Go F&*^ Yourself, San Diego: Chargers Officially Announce Move To L.A.
It's official. The
San Diego Chargers are coming to L.A.
Word of a potential move came as early as 2015, when the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders (who were both looking for new stadiums) announced their desire to build a new stadium in Carson. Those plans fell through, as city officials voted in favor of the L.A. Rams' proposal for a stadium in Inglewood.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos confirmed the move on Thursday morning on the team's website. "[Today] we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers. 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," said Spanos.
The team also tweeted a letter from Spanos this morning.
Several team members expressed their feelings about the move. The sentiment ranged from shock to effusive gratitude:
😳— Jahleel Addae (@Do_OrAddae37) January 12, 2017
L.A. Chargers 😤😤😤 😩😫😫 😔😔😔 ☹️☹️☹️ 🙁🙁🙁 😕😕😕 😐😐😐 😱😱😱 😮😮😮 😏😏😏 🤔🤔🤔 😀😀😃 😁😁😁 😛😛😛— Chris Hairston (@CHairston75) January 12, 2017
(Refer to emojis for any questions)
The team already has a new logo too; it was unveiled on Thursday morning on their Twitter, shortly after the announcement. Chargers tight end Jeff Cumberland tweeted an image of it:
Considering the quick nature of the logo's reveal, does it mean that Spanos had known for a while that the team was coming to L.A.? Or maybe they had a very crafty graphic designer in their office? Either way, ESPN says that the team still plans to stick with their traditional lightning bolt logo; so the "L.A." logo is, perhaps, just a momentary celebration of their new home.
The move is a costly one, reports ESPN. Spanos is expected to pay a $550 million relocation fee over the course of 10 years. And one source told ESPN that the team will have to pony up about $12 million to buy out its lease at Qualcomm Stadium, where they formerly played.
Some San Diego fans, of course, aren't taking the news too well. One fan lit a Chargers flag on fire this morning in front of the team's offices in San Diego:
And some other fans relinquished their memorabilia in protest:
The uproar was enough to give cause for concern:
L.A.'s city officials, on the other hand, are down with the move. "We are effusively happy that the Chargers made the difficult decision to come and join the Rams in Inglewood," James T. Butts Jr., Mayor of Inglewood, told the L.A. Times. "We welcome them with open arms." And L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti said in a release that, "L.A. already has more visitors than ever before. The Chargers will make our NFL tradition even richer, and give sports fans everywhere one more reason to be in Los Angeles."
The Chargers will be playing with the Rams in the upcoming Inglewood stadium. The building won't be completed until 2019, however. The Times reports that, in the meanwhile, the team will be playing at the StubHub Center in Carson, where the L.A. Galaxy (of Major League Soccer) reside. This is a bit of a curious move, as the stadium can seat only 27,000 people, far less than what the average NFL stadium seats. The smallest NFL stadium (Oakland's Alameda County Coliseum) can seat at least 55,000. The team has also agreed to lease a space in Costa Mesa, where they may possibly establish their headquarters and training facilities. The Times notes that, in 2003 and 2004, the team trained on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.
It is a little bewildering to to know that we have two NFL teams now, especially considering that we'd spent two decades without one. Though, with that said, the Rams have been doing horribly, and the Chargers are coming off another losing season. So, when it comes to football, L.A.'s hearts are probably still with the USC Trojans, who just played one of the best Rose Bowls in history.
And hey, San Diego. We love you guys. And we know how it feels to lose a football team (we lost two of them in 1994). So we empathize. But, in the meanwhile: