Chargers make it official: They're moving to Los Angeles - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chargers make it official: They're moving to Los Angeles

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos confirmed Thursday the team will be moving to Los Angeles.

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," the letter posted to Chargers.com reads.

The letter was posted on Twitter by the Chargers main account that has since been renamed on their social media pages to the "Los Angeles Chargers."

The letter from Spanos reads:

After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season.

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.

But today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.

LA 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.


Even though the team will play in a neighboring city, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti seemed ecstatic at the news.

"Los Angeles is one of the world's great sports towns. Championship teams and iconic athletes aren't just memories here -- they are legends woven into the fabric of our history. Today, we welcome an important part of that history back with the Chargers returning to Los Angeles,'' the mayor said in a statement.

"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. I congratulate Dean Spanos and the entire Chargers organization, and look forward to the extraordinary contributions they will make to our entire region.''

Added Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts in an interview with KNX 1070: "We're ecstatic.''

However, Los Angeles Times columnist, Bill Plaschke, says the Chargers shouldn't look for a welcome wagon in L.A. writing "We. Don't. Want. You." in an opinion piece published on the Times' website.

Some Chargers' fans say they'll remember the good memories after more than 50 years in San Diego. 

"I was in class when I got a notification on my cell phone. I told my professor that I had a family emergency, but it was really an emotional emergency. This has been my team my whole life," Giantoni Canale said. 

"I'm heartbroken it's like a girlfriend. You want her but you don't want her at the same time. You give her an option and an ultimatum you're leaving or you're staying," Abraham Rodriguez said.

Meantime, police and security are in the parking lot of the Chargers Park building on Murphy Canyon Road after Dan Wellington, a fan furious over the news of the Chargers leaving, threw eggs at the front door, leaving scattered egg shells on the pavement. Some Good Samaritans came by later and wiped off the eggs smeared on the front door.

Wellington posted the video on Periscope (warning: video contains explicit language), streaming it live for the world to see. Approximately 2,600 people viewed his video.

On Wednesday night, the NFL said several sources were informed of the team's plans. Spanos told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, other league officials and a few fellow owners of his intentions following the committee meetings on Wednesday.

The NFL on Wednesday night tweeted that Dean Spanos would inform staff on the decision to move to Los Angeles. A meeting was held by Spanos at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Last year, NFL owners approved a deadline of Jan. 15, 2017, for the Chargers to make a decision on relocation. Since that deadline falls on a Sunday of a Divisional Round playoff weekend and Monday is a federal holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), the NFL extended the option deadline to Tuesday, Jan. 17.

While the Inglewood stadium is under construction, the Chargers will play their home games at StubHub Center in Carson in Los Angeles County, according to ESPN.

Spanos noted the Chargers' inaugural season in 1960 was played in Los Angeles and while the team had fans there since, the Chargers have "a tremendous amount of work to do'' to earn the respect and support of Los Angeles  football fans.

"We must get back to winning,'' Spanos said. "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.''

The announcement comes one day after Spanos was given until Tuesday to decide whether to remain in San Diego or move the team to Los Angeles by team owners on the stadium and finance committees who met in New York to discuss stadium situations in San Diego and Oakland, home of the Raiders.

The decision climaxing the Chargers' long-running search for a new playing facility comes two months after the defeat of Measure C, which would have raised hotel room taxes to provide the public portion of the cost of building a downtown stadium. Because of the tax increase, the ballot measure required two-thirds approval to pass, but it failed to even get a simple majority.


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