The San Diego Chargers are no more.
The team announced that they are moving to Los Angeles and owner Dean Spanos issued this statement.
“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,” said Spanos in a written statement posted to Chargers.com. “But, today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers,” said Spanos. “L.A. is a remarkable place, and while we played our first season there in 1960 and have had fans there ever since, our entire organization knows that we have a tremendous amount of work to do. We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans. We must get back to winning. And we must make a meaningful contribution, not just on the field, but off the field as a leader and champion for the community.”
“The Chargers are determined to fight for LA and we are excited to get started,” he concluded.
The Chargers’ temporary home will be StubHub Center, located on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson and owned and operated by AEG. Capacity for Chargers games at StubHub Center will be 30,000 seats, with approximately 3,000 premium and field seats, 46 suites, 16 cabanas, and 10,000 on-site parking spaces.
“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 – Business Operations for the Chargers. “This is a unique opportunity to see NFL action in such an intimate setting. The new stadium at Hollywood Park will be a tremendous stage, and we can’t wait to play there, but right now it’s about introducing ourselves and getting to know new fans and partners in a special, one-of-a-kind setting.”
The fully-refundable $100 deposit allows fans to reserve up to four seats at StubHub Center, ensures priority status for 2017 Chargers season tickets, and grants priority status for seats at the new Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, the future home of the Chargers.
The Chargers also revealed a new advertising mark borne out of the team’s iconic lightning bolt and historic shield introduced in the 1960’s. This new mark and fresh take on “LA” is part of a larger identity campaign called “Fight for LA” intended to convey the commitment of the Spanos family and entire Chargers organization to earn the respect and loyalty of Los Angeles football fans. The new mark can be found at www.FightforLA.com.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring L.A. a Super Bowl championship,” said John Spanos, President – Football Operations. “When we say we will fight for L.A., this is the essence of our pledge. “
The Chargers will pay a $550 million relocation fee over the next 10 years to move to a city that doesn’t really want them. There are very few Chargers fans in Los Angeles and they’ll have to compete with the Rams for attendance to fill up a stadium that isn’t up to NFL standards.
It seems counterproductive on a lot of different levels. Now, one of the best cities in America and one of the best for opposing fans to visit, San Diego has no team in favor of a city that already has a team and doesn’t want another.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement.
For more than a decade, the San Diego Chargers have worked diligently toward finding a local stadium solution, which all sides agreed was required. These efforts took on added intensity in the last two years. A year ago, NFL owners granted the Chargers an option to move to Los Angeles. Rather than immediately exercising that option, the team spent the past year continuing to work on finding a stadium solution in San Diego.
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.
This seems like a situation where the NFL should have stepped in and filled some of the monetary gap between the team and the city to build a new stadium. It is in everyone’s best interests to have the team in San Diego and it feels like a net loss for everyone involved.