It’s official. After 50 years, the Chargers organization is relocating to Los Angeles. Now what?
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, calling the move a "bad decision", said team owners would soon regret it.
“San Diego didn’t lose the Chargers,” Faulconer said. “The Chargers just lost San Diego.”
Chargers owner Dean Spanos announced his decision to leave San Diego through a letter posted to the team website and social media just after 8 a.m.
"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," Spanos said.
Faulconer told reporters he learned the news from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday night but didn't hear from Spanos until after the team announced the move online.
Goodell had been supportive of efforts to solve the stadium stalemate in San Diego, the second largest city in the state of California and home to a loyal football fan base.
The commissioner said Spanos and the Chargers had "worked tirelessly" to find a solution with city officials.
However, Faulconer and other leaders from the city and county said the team was not willing to work with the city.
“At the end of the day, the Chargers wanted a lot more taxpayer money than we could ever agree to,” he said.
"The ownership of this team’s handshake and their word has meant nothing through this entire process,” City Councilmember Scott Sherman said. “We diligently put effort after effort through this entire process only to be told that’s not going to work, ‘It’s our way or the highway.’”
County Supervisor Ron Roberts used words like “spiteful, “one-sided” and “strong arm” to describe the negotiations.
“We have a lot of great memories but when it comes to the public treasury there are limits to what you’re willing to do,” Roberts said. “We must and we will move on without the Chargers.”
City Councilmember Chris Ward issued a statement in writing and echoed those of his colleagues.
"It is a sad day for fans and unfortunate that the Chargers commitment to our city was ultimately contingent on receiving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, but now we can finally move forward as a community," Ward said. "We face real challenges with housing affordability, strained neighborhood services, and a growing homeless crisis and I remain committed and focused on addressing these issues for all San Diegans."