Carson excited again as Chargers head to town for 2017 season
Just a year after the city of Carson was jilted by the National Football League, the two have patched things up. But the romance will be fleeting.
Although not the permanent move civic boosters were hoping for when they were trying to lure the Chargers and Raiders to a permanent stadium in town, the Chargers’ announcement Thursday that they will move to Los Angeles and play in the StubHub Center for two years nevertheless created some excitement.
The team will squeeze into the 30,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium for two seasons until a permanent NFL stadium in Inglewood is ready in 2019.
Even if the move to Carson is temporary, city leaders hope it will deliver positive recognition for Carson and — more importantly — added revenue to municipal coffers.
“I know that, in the infinite wisdom of the NFL, nothing is a done deal until it’s done,” said Mayor Albert Robles, who was once spurned by the NFL. “So, until the first game is at StubHub and the first coin is tossed, I won’t really believe it. But I’m excited. I think this is an opportunity for Carson.”
The Los Angeles Chargers will play at Anschutz Entertainment Group’s StubHub Center until their shared $2.6 billion home with the Los Angeles Rams is completed at the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack.
‘FUN AND ENTERTAINING’ VENUE
The Chargers’ brass said Thursday it looks forward to the cozy venue in Carson.
“The experience for our fans at StubHub Center will be fun and entertaining, and every seat will feel close to the action,” A.G. Spanos, president of business operations for the Chargers, said in a statement. “This is a unique opportunity to see NFL action in such an intimate setting.
“The new stadium at Hollywood Park will be a tremendous stage, and we can’t wait to play there, but right now it’s about introducing ourselves and getting to know new fans and partners in a special, one-of-a-kind setting.”
But it remains to be seen how much of an economic boon the franchises will be for the region.
Robles said that his main concern is preventing the added traffic from causing any drag on the city budget. Los Angeles officials have butted heads with the Rams over who should foot the bill for increased security costs around Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during Rams games.
“I spoke with the president of AEG last week and told him it’s a great opportunity, but I cautioned him that any costs to Carson would be paid by AEG or StubHub but not the city of Carson,” Robles said.