Chargers bolt out of San Diego, head for Los Angeles
January 13, 2017
A year ago today, the city of Los Angeles was on the cusp of getting its first professional football team since 1994. Now, the second largest city in the country will be home to two NFL teams.
Earlier today, San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos informed his staff that the team will relocate up the California coast 120 miles to Los Angeles. Originally moving to San Diego after playing in Los Angeles for the 1961 season, the Chargers will finally be able to call Los Angeles home again.
The Chargers have historically had trouble drawing large crowds. This past season, they averaged just over 57,000 a game, which ranked 31st in the league only ahead of their northern California foe, Oakland. After 15 years of working toward finding a local stadium solution, Spanos decided it was best to relocate and be one of two teams that will play in Inglewood, California’s 2.66 billion dollar “City of Champions Stadium”. Since the stadium won’t finish construction until the 2018-2019 season, the Chargers will share StubHub Center with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2017-2018, a 30,000 capacity sports complex in Carson, California It will be interesting to see the type of fans the Chargers will attract in their new home, as they will compete with nine other professional sports teams and two local collegiate powerhouses: USC and UCLA.
New hopes for the team follow them to Los Angeles after a 5-11 season. The offense fared well at times but the team lost too many close games that could have gone either way. Phillip Rivers, quarterback for the Chargers for the past 12 years, will still be taking snaps next season, and standout cornerback Jason Verrett will also be a key player for the Chargers. With the organization in an obvious transitional stage, they will need to rely on veterans to withstand the change of scenery.