After much speculation it is now official, the San Diego Chargers are leaving their home of over 50 years to join the Rams as Los Angeles’ second NFL team. The move comes only after a proposal to build the Chargers a new stadium in San Diego was voted down in the November election.
Chargers longtime owner Dean Spanos announced the move via a letter on Thursday morning. He also announced they will take up temporary residence at Stub Hub Center, the 30,000 seat Carson, California home of Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy. This residency will last until the 2019 NFL season when their absolutely stunning permanent home, Los Angeles Stadium , which they will share with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Move comes with a great deal of backlash from both the LA community, who would have rather hosted the Oakland Raider, and from the Chargers fan base. The ownership knew that they were going to be dealing with a long term fight in both public perception and gaining new fans in the LA area. The Chargers decided to embrace the battle instead of downplaying or ignoring it with the launching of www.fightforla.com and the “Fight For LA” slogan. While all accounts point towards a rough road ahead, the Chargers seem to be willing to face it head on.
While the move has been met with hostility on all side, I do believe its the best move for the future of the franchise. Having a state of the art stadium so close to downtown Los Angeles will be a godsend for attracting talented free agents without having to overpay for them. While the short term will be a tremendous battle, as with anything in sports, they can quickly win over fans in their new home by winning football games in 2017 and beyond.