The San Diego Chargers have announced they are relocating to Los Angeles to share a stadium with the LA Rams.
The Rams relocated from St Louis at the end of last season, with a new 70,000-seat stadium set to be opened in 2019.
The Chargers will play at the 30,000 capacity StubHub centre until the new venue in Inglewood is opened.
They played their first year in the former American Football League in 1960, before moving to San Diego ahead of the 1961 AFL season.
Owner Dean Spanos had a proposal to move the franchise to Los Angeles alongside the Oakland Raiders rejected by his fellow team owners last season, but he was instead offered an option to become the Rams’ tenants, with a deadline of 15 January, later extended to 17 January.
Spanos had been attempting to build a new venue to replace their former home, Qualcomm Stadium, for the past 15 years, but a proposed tax increase to fund construction was rejected by San Diego voters in November.
The Raiders are now in discussions to move their franchise to Las Vegas.
San Diego “part of our identity”
Californian Spanos, who took over the running of the team from his father in 1994, reassured supporters they would not forget their history in San Diego despite moving 120 miles up the coast.
“San Diego has been our home for 56 years. It will always be part of our identity, and my family and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us,” the 66-year-old said.
“LA is a remarkable place, and while we played our first season there in 1960 and have had fans there ever since, our entire organization knows that we have a tremendous amount of work to do.”
The decision has angered some fans, with the team’s headquarters in San Diego being egged when reports of Spanos’ decision emerged on Wednesday.
The Chargers are currently without a head coach, having fired Mike McCoy on 2 January following a 5-11 season.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/american-football/38602543