By Liz Alper
Photo courtesy chargers.com
January 12, 2017 (San Diego) - It's official; the Chargers are gone. Dean Spanos, Chairman of the Chargers, announced this morning that the team is relocating to Los Angeles and will begin the 2017 NFL season as the Los Angeles Chargers.
“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,” said Spanos in a written statement posted to Chargers.com. “But, today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers,” said Spanos. “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. 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,” he concluded.
The full statement from Spanos can be found here: www.FightforLA.com.
The team launched www.FightforLA.com a website that allows fans to place a fully refundable $100 deposit on season tickets for the 2017 season. Current Chargers Season Ticket Members will maintain their priority status and are not required to make a deposit.
The Chargers’ temporary home will be StubHub Center, located on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson and owned and operated by AEG. Capacity for Chargers games at StubHub Center will be 30,000 seats, with approximately 3,000 premium and field seats, 46 suites, 16 cabanas, and 10,000 on-site parking spaces.
“The experience for our fans at StubHub Center will be fun and entertaining, and every seat will feel close to the action,” said A.G. Spanos, President - Business Operations for the Chargers. “This is a unique opportunity to see NFL action in such an intimate setting. The new stadium at Hollywood Park will be a tremendous stage, and we can’t wait to play there, but right now it’s about introducing ourselves and getting to know new fans and partners in a special, one-of-a-kind setting.”
“Our ultimate goal is to bring L.A. a Super Bowl championship,” said John Spanos, President - Football Operations. “When we say we will fight for L.A., this is the essence of our pledge."
On the Reddit subreddit, r/Chargers, fans were beyond upset. Last night, a thread was posted that was titled "Number of Chargers fans that will drop their Chargers fandom if/when they move to LA." Inside, the comments were scathing. Many even said they would stop watching football, like u/willywonka159, who said: "Trying not to get angry. The NFL doesn't want fans in San Diego? Sucks for us, for me, but that's the way it is. I won't be watching a single football game again. Will not follow the Chargers to LA. Will not "choose a new team". Just won't watch football again. Too many good things in life that can fill my time up. Besides, I love my Padres. And any team (whether it's MLS or not) that moves here will get my support and my money. Am I sad? Very much so. But I'm not going to let it bring me down so much. I'm going to live my life just as before, just without football."
u/rwilso7 agreed "Drop the Chargers? Drop the NFL-- that should be the universal answer."
But the biggest comment came from u/rbsd55, who claimed to be a former Qualcomm board member.
"If the team moves to LA , I am done. I Will never support them, won't watch them on TV and most certainly not in person.
I've been a season ticket holder and even served on the stadium board. I was on the board when the Chargers first asked for a new stadium. It was a legitimate request because the building has serious deficiencies. But to say they have tried to get a stadium for 15 years is misleading. In that time, the City nearly went bankrupt due to the pension fund crisis. Two mayors resigned. And, we went through a serious economic downturn. You need to back out at least 10 years.
The city is not blameless, however. The deficit in leadership in this town is bigger than the pension deficit. A deal could have and should have gotten done but the city leaders sat on their hands for too long. None of them were willing to step up and take the lead from the city's side. The mayor's task force was way too little and way too late. And the mayor waited to long to endorse measure C.
All that aside, I am a San Diegan before a Chargers or NFL fan. As I San Diegan, I am programmed to hate LA. The Chargers or whatever they choose to call themselves will just be something else that I hate about LA.
I hope Dean and family enjoy watching their team play to empty seats and opposing fans. LA and its fans don't want you or your crappie (sic) team. I predict that in a few years, you will sell the team before the bump in value from the move to LA evaporates because the loss in revenue will be too much."
With the move, the Padres are the last professional sports team in San Diego.