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As Inglewood Embraces Second NFL Team, San Diego Responds With Disappointment

Rendering of Inglewood stadium

Talk about an embarrassment of riches for LA.

Nearly a year after getting its first NFL team in about 20 years, the LA Rams, the San Diego Chargers are now set to join them.

Inglewood, the home of the $2.6B Inglewood stadium, is rejoicing.

"Who says lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice?" Inglewood Mayor James Butts told Bisnow. "It has in the City of Champions."

Mayor Butts said the city welcomes the Chargers "with open arms and looks forward to supporting both teams."

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said having the Chargers here "will make our NFL tradition even richer, and give sports fans everywhere one more reason to be in Los Angeles."

He also said he is looking forward to "the extraordinary contributions they will make to our entire region.”

LA has had two NFL teams before, previously as home to the Raiders and the Rams.

The Chargers have been in San Diego for 56 years. This is a return to LA for the team, which played there during its inaugural season in 1960, according to the NFL.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a letter published on the team's website this morning that the decision came "after much deliberation."

While he lauded San Diego, saying he has nothing but "gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years," he said it's time now to "fight for LA."

"We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans," Spanos said. "We must get back to winning."

Though San Diego voters rejected a measure that would have raised the hotel tax to help fund a stadium-convention center combination for the Chargers, the city continued to pursue ways to keep the team in town, including the offer of land at the Qualcomm Stadium site to build a new stadium and develop the surrounding property. 

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer did not mince words regarding the news, saying in a press conference earlier today that Spanos will regret making such a bad decision.

"San Diego didn't lose the Chargers," Mayor Faulconer said. "The Chargers just lost San Diego."

The San Diego Economic Development Corp shares in the disappointment, according to SDEDC CEO Mark Cafferty.

He said "while it’s too soon to say exactly what this will mean for the region from an economic standpoint, we will be closely monitoring this in the weeks ahead."

The news of the move also means that the Oakland Raiders, which would have been given the opportunity to consider a move to LA if the Chargers had stayed in San Diego, no longer have that option. The Raiders have been in discussions with Las Vegas about a move there even as Oakland tries to keep them in town.

Inglewood broke ground for the new stadium in November.

The development will include a 300-acre entertainment venue with a hotel on-site, single-family homes, office, 1M SF of retail, a 6,000-seat performance theater and a 25-acre park.

The stadium is scheduled to be completed in 2019 and host the Super Bowl in 2021.