The San Diego Chargers were a football team that played professionally and began to play in Los Angeles in 1960 and moved back to San Diego in 1961 after playing there through the end of the 2016 season. The Los Angeles Chargers are the team’s new name.
On September 17, 1961, the Chargers faced the Oakland Raiders at Balboa Stadium in their inaugural home game in San Diego. They played the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego following the 2016 season, losing 37-27.
When the team joined the American Football League (AFL) in 1959, they were known as the “Los Angeles Chargers.” The Denver Broncos, Dallas Texans, Oakland Raiders, New York Titans, Houston Oilers, Buffalo Bills, and Boston Patriots were the other six clubs they faced off against.
The Chargers were first owned by Barron Hilton, the son of Conrad Hilton, who founded the Hilton Hotels business. Lamar Hunt, who played a vital role in forming the AFL, recalled asking Gene Mako for a recommendation when looking for someone to found a franchise in Los Angeles, and that man gave him Hilton. Hunt claimed that after spending less than an hour with Hilton, Hilton formed a team immediately.
Why Did The Chargers Leave San Diego?
The Chargers did not move to Los Angeles from San Diego to change the trend of rival fan takeovers. They moved to Los Angeles to play in the second-largest media market in the country in a brand-new $5 billion stadium. This action demonstrated their willingness to make significant improvements, even if it meant investing more money in their business.
Many people predicted that the Los Angeles Chargers would no longer exist when the Oakland Raiders relocated to Las Vegas in 1995. The group decided to move to San Diego anyway, though. This demonstrated that the Chargers would not permit anything to prevent them from leaving Oakland and moving to a new city.
The Chargers left San Diego because John Butler, the team’s owner at the time, refused to pay the taxes required for a new stadium. He intended to erect a brand-new stadium in another city using the proceeds from the sale of his team. However, he was compelled to remain in San Diego while looking for a new home because no other city was ready to offer him one.
Since the Chargers left, San Diego has been without a major league sports club, but that status should change when the new NFL franchise moves in.
Could San Diego See The Chargers Come Back?
Still more perplexing is the Chargers’ decision to leave their devoted support base behind and go to a rival city after more than 50 years in the same place.
As usual, money played a significant role in the choice. Dean Spanos, the owner of the Chargers, gave up trying to negotiate a favorable stadium agreement in San Diego and persuaded Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams, that both clubs should share a facility.
If the Chargers were ever to return to San Diego, new ownership would probably have to oversee the transfer.
At this time, the team’s bridge connecting their former residence with their present owner is destroyed, and the likelihood of it ever being repaired is minuscule.
In addition to needing a new owner, the Chargers’ rumored 20-year lease with the Rams & their new stadium expires in 2039, making a move unlikely until then. The Chargers’ home will remain in Los Angeles for a considerable amount of time unless the team or the league can find a way to break the lease earlier.
If the Chargers were ever to return to their longstanding home, they would also require the city’s consent to construct a new facility for them, as the old stadium in San Diego is about to be demolished.
Who knows what might occur if these conversations were ever to resume since this prompted the franchise to relocate to Los Angeles in the first place. The Chargers & the city of San Diego will undoubtedly undergo a lot of change over the next 20 years; perhaps this lengthy period will make both sides more eager to reach an agreement.