San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers  


Chargers Timeline


Los Angeles Chargers Team Formation

The San Diego Chargers were established with seven other American Football League teams in 1959. In 1960, the Chargers began AFL play in Los Angeles. The Chargers' original owner was hotel heir Barron Hilton, son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton.

According to the official site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Barron Hilton agreed after his general manager, Frank Leahy, picked the Chargers name when he purchased an AFL franchise for Los Angeles: “I liked it because they were yelling ‘charge’ and sounding the bugle at Dodgers Stadium and at USC games.”

Move to San Diego

The Chargers spent only one season in L.A. before moving to San Diego in 1961. Hilton moved the team 75 miles south to San Diego. From 1961 to 1966 their home field in San Diego was Balboa Stadium in Balboa Park.

Owner Eugene Klein

Prior to this, Klein and Schulman had already made a major investment in sports following the June 1966 announcement of the merger of the American Football League and the National Football League. On August 25 they led a group of investors who purchased the San Diego Chargers for $10 million, at the time, a record price for a National Football League franchise. The majority owner, Klein served as the team's president and head of operations.

During his time with the Chargers football club, Klein became involved in a much publicized feud with Al Davis, the then managing general partner of the Oakland Raiders. Their differences resulted in a lawsuit in which a San Diego Superior Court jury held Davis responsible for a heart attack Klein suffered in 1981. The verdict was overturned on appeal.

New Stadium "San Diego Stadium"

In the early 1960s, local sportswriter Jack Murphy, the brother of New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy, began to build up support for a multi-purpose stadium for San Diego. In November 1965, a $27 million bond was passed allowing construction to begin on a stadium, which was designed in the Brutalist style. Construction on the stadium began one month later. When completed, the facility was named San Diego Stadium.

The Chargers (then a member of the American Football League) played the first game ever at the stadium on August 20, 1967. San Diego Stadium had a capacity of around 50,000; the three-tier grandstand was in the shape of a horseshoe, with the east end low, consisting of only one tier, partially topped by a large scoreboard.

Alex Spanos New Owner

In 1984, Spanos bought 60% of the San Diego Chargers from majority owner Eugene Klein for $48.3 million. Over the next 10 years, he bought out the shares of several small co-owners, bringing his control of the team to 97%. He remains partnered with retired San Diego restaurateur George Pernicano, an investor in the team since a few years after its inception. Since 1993, Spanos' son Dean has handled the daily operations of the franchise. According to Forbes, as of 2015 the San Diego Chargers are worth $995 million.

Drafting Eli Manning

Although the Chargers were tied with three other teams for the worst record of the 2003 NFL season, the league’s tie-breaking system gave San Diego the number one pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. With this pick, the Chargers selected quarterback Eli Manning from the University of Mississippi despite Manning's stated desire to play elsewhere. New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, who had been in trade negotiations for several weeks before the draft with the Chargers, selected quarterback Philip Rivers fourth and traded him along with additional draft picks to the Chargers.

Chargers Primary Logo History Chargers Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Los Angeles - San Diego

Chargers - The Chargers nickname is a carry over from the Los Angels Chargers, an original AFL team. Barron Hilton agreed after his general manager, Frank Ready picked the Chargers name when he purchased an AFL franchise for Los Angeles. “I liked it because they were yelling ‘charge’ and sounding the bugle at Dodgers Stadium and at USC games.”

Qualcomm Stadium
1998 - present
  • Jack Murphy Stadium
  • 1981 - 1997
  • San Diego Stadium
  • 1967 - 1980
Balboa Stadium
1961 - 1966

*Los Angeles*
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Alex Spanos
1984 - present
Gene Klein and Sam Schulman
1966 - 1984
Barron Hilton
1960 - 1966

Established: 1960

League History:
National Football League
1970 - present
American Football League 
1960 - 1970

Team History:
San Diego Chargers
1961 - present

Los Angeles Chargers

Super Bowl: 0
AFL Championships: 1

Retired Numbers:
14 Dan Fouts
19 Lance Alworth
21 LaDainian Tomlinson
55 Junior Seau

Mascots: 2009 - present

The Official Site of the San Diego Chargers

*Red is this team's history

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