The Chargers have announced their relocation plans to Los Angeles for the 2017 season, the team announced.
“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season,” owner Dean Spanos wrote in a letter. “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.”
“LA 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,” he added. “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.”
The team played its inaugural season in Los Angeles, but has been in San Diego since 1961.
Previous reports had indicated the team planned to move to L.A., but the official decision has gone down to the wire. The team recently notified the league of its intent.
Commissioner Roger Goodell recently extended the team’s relocation deadline by two days to Tuesday (Jan. 17) so as not to conflict with the playoff schedule or the Martin Luther King Day holiday. He issued the following statement on Thursday afternoon.
San Diego has struggled to find a new stadium, with current home Qualcomm Stadium one of the league’s most dated facilities.
NBC's Pro Football Talk reports the Chargers will play at the Stubhub Center next season.
The Chargers would share the Rams’ new stadium when it is complete in 2019 and share multiple facets of stadium revenue, but conduct ticket sales separately. The team has struggled to receive approval to build a new stadium in San Diego, and would not have to borrow money to lease the stadium from Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
The franchise, however, will have to pay $650 million in relocation fees, as determined in January, and also must fund construction for a new practice facility. San Diego’s stadium situation will again be up for discussion at owners’ meetings this month, with the Raiders similarly angling to move from Oakland to Las Vegas.