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The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Chargers have inked a deal to market the team in Los Angeles and Orange County, which the newspaper notes “could be viewed as an initial step toward an ultimate relocation.”

A Chargers official said the team is looking to capitalize on the Southern California market through its agreement with Wasserman Media Group:

“The bottom line is Los Angeles and Orange County are two of the most lucrative markets in the world,” said Mark Fabiani, the team’s point man on stadium issues. “There’s no NFL team in those markets, and there’s no reason the Chargers can’t pursue those areas in these difficult economic times.”

For the last seven years, the Chargers have sought a stadium solution in the San Diego area, Fabiani said, at a cost of about $10 million. None of those options has been successful.

As it stands, about 30% of the team’s premium products — luxury suites and club seats — are purchased by individuals and companies in L.A. and Orange County.

Los Angeles has been frequently mentioned as possible destination for the Chargers. The city of Industry’s voters recently approved a bond measure that would pave the way for an $800 billion stadium complex there.

RANI GUPTA

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