After 56 seasons, the Chargers will leave San Diego behind and return to Los Angeles, where the football team played a single season in 1960. The relocated Chargers will kick off the 2017 season at the StubHub Center in Carson, before sharing a stadium in Inglewood (upon its expected completion in 2019) with the Rams .
You can already put a fully refundable $100 deposit down on season tickets for the 2017 season. We imagine that merch with these totally '80s reworked logos won't be far behind.
The StubHub Center only holds 30,000 people, a mere fraction of the 80,000-person capacity of the Inglewood stadium and the Coliseum, where the Rams currently play.
The news of an impending announcement popped up on Wednesday night, and by Thursday morning Chargers owner Dean Spanos made it official.
"We must earn the respect and support of L.A. football fans," said Spanos in a letter. "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."
There were rumors of the Chargers relocation to L.A. around this time last year before the Rams ultimately announced their move back to Southern California. When NFL team owners voted on that move, the Chargers were given a one-year option to decide if they also wanted to relocate. So here we are: just a few days before that January 15 deadline, the Chargers have indeed decided to move.
Reports last month suggested that the Chargers move was pretty much a done deal, down to the team renting out front-office space in Orange County. The team’s owners had pushed for a new stadium in San Diego but didn’t want to foot the $1.8-billion bill—neither did voters, who ruled against it in a November ballot referendum that would have allocated public money. Here in L.A., the under-construction $2.6-billion Inglewood stadium is a privately funded project under Rams owner Stan Kroenke; the Chargers, per an agreement first reached last year, would pitch in a comparatively small $200-million loan as well as $1 per year in rent (we're extremely jealous).
But who cares about financing. There's only one numbers game that football fans care about: winning. Unfortunately, the Chargers finished the 2016 season with a 5-11 record—a nominal improvement over the 4-12 Rams. In other words, don't expect a USC-UCLA caliber rivalry anytime soon. Meanwhile, the potentially Las Vegas-bound Oakland Raiders finished toward the top of their division—just saying.
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