The move follows 56 years that the team spent in San Diego; they join the recently-relocated Los Angeles Rams who returned for the 2016 season after spending two decades in St. Louis.
In his announcement, Spanos expressed “gratitude and appreciation” for the fans in San Diego, but also wrote that he is excited to “begin an exciting new era.”
“We must earn the respect and support of L.A. football fans,” Spanos wrote. He pledged to win on and off the field and “fight for L.A.”
The organization quickly changed its social media handles to reflect the change and unveiled a new logo. The team’s temporary home will be the StubHub Center, located on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, about 16 miles south of Downtown L.A. Eventually they will share the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park with the Rams.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti commended the move in a statement: “The Chargers will make our NFL tradition even richer, and give sports fans everywhere one more reason to be in Los Angeles,” he said. “I congratulate Dean Spanos and the entire Chargers organization, and look forward to the extraordinary contributions they will make to our entire region.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added the story of how, over the past ten years, the Chargers tried to find a new local stadium to stay in San Diego.
“The Chargers worked tirelessly this past year with local officials and community leaders on a ballot initiative that fell short on election day,” Goodell wrote. “That work – and the years of effort that preceded it – reflects our strongly held belief we always should do everything we can to keep a franchise in its community. That’s why we have a deliberate and thoughtful process for making these decisions.”
He concluded by writing, “As difficult as the news is for Charger fans, I know Dean Spanos and his family did everything they could to try to find a viable solution in San Diego.”
Read Spanos’ full statement below:
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.
L.A. 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 L.A. 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 L.A. and we are excited to get started.
A letter from Dean Spanos pic.twitter.com/rTNIvrsN1A
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 12, 2017