San Diego Chargers Team History
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.
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.
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.
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.
On January 12, 2017, ESPN reported that the Chargers were going to announce a move back to Los Angeles for the 2017 season.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos officially announced a return to Los Angeles on January 12, 2017.
The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. The Chargers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The club began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), and spent its first season in Los Angeles, before moving to San Diego in 1961. The Chargers joined the NFL as result of the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, and play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers had been the only NFL team based in Southern California since the Raiders and Rams moved out of Los Angeles in 1994. On January 12, 2016, the Rams were approved by the NFL to relocate back to Los Angeles for the 2016 NFL season, and the Chargers were given a one-year option to join the Rams in the Los Angeles area. Team chairman and CEO Dean Spanos, however, announced on January 29, 2016, that the Chargers would remain in San Diego for the 2016 season.
Los Angeles – San Diego – Los Angeles
1970 – Present / National Football League
1960 – 1970 / American Football League
2017 – Present / Los Angeles Chargers
1961 – 2016 / San Diego Chargers
1960 / Los Angeles Chargers
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.”
Super Bowl 0
AFL Championships 1
2019 / Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park
2017 – Present / StubHub Center
1998 – 2016 / Qualcomm Stadium
1981 – 1997 / Jack Murphy Stadium
1967 – 1980 / San Diego Stadium
1961 – 1966 / Balboa Stadium
1960 / Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
1984 – Present / Alex Spanos
1966 – 1984 / Gene Klein and Sam Schulman
1960 – 1966 / Barron Hilton
14 Dan Fouts
19 Lance Alworth
21 LaDainian Tomlinson
55 Junior Seau
2009 – Present / Boltman
*Blue is this team’s history