NBC 7 Sportwrap’s Derek Togerson is at Chargers Park covering the team's major announcement: the Bolts are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Below, a collection of thoughts from our NBC 7 sports guru about what comes next after this phase of the lengthy Chargers saga.
6:41 p.m.: One more for tonight. Chargers fans, it has been a really crummy 24 hours. You were betrayed, adandoned and lied to by this ownership group. You have every right to feel however you want about this. We all deal with stress and frustration differently. I didn't grow up here but I consider this my adopted home town. My wife is from here. My kids are growing up here. This is the greatest city in America and we get to wake up every day in paradise. If Dean Spanos is too stupid to realize how good he had it here that is on him. It is not a reflection of you fans or the people of our town. Dean will go to L.A. and he will fail because that's what he does. We'll keep covering the team as it makes the transition to Los Angeles. We will still do Football Night in San Diego. I have been covering the Chargers for 12 years now. I have gotten to know a lot of you. We don't always agree but I want you all to know that you ... Chargers Nation ... have earned my respect and gratitude and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
6:10 p.m.: I had a thought. On January 2, the day after the regular season ended, I asked quarterback Philip Rivers about the possibility of him not going to Los Angeles if the team did, in fact, move. He signed a large contract extension before the 2015 season, though, knowing the prospect of a move was very real. "I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to sign that extension," said Rivers. "I was signing up to be a part of this organization wherever we were location-wise." But what if that has changed? What if Rivers and his family decide they are not willing to move to L.A. and instead ... Philip retires? If he sticks to his guns and walks away it would be one of the most amazing things ever and that man, as a friend of mine said, would be a hero in San Diego. An absolute hero. Oh, and it means the Chargers would go to their new market without their best player, having to break in a new (and likely very young) QB, and suddenly looking at what would likely be a record even worse than 5-11.
4:15 p.m.: A sign saying "Los Angeles Chargers" has been posted outside the StubHub Center in Carson, the place the Chargers will play their "home games" for the next two seasons. Ugh.
3:55 p.m.: Dean Spanos actually said he has been the underdog before. I vomited. This is a man who was born in to a life of privilege and has never wanted for anything. All he has done in his professional life is run a football team in to the ground in San Diego and gotten kicked out of well-known golf clubs for cheating. He really has the gall to say he thinks he has been an underdog? Somebody introduce this guy to reality.
2:13 p.m.: The Gulls made a statement about the Chargers leaving: "We join the San Diego community in sadness today as we learn of the departure of the Chargers. Since moving to San Diego 50-plus years ago, the Chargers have been an incredible asset to San Diego and built a strong foundation to help critical causes important to our region through sports and community involvement. San Diego will remain a strong and passionate community and we are thrilled to continue our dedication to represent the loyal and devoted fans of this city." I will be watching a lot more hockey now.
2:05 p.m.: According to www.grief.com the five stages of grief and loss are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I think I am just repeating Anger four times before landing on Acceptance.
1:50 p.m.: On a whim I left a message with Major League Soccer to see if the Chargers leaving has any impact on MLS expanding to San Diego. I'll let you know what they say when they call back.
12:37 p.m.: Spanos talked with Fred Roggin on AM 570 in L.A. Among the more interesting quotes was this bit about whether or not the team will rebrand in Los Angeles: "We are heading in the direction definitevely of being the Los Angeles Chargers." Yet another indicator of the ineptitude with which this organization is run. Dean also talked about how long he thought about the fan base in San Diego before deciding to move: "It was an emotional decision. We're looking forward. We're happy to be here. We're excited to be here. My wife is from here. My sons went to school here. We've been a part of L.A. in some small way for the last 40 years." To that I would respond the Chargers have been a BIG part of the San Diego community for the last 55 years.
12:00 p.m.: Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos is going on the radio in Los Angeles as he makes the rounds with L.A. media but has not made so much as an appearance in San Diego. Another way he has already abandoned his home market. It's infuriating.
11:31 a.m.: The consensus among fans is the wording of the statement by Dean Spanos is outright insulting. Saying he is turning the page on San Diego and not even doing the breakup in person, putting a face on it, it infuriating a lot of people.
10:29 a.m.: I spoke with John Kratzer, the C.E.O. of JMI Realty, to get a read on what the Chargers move might mean to the Mission Valley stadium site. He called this a "seminal moment" in San Diego. The football team leaving could very well open up several opportunities for our town. You have likely heard about the desire of John Moores to expand San Diego State's campus and build a new stadium for the Aztecs football program and Major League Soccer. Kratzer says the parcel of land and its transportation infrastructure could host a facility where SDSU, UC San Diego and perhaps the University of San Diego combine resources to form a world-class research center. The number of jobs that would create would dwarf the number of jobs the Chargers provide. So while it stings now, there could be a silver lining here.
10:10 a.m.: The Chargers team store at Qualcomm Stadium has been shut down for the day due to what I was told were "security concerns." Seeing as how people are burning things at the practice facility now I can see why they would do that.
9:43 a.m.: We have our first flames of the day. An angry Chargers fan just lit a flag on fire at Chargers Park. Sweet.
9:06 a.m.: Talked to several fans and left guard Orlando Franklin. The fan reaction has been mostly resignation. They don't understand why this is happening. They say they will love there team but not support it in LA. Franklin says he is sad for the fan base. He bought a house here last year after signing as a free agent. But he also says he is open to new beginnings.
9:05 a.m.: The San Diego Padres have released a statement about the Bolts' big news: "We are deeply disappointed by the news that the Chargers are leaving San Diego. The Chargers are a community treasure, and we have always believed that San Diego is better off with the team here. That said, we know San Diego will continue to grow and become an even more vibrant community."
8:55 a.m.: I can't believe I'm not going to be able to say "San Diego Chargers" anymore. Emotions are running high at Chargers Park. I would describe the mood here at this very second as "melancholy."
8:42 a.m.: The fans' jerseys are flying at Chargers Park:
8:18 a.m.: It's a dark day for the Rebellion: [[410528905,C]]
8:10 a.m.: It's official. After more than 55 years in San Diego, the Chargers are officially moving to Los Angeles.
7:45 a.m.: I’m heading to Chargers Park. Wish me luck.
7:30 a.m.: I’ve reached out to the San Diego Padres this morning to get their thoughts on the possibility of their team now being the only major sports league team in town. Do they have anything planned to fill the void for San Diego sports fans? The Padres tell me they will release a statement shortly.
7 a.m.: If the Chargers leave, what does this mean for the Mission Valley stadium site? Can we put a new stadium there, still, for San Diego State University or Major League Soccer? What does this mean for professional sports in San Diego?