It’s official, the San Diego Chargers are no more.
Dean Spanos has announced that the team will move to Los Angeles.
A letter from Dean Spanos pic.twitter.com/rTNIvrsN1A
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 12, 2017
It's happening fast in SoCal. New logo & everything for Chargers. Kind of like the old AFL logo when they 1st started in LA. pic.twitter.com/feU2bncZv0
— Chris Brown (@ChrisBrownBills) January 12, 2017
Dean Spanos discussed the decision to relocate with ESPN:
I’m looking forward, not backwards. I spent half my life here. I leave behind a lot of friends and lot of great memories, but life goes on. There are always a lot of changes in life, and we know this is not going to be easy. But we made a decision, we’re committed to it, and our family is 100 percent behind it. What’s happened has happened.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 12, 2017
Trotter and Williams of ESPN gave us some additional info on the move and how it will affect the Chargers:
Spanos is expected to pay the $550 million relocation fee over 10 years, rather than extend the payments beyond that for an additional $100 million. The club will pay roughly $12 million to buy out its Qualcomm Stadium lease in San Diego, according to one team source, then relocate its training facility to Orange County sometime before July 1, when the lease on its training complex expires. …
The Chargers will play their home games the next two seasons at the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson, California. They are promoting it as a “one-of-a-kind product” that gives fans an opportunity to be “up close and personal” with players. There is also the belief that it helps differentiate them from the Rams, who often appeared to be playing before a half-empty stadium at cavernous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. …
Spanos is intrigued by the idea of rebranding the team in Los Angeles but currently has no plans to do so. In the meantime, the organization will seek to reach out to fans in San Diego as well as Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement following the announcement.
“The Chargers will make our NFL tradition even richer, and give sports fans everywhere one more reason to be in Los Angeles. I congratulate Dean Spanos and the entire Chargers organization, and look forward to the extraordinary contributions they will make to our entire region,” part of Garcetti’s statement read.
This move by the Chargers will block the Raiders from relocating to Los Angeles who would have had the option should the Chargers have stayed in San Diego.