After playing 56 seasons in San Diego, the Chargers officially announced their relocation to Los Angeles earlier this month. The team’s move a couple hours north proved to be a controversial as fans of the sport quickly expressed their discontent.
Colton Bachman, a senior biology major and Chargers fan, shared his initial reaction and offered his sympathy for the fans who live in the local community.
“I think it is disappointing. I feel for the life-long Chargers fans who live in the San Diego community. They are losing something that they have really enjoyed for half of a century,” Bachman said.
San Diego residents clearly had an emotional connection to the Chargers, so their reaction to the team’s relocation was emotional. Bachman mentioned he had close family from the San Diego area and recalled their overwhelming frustration at the news that their favorite football team would be leaving for Los Angeles.
“They went to a lot of Chargers games, so it was more disappointing for them. One of my uncles was so upset with the move to the point where he renounced the Chargers all together,” Bachman said. “He is switching teams and going to be rooting for the Raiders from now on.”
Disappointment about the relocation was not voiced by Chargers fans and San Diego locals alone. There seemed to be negative reactions from fans of teams from all over the league. Sterling Bennett, a sophomore journalism major and 49ers fan, remembered his gut reaction when first hearing about the move.
“I was shocked. I did not think the Chargers would leave San Diego since they have been there for over 50 years and have a really big fan base,” Bennett said.
Bennett noted that the relocation did not make much sense to him because Los Angeles already has a team.
“The market is huge in Los Angeles, but San Diego is a very large Southern California city as well. They could have saved a lot of money by staying in San Diego. It is going to cost them a billion dollars to build a new stadium here,” Bennett said. “Why waste the taxpayer’s money when they can stay in San Diego and keep their fan base?”
The Chargers’ relocation was not the only controversy. As if the move to Los Angeles wasn’t disappointing enough, their newly unveiled logo was met with even more backlash and social media mockery. Bachman thought the logo was not original enough.
“They kind of ripped it off from the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Bachman. “They got a lot of public and social media pushback.”
The team received so many negative reactions to their new logo that they had to quickly make revisions. Bennett did not believe there needed to be a new logo in the first place.
“I get what they were going for but I like the original lightning bolt. Besides changing the color scheme, I think it should remain the same,” Bennett said.
When I first heard the Chargers were coming to Los Angeles, I was unenthusiastic to say the least. Their lack of talent and creativity is not exciting. In my opinion, we needed a young and talented team like the Oakland Raiders. Los Angeles did not need another subpar football team.
San Diego residents desperately wanted their team to stay. Couple that with the less than enthusiastic reactions from around the league and you have a lose-lose situation. So far, the move from San Diego to Los Angeles has been an unwelcomed one for the Chargers.