SAN DIEGO -- It’s a decision San Diego Chargers chairman Dean Spanos wrestled with for the past year after NFL owners chose Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s vision for a new stadium in Los Angeles over Spanos' partnership with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis on a new facility in Carson, California.
But after a public vote for a new downtown stadium in San Diego failed in November, Spanos will likely announce the decision Thursday to move his family’s NFL franchise to the place it began in 1960: two hours north in Los Angeles.
And while Chargers fans face the reality that the team they love will no longer call San Diego home after more than five decades in this city, the Spanos family will begin moving vans and preparing to operate in Los Angeles.
Here are some questions the Chargers will have to answer as they prepare to move to L.A.:
What will happen to current season-ticket holders?
The Chargers have not started selling tickets for the upcoming season; the team usually begins sending out renewal notices at the end of January. Tickets for the team’s home games in Los Angeles will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Similar to the Rams, the Chargers will likely give fans who bought tickets at the team’s temporary venue priority once the new stadium in Inglewood is built.
Will the Chargers rebrand or change their name?
Spanos is said to be open to the possibility of rebranding and changing the team’s name. However, the team applied to trademark “Los Angeles Chargers” early last year. NFL rules allow teams to change uniforms only once in a five-year period. The last time the Chargers made any changes to their uniforms was in 2012. So the team will remain the Chargers for at least the 2017 season.
Where will they practice?
The team’s lease at Chargers Park runs until July 1, so the Chargers intend to conduct offseason training, organized team activities and mandatory minicamp at Chargers Park, with the hope that the team’s new temporary facility in Costa Mesa is up and running by the time training camp begins at the end of July.
Where will the Chargers play their games?
The Chargers are considering two locations -- the L.A. Coliseum, where the Rams currently play, and the StubHub Center in Carson -- for their home games until the new Inglewood stadium opens in 2019. The Coliseum seats nearly 100,000, while the StubHub Center would provide a more intimate setting of 27,000 and is about a half-hour closer for fans driving from San Diego.
What happens to the team’s lease at Qualcomm Stadium?
The Chargers have a four-month window that begins Feb. 1 and ends May 1 to opt out of the team’s lease at Qualcomm Stadium. That lease runs through 2020 and will require a roughly $12 million payment for the buyout, freeing the Chargers to play in Los Angeles next season.
What’s the agreement between the Chargers and Rams on the Inglewood stadium project?
The Chargers have a tenant-lease agreement with the Rams that lowers the team’s risk because it would not have to borrow money for construction of the $2.6 billion project. The Rams and Chargers would jointly share revenue on aspects such as naming rights, suites, sponsors and advertising. The teams would be on their own to sell season tickets and personal seat licenses. The Chargers and Rams would separately sell personal seat licenses, projected to raise $700 million to $800 million, which would go toward construction costs for the new facility.
Will the move affect the Chargers' coaching search?
John Spanos, president of football operations, will make the final decision on the 16th head coach in franchise history. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said qualities he wants in a new head coach are a good communicator, teacher, motivator and leader. And while the team might want to make a big splash in Los Angeles, in all honesty, the Chargers likely have two more years if things do not go well to make an even bigger splash at head coach once the new stadium in Inglewood opens in 2019.