Stadium delay gives Chargers time to cultivate L.A. market at StubHub Center

SAN DIEGO – News of Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke delaying the opening of the Inglewood Stadium project until 2020 should be a welcome respite for the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Construction is our family business, so we understand the challenges that come with a project of this magnitude,” Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos said in a prepared statement. “At StubHub Center we are creating an unparalleled environment for watching NFL football, and considering that no other venue in the league brings you closer to the action, we think Chargers fans will enjoy our three years in Carson.”

Yes, the delay means the Chargers will have to temporarily play in the intimate confines of the 30,000-seat StubHub Center -- home of Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in Carson, Calif. -- for three seasons instead of two.

While playing at the StubHub Center is not ideal, it’s actually a newer facility and will offer both fans and players an improved game-day experience over antiquated Qualcomm Stadium.

The Chargers are still in the process of completing construction on the team’s new headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. The extra year allows the Chargers to continue to grow the team’s brand in Los Angeles while remaining closer in proximity to the current fan base in Orange County and San Diego.

After the announcement on Thursday, the Chargers sent out an email to season ticket holders telling them of the delay and also announcing the team has opened up a new ticket office at the StubHub Center.

The Chargers have a bare-boned operation currently operating out of the team’s headquarters in Costa Mesa, with the business staff setting up shop there this week.

It’s also reasonable to question if Philip Rivers will ever play in the new stadium. Rivers’ contract runs through the 2019 season, so the Chargers will need to extend the veteran quarterback’s contract if the team wants the NC State product to christen the new facility.

Rivers would be 38 at the start of the 2020 season.