EL SEGUNDO – The Chargers announced last November they would be moving their team headquarters and training facility to El Segundo following the completion of a project that would put their new home based on a 14-acre site.
On Wednesday, the Chargers held a groundbreaking ceremony on-site of where their new facility will be constructed.
It was a day of celebration for everybody in the organization, and for Chargers owner Dean Spanos, it signaled a sense of achievement in finding a location for the team to settle into a permanent home.
“It feels really good," Spanos said. "It’s been five years in the making. Finally, we have our home for the future."
When the Chargers relocated from San Diego into the Los Angeles market in 2017, they became based out of Orange County, where their temporary headquarters in Costa Mesa is located.
Now, the team's future El Segundo site sets them up to be located under five miles from the Los Angeles International airport and under 10 miles away from SoFi Stadium, where they host each home game.
Perhaps the impact of the Chargers' El Segundo facility could give them a helping hand in attracting free agents, using the new location into their sales pitch of having a state-of-the-art venue at their disposal.
"It's a part of it," Staley said on the potential influence a new facility could have on free agents. "The most important thing are the people in your building. That's the most important thing regardless of what kind of building you have is the people. That's what NFL players want to join up with.
"But I think what a facility does, it shows investment. It shows investment in your players, it shows investment in your fans. So I think that this is going to be a tool that certainly helps us in all ways."
Quarterback Justin Herbert and safety Derwin James were front and center of the initial groundbreaking moment, placing their shovels into the dirt for the first time.
“It's right up there with the best of the best," Herbert said, referencing the renderings of what the facility will eventually shape up to be.
Herbert, who played his college ball at the University of Oregon which features one of the premier facilities in the country, said he expects the Chargers' new complex to be comparable to the compounds of college programs.
The Chargers' project is slated to be finished in July 2024. The complex will include three practice fields and an indoor building for meetings, workouts and other use. In the meantime, the Chargers will continue to operate out of their temporary site in Costa Mesa.
The Chargers join the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings as the third team to base its headquarters out of El Segundo. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Kings president Luc Robitaille were both in attendance, offering local support of the move.
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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.