The San Diego Chargers have purchased land in Santa Ana, California, with the purpose of turning it into a team headquarters and practice facility should they move to Los Angeles, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
NFL owners granted the Chargers the right to move from San Diego to Los Angeles earlier in January. Any move is contingent on the team agreeing to partially own or lease the upcoming Inglewood Stadium being built by the Rams.
The Rams are leaving St. Louis for Los Angeles beginning next season. They will play at the Los Angeles Coliseum while the new stadium, expected to be complete for the 2019 season, is being built.
The Chargers' home for next season is still to be determined, but they've been making clear steps to distance themselves from San Diego. As noted by Michael Katz of SB Nation, "San Diego" has been slowly phased out of the team's social media accounts this week. Team officials told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune that the timing was coincidental, but it's hard to buy that excuse.
The Chargers clearly favor a move to Los Angeles. Their stadium situation in San Diego has become untenable, and there is no clear road to a state-of-the-art facility being built. The plan for Carson with the Oakland Raiders is now dead, but the Chargers do have the right of first refusal to become roomies with the Rams before Oakland gets its turn.
Even if the Inglewood Stadium situation is not the Chargers' ideal scenario—Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who is footing the bill for the stadium, will want this deal to be as financially beneficial as possible for his side—it's apparently preferable to staying in San Diego.
Acee reported Thursday the Chargers are hoping to have a deal in place by "the end of this week." What's being discussed at this point is a "limited" partnership, though the details are still being worked out.
“The deal will be good-to-great for the Chargers—if and when they choose to relocate,” a source told Acee.
Thursday's announcement of a practice facility means it's more likely than ever the San Diego Chargers are a thing of the past. It's time for everyone to come to grips with that realization.