Chargers will relocate to LA for the 2017 season in a letter posted today on the Chargers’ Twitter account, which was rebranded as the Los Angeles Chargers.

“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. But today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers,” Spanos said in the letter.

The Chargers’ decision to move comes less than three months after San Diego voters resoundingly rejected a team-sponsored measure asking for $1.15 billion in increased hotel occupancy taxes to help fund a $1.8 billion downtown stadium and convention center.

They’re leaving behind a loyal fan base that cheered for Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow during the Air Coryell years in the 1970s and early 1980s, and for Junior Seau, Stan Humphries and Natrone Means on the Chargers’ only Super Bowl team in 1994.

“For more than a decade, the San Diego Chargers have worked diligently toward finding a local stadium solution, which all sides agreed was required,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement today, pointing out that the Chargers delayed exercising the option to move to LA that was granted a year ago. “The Chargers worked tirelessly this past year with local officials and community leaders on a ballot initiative that fell short on election day. That work – and the years of effort that preceded it – reflects our strongly held belief we always should do everything we can to keep a franchise in its community. That’s why we have a deliberate and thoughtful process for making these decisions.

“Relocation is painful for teams and communities. It is especially painful for fans, and the fans in San Diego have given the Chargers strong and loyal support for more than 50 years, which makes it even more disappointing that we could not solve the stadium issue. As difficult as the news is for Charger fans, I know Dean Spanos and his family did everything they could to try to find a viable solution in San Diego.”

San Diego would become a tenant in the stadium being built in Inglewood for the Rams. Before then, the Chargers will make their temporary home at the 27,000-seat StubHub! Center in Carson.

“The experience for our fans at StubHub Center will be fun and entertaining, and every seat will feel close to the action,” said A.G. Spanos, president of business operations for the Chargers. “This is a unique opportunity to see NFL action in such an intimate setting.”

Relations have been strained for years between the Chargers, who’ve sought a big public subsidy to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium, and City Hall, which has been beset by scandals and various economic crises.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer formed a task force in 2015 to try to find a stadium solution, but the Chargers didn’t like its recommendation and walked away from negotiations with the city and county. Faulconer recently met with Spanos, and helped cobble together a $375 million package from the city, county and San Diego State, which also plays football at Qualcomm Stadium.

San Diego was given the option to move to LA after NFL owners rejected a proposed shared stadium for the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders in Carson, and accepted the Rams’ plans for Inglewood. The owners gave the Chargers and Raiders each an additional $100 million to try to make stadium deals in their home markets.

The NFL’s stadium and finance committees met Wednesday for about 3 1/2 hours to discuss relocation of the Chargers and Raiders. The fact-finding meetings mostly centered on the Raiders’ plan for a potential move to Las Vegas. No filings for relocation were made; Oakland has until Feb. 15.

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  • The ownership of the Chargers is messed up. Mariota might have been playing for them. There was a rumor of a Phillip Rivers for the Tennessee Titans second pick in the draft trade. Eli Manning didn’t want to go there even with the great weather of SD.

  • San Diego did not agree to build a new stadium like the rest of the teams.
    San Diego fans sell their season tickets to fans of other teams, disparaging when the visiting team has more fans then the home team. The San Diego fans don’t deserve a team.

    • The citizens of San Diego didn’t want to put up the money for a billionaire who wasn’t giving them anything in return. If Dean Spanos put up as much money as it’ll cost him to move the team to L.A. (around $400-500 million) they may have passed the measure to build a new stadium. Bottom line is the owner is a selfish jerk and even L.A. doesn’t want the Chargers.

      • Agreed. Why should the taxpayers help finance a project from which all the profits go to the team owners? For jobs selling peanuts and beer? Parking attendants? More congestion on the roads? The tax money would be better spent on college scholarships, start-up loans, green energy, anything but lining the pockets of ownership. Besides, in San Diego there is plenty to do without going to a football game.

    • You know for decades San Diego has supported the Chargers. The problems started with new owners extorting billion$ from local communities. Dean Spanos has spent the last few years extorting San Diego and the community basically said no. Good luck in LA dude. You can compete with the Rams for the hometown fans, as well as the Raiders who have a big following there as well. Yep talk about overplaying your hand. Instead of a new stadium and a loyal fan base in SD Spanos will now be a TENANT paying rent for a stadium he does not own, competing for a fan base with two more established franchises.

  • It’s really getting difficult to be a fan of sports nowadays. In the past, I used to say that I preferred college sports to professional because for the pros, it’s all about money, no loyalties. But nowadays, that attitude has drifted down to colleges where players just transfer at the drop of a hat (or helmet) if they don’t get immediate playing time and of course, all gravitate to Power 5 schools if possible, so they get a better chance at the pros. So, do I go down to the high school level? Well, have you noticed how high schools now have many “transfers” from other districts, even other islands? If their home school is awful, they try any means to transfer to a better team. Maybe I have to watch first year little league or pop warner teams. At that age, it’s all about the pot luck.