Tuesday 16 January 2018

There will be two NFL teams in Los Angeles at the start of the 2017 season

San Diego Chargers' President and Chief Executive Dean Spanos
San Diego Chargers' President and Chief Executive Dean Spanos
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Los Angeles will have two NFL teams from the start of the 2017 season following confirmation the Chargers will leave San Diego after 56 years.

The Chargers had until January 17 to exercise an option to move to Los Angeles, where the team was founded in 1960 before moving south after one season.

In an open letter announcing the move, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said: "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."

The Chargers had been frustrated in attempts to build a new stadium in San Diego, and a recent ballot measure for a new downtown facility was rejected by voters.

Instead, the Chargers will share the US dollars 2.66million 80,000-capacity stadium which is being built by the Rams in Inglewood, California, due to open in 2019. During construction, the Chargers' temporary home will be the relatively small 30,000-capacity StubHub Center in Carson, California.

"LA is a remarkable place, and while we played our first season there in 1960 and have had fans there ever since, our entire organisation knows that we have a tremendous amount of work to do," Spanos added.

"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."

Los Angeles was home to both the Rams and Raiders during the 1980s and early 1990s. But in 1995, the Rams left for St Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland

The city was left without an NFL team until the Rams returned for the start of the 2016 season.

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