Chargers bid final farewell to San Diego

AP

For the long-serving Chargers, yesterday’s final practice of minicamp wasn’t just cause for relief, it was a time to reflect.

Because after wrapping up their final practice at Chargers Park, they’re now officially out of business in San Diego.

Quarterback Philip Rivers was one of the last players off the field, lingering for a few moments with the place he spent 13 years before packing up for the drive north to their new facility in Costa Mesa.

“I had sweaty hands and I was nervous before practice, and I was like, ‘What is wrong with me?’” Rivers said, via Eric Williams of ESPN.com. “Going into the last minicamp in Year 14 and here I am nervous before going out there is a little ridiculous. But it was because of the fact that I’m not walking out that door with a helmet in my hand again.”

The move is six months in the making, but the finality of it was still striking to tight end Antonio Gates, who arrived a year before Rivers.

“It’s a bittersweet moment because obviously the memories are still here, and they will forever be here for myself and guys that have been around,” Gates said. “It’s just one of those things where we need to take time out to say thank you to San Diego, and the fans that have been here to support us.

“But at the same time I’m excited to move to L.A. I’m excited about the new change. And hopefully they’ll welcome us with open arms and embrace us. And we can win some games, and win a championship.”

Of course, that transition could take some time, as the Chargers will be playing in a 30,000-seat soccer stadium for the next three years, and then sharing a stadium with the Rams. So while future wins could create a new legacy, that old bond may never return.

10 responses to “Chargers bid final farewell to San Diego

  1. It’s time, San Diego. Since their majority stake in 1984, you ruined the millionaire Spanos family, literally spoiling them with your love and tax-dollars to turn them into greedy billionaires. That’s why he was only prepared to throw $100M toward part of the cost of new stadium in your town, but $500M to move to LA – and why you have to now be sorry enough to let them go, and suck that city dry.

    New word “spanosized” – when you’ve been abandoned by the millionaires who screwed you to make themselves billionaires and then blamed you for ever opening your pockets or believing in what they offered in the first place.

  2. The NFLs foray into LA is with two teams. Can they afford to have both of them stink at a time they need to drum up momentum for football with new fan bases?

    At least the Raiders are looking be an exciting team when they hit their new town.

  3. I’m okay with the Chargers leaving San Diego, I mean Dean Spanos (and family) gave San Diego politicians and voters two decades to get a stadium deal done and they failed. I mean, how many other stadium needy team owners give their city 20 years to get a stadium deal done?

    That said, it’s a shame that they ended up in LA instead of somewhere that would actually support them like San Antonio or Oklahoma City.

    One of those cities also would have kept the Raiders in California instead of leading them to destruction in the desert. So thanks San Diego and San Diego voters for killing two franchises!

  4. NFL owners have had their greedy hands out for far too long. The tax payers should not be responsible for providing a billionaire a stadium in which to make even more money. If a team truly represents a city then the city or people should own them and not a slimy trust fund baby wanting a free lunch.

  5. Welcome to the future of Charger football. Partnering up with the ilk known as Stan Kroenke is the beginning of destroying a once proud franchise.

  6. History will repeat itself somewhere down the road and they will again leave LA for San Diego,but not until a feasable stadium solution is solved.Chargers being in carson will provide the test run to see if they can even have a fanbase behind the Rams history in LA and the tons of Raiders fans in LA who are now a short distance of a drive to vegas which is basically in the backyard of LA metro with short drive from anywhere in so cal.people make that drive every weekend.

    If the sucker/soccer city thing gets axed in San Diego it opens door for Doug Manchester to build a state of the art stadium in san diego for sdsu and have it be big enough or expanded to accomodate the chargers or nfl.If the Chargers are having problems selling psl’s to the new Rams stadium like they already are you know the nfl will force the chargers hand to go where majority of their fanbase is in san diego.nfl loves san diego its just the politicians who cant get on the same page.

  7. San Diego lost the Chargers on November 8th when they voted down measure C. When that happened, Spanos had no choice but to move. What was Spanos supposed to do, play in an outdated stadium the next 20 years? Visitors and tourists would have funded the stadium, not San Diego residents. I didn’t know San Diegans loved tourists so much. Spanos should have looked at STL and San Antonio more closely before deciding on Los Angeles.

    BTW, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are not next door neighbors. The two cities are 270 miles apart.

  8. A couple of the above comments are really..dumb. One guy said that Spanos gave the citizens of San Diego two decades to build him a stadium. What planet is this guy living on? The NFL is ripping off taxpayers with their schemes of having the taxpayers who are over taxed, to pay for their stadiums! And, they’re getting away with it! The Charger re-location is unravelling. Bad business decisions…for example Carson touts an “intimate football viewing experience.” This doesn’t sit well with their sole sponsorship of Venice Gay Pride Days. Who’s running this outfit anyway? Carson will not build a fan base. They’re built over decades. Spanos is clearly setting up the team to sell it to some unsuspecting billionaire who wants a new toy. Too many of these type new owners will continue to deteriorate NFL integrity, tradition and character. It’s getting pathetic.

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