It happened. At just around 8 a.m. Thursday, sports radio hosts and Twitter users no longer had to rely on anonymous sources. And they lost any optimism they had that it wasn’t actually real.
They got the words directly from Chargers President Dean Spanos, who wrote that he was moving the team to Los Angeles. He informed staff and by the afternoon, he was in Los Angeles on a media tour of sorts. By evening, well, he was with this hairy guy.
Spanos confirmed the team will play the 2017 football season as the Los Angeles Chargers at a soccer stadium in Carson, while they wait for a new stadium to be built in Inglewood. The Chargers immediately published a new logo and began selling tickets (Editor: That site has a strange poem about fighting for L.A. that is worth mocking.)
After 56 years, San Diego no longer has an NFL football team.
“The underlying assumption the Chargers simply would never move crippled the region’s entire response to the threat,” Scott Lewis wrote in a new commentary. And while Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a series of bad judgements in his effort to appease the Chargers and NFL, Lewis says their relocation can’t be blamed on him.
The Hottest Takes
The Chargers’ announcement of their move to Los Angeles caused writers the world over to take note. The team’s new home-town paper, the LA Times, published commentaries deeply critical of the move. Los Angeles is “a proud city that regards itself as a home of champions,” the paper wrote, and its people “recoiled at the idea it had become America’s dumpster.” The Chargers move is “unoriginal and uninspired” and the team is “on the fast track to irrelevance.” They are at risk of being “swallowed up into an enormous market that has little patience for losers.”
• The U-T put an editorial on the front page telling San Diego to move on.
• Several commentators including The Guardian are framing the Chargers as bullies, who San Diegans stood up to.
• Maybe Spanos should change the team’s name, Sports Illustrated writes. The new logo the Chargers announced was “ripe for critique,” according to the NFL’s own writers, before the post was taken down. (One Vice report said the Chargers are sticking with the same logo, thanks.)
Not So Fast, “LA Chargers”
Local attorney and podcast host David Lizerbram discovered something interesting: the so-called LA Chargers face a trademark battle with a company called LA Gear, who filed a challenge to the “LA Chargers” trademark. “LA Gear’s legal position is that a new entrant into the market using ‘LA’ as part of its trademark for athletic apparel and merchandise will confuse the public,” Lizerbram writes. LA Gear may be trying to get a licensing deal with the team, or they may be testing the boundaries of their trademark of the letters “LA” as it relates to sporting goods.
The State of San Diego: A New Hotel Tax
On Thursday night Mayor Kevin Faulconer took the stage once again to deliver an annual speech wherein he recounts the events of the past year and casts a vision for the year ahead. Lisa Halverstadt thought it might be handy to check in on the promises made by Faulconer last time he was on that stage and find out where we are at in the process of promise fulfillment.
On the mayor’s promise to house 1,000 veterans: we’ve housed 470. On his promise to create a new streamlined website: that’s been done. He promised to pull together a group to propose a solution to keeping the Chargers in San Diego, and he did do that (the Chargers hated the plan). But on his claim that San Diego will find a cure for Alzheimer’s, we’re still working on that, Halverstadt writes.
• We’ll have more coverage of Faulconer’s speech soon, but one notable proposal was his pledge to try raising hotel taxes again. It would fund a convention center expansion. He also mentioned some of the money would go toward programs for the homeless and to streets.
As Lewis wrote recently, the effort to expand the Convention Center has had a very bad year and a lot stands in the way of it. For one, the city does not control the land it would need to do the expansion. That land belongs, for now, to these two guys and they’re not happy with how the city treated them before.
• The mayor’s proposal to raise the hotel-room tax would go to the City Council this year but not to the ballot until 2018. It would need approval from two-thirds of voters. A similar proposal, in 2004, designed to appeal to many different groups, came up short of the two thirds threshold. As did, of course, the Chargers push to raise the tax last year.
• The mayor’s special advisor on housing solutions, Stacie Spector, exchanged words with outspoken advocate Michael McConnell on Twitter after the speech. McConnell was not impressed with the mayor’s points.
Culturecast: New Season!
In our most recent episode of Culturecast, we take you behind the scenes of a public art project that puts people into soundbooths to make their own music or in front of a quilt to stich their own art. The San Diego Symphony is shaking things up with a new month-long festival that encourage interaction and art making on-the-spot. “The series includes shows by hip-hop legend Talib Kweli and folk singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash,” Kinsee Morlan writes.
• Since redevelopment organizations were shut down by the governor, nearly $69 million that would have been earmarked for neighborhood development budgets has instead gone into San Diego’s general fund. (Union-Tribune)
• A San Diego lawsuit over carrying concealed guns has petitioned to be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court. (Times of San Diego)
• The U.S. Olympic Committee has handed over the keys of the Olympic Training Center to the city of Chula Vista who will now operate the facility as the “Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.” Funding from the Olympic Committee will continue through 2020. (Union-Tribune)
• The New York Times gives you a 360-degree video of what it’s like to visit someone across the border fence in Tijuana.
• Wondering what to do with your Chargers gear now that you feel a burning contempt for them? You could throw your gear at the team’s office, or just use that rage to set all the gear on fire, I suppose (safety first!). (Union-Tribune) And if you’re looking for a good deal on Chargers logo tattoo removal, today may be your lucky day.