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ESPN report: Chargers to move to Los Angeles

Posted: 11:44 PM, Jan 11, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-12 03:18:44-05
 

For Chargers fans, it's the news they've all been dreading.

According to a Tweet from ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, the Chargers could announce their intention to leave San Diego and head north to Los Angeles for the 2017 season. Citing multiple NFL sources , Schefter said the announcement could come as early as Thursday.

San Diego Union-Tribune sports reporter Annie Heilbrunn also Tweeted Wednesday night of the team's intention to leave San Diego, citing a team source.

The move would mark the end of the team's 55-year stay in San Diego.

Schefter said league sources insisted the team's deal is not final, as Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has yet to submit a formal relocation letter to the NFL or notify city officials in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The report said the team has already notified NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league owners.

Sources told Schefter that the decision was not made lightly by Spanos. Sources said the team's chairman believes he needs to begin fighting for share in the Los Angeles market as soon as possible.

The move by the Chargers would mark the second NFL team moving to Los Angeles in two years. The St. Louis Rams announced in 2016 that the team would be moving to a new stadium site in Inglewood, Calif., just outside Los Angeles.

Spanos reportedly still has the ability to change his mind until the deal is finalized, the report cautioned.

On Wednesday, the NFL extended the team's deadline to notify the league whether the team would elect to move to Los Angeles, citing the NFL's playoff schedule and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"The deadline for the San Diego Chargers to exercise the option to relocate to Los Angeles is January 15," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday. "Given the 15th falls on a Sunday of a playoff weekend and Monday is the federal holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., we are extending the deadline on exercising the option until Tuesday, January 17."

The reported intent by the Chargers also comes on the heels of the failure of Measure C in November 2016, which would have raised hotel taxes in San Diego to pay for the public portion of the cost to build a new downtown stadium.

A new downtown stadium was introduced as a replacement to the team's aging home at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.