The San Diego Chargers American football team will now be known as the Los Angeles Chargers, as it relocates to the US’s second-largest city, the team said in a press release Thursday.
“Today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said in a statement.
The Chargers played their first season in 1960 in Los Angeles and have spent the last 56 years in San Diego.
Although the team has lost more games than it has won and lost in its sole Super Bowl appearance in 1994, it has a devoted fan base in San Diego that expressed sadness, disappointment and outrage at the move.
On the Chargers’ social media pages, thousands of fans panned the decision.
A handful showed up early Thursday in front of Chargers Park stadium in San Diego to protest, and someone threw eggs at the door of the team headquarters Wednesday night, according to reporting by the San Diego Union Tribune.
Los Angeles had no football team at all until 2016, when the Rams relocated to the southern California city. That it now will have two was not seen as good news for the Chargers by analysts.
Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke headlined a column Thursday with a “message to Chargers: We don’t want you in Los Angeles.”
He and other analysts of local sports pointed out that if Los Angeles wanted a second football team, they would want not the Chargers but the Oakland Raiders, which played in Los Angeles from 1982-1994.