Chargers Bolt Back to Los Angeles

By JacksonScofield
Jan. 12, 2017

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It is always bittersweet when a team moves from one market to another.  In most cases, you can express joy for the new city in that they have a new team to take pride in that wasn't supported quite well enough in their former market.  On the other hand, you feel sorrow for the few fans in the newly vacant city that did support their team well.

This isn't one of those cases.  In fact, the only party pleased with the move is the Los Angeles Rams, as the Chargers becoming tenants in their stadium allows for them to begin selling Personal Seat Licenses for the new City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood, California per the terms of their agreement with the NFL for their relocation to Los Angeles a year ago.

The Chargers sought public funds for a new stadium in Downtown San Diego, but the measure was shot down at referendum and the team expressed no interest in a new stadium in the Mission Valley area, where their (now former) home, Qualcomm Stadium, stands.

The Chargers announced Thursday they would leave San Diego and move to the Los Angeles area for the 2017 season, paying a $650 million relocation fee.  Despite the Chargers having played their inaugural season in the American Football League in Los Angeles and the Raiders expressing little interest in a Los Angeles return (instead setting their sights on Las Vegas), the reception in Los Angeles has been lukewarm, with the Los Angeles Times even publishing a piece prior to the announcement asserting that people simply did not want the Chargers to come.

The Chargers will play at StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy (pictured vs. Colorado Rapids)
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
 

The Chargers will most certainly have an uphill battle to establish a new fanbase in Los Angeles, and are the second in a string of three new major league teams the city is receiving in a matter of three years (after the Rams in 2016 and before Los Angeles FC in 2018), thereby theoretically minimizing the honeymoon effect of being the new team in town.  The Chargers have adopted their former "Los Angeles Chargers" moniker despite reports that indicated they may rebrand upon moving.  The team also will not play at the 93,607-seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the Rams and the USC Trojans football team, but instead at StubHub Center in Carson, California, home of the LA Galaxy and with a capacity of 30,000 for Chargers games, for the next two seasons before moving to Inglewood with the Rams.

While not a single team relocated in the 2000s decade, three already have in the 2010s with the Raiders being a probably fourth.  The San Francisco 49ers relocated from the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area to the San Jose metropolitan area, albeit still within the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area, in 2014.  The Rams left St. Louis for Los Angeles in 2016 and the Chargers left San Diego for the same destination in 2017.

StubHub Center was cited as a probable host for the A-11 Football League that failed to begin play in 2015 and has prior football experience, having hosted the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl since 2012.