Chargers break new ground in El Segundo

EL SEGUNDO (News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Chargers are making El Segundo home. By 2024, that will become a reality. For now, the Chargers will settle for breaking ground on their future headquarters.

The Chargers did just that, holding a groundbreaking ceremony for their new complex in front of a throng of media, family and well-wishers on Wednesday, May 18.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we were standing just up the road here where SoFo (Stadium) was and it was just a big hole and a big pile of dirt,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said. “And you saw what that turned into.”

May 18, 2022. Linda Rambis (left), executive director of Special Projects with the Los Angeles Lakers, hold court with team Governor and CEO Jeannie Buss. Rambis and Buss joined the groundbreaking ceremony in El Segundo for the new training and practice facility of the Los Angeles Chargers. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“And now we’re about to put some shovels in the ground and get started here,” Spanos added. “I just can’t tell you how excited I am. I really believe in the next two years what you’re going to see is going to be magnificent.”

Since they bolted out of San Diego and moved to Orange County in 2017, the Chargers have been handling their football business and operations at the Hoag Performance Center. Training camp for the team every summer has been held at the Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex, also in Orange County, just a hiccup away from where the Chargers’ current headquarters is located.    

When they move into their home, that is an issue that the Chargers won’t have to worry about. Designed by Gensler Sports, the Chargers’ El Segundo headquarters will house everything under one roof. The complex will feature three grass fields, a 145,000 square foot main building, an Esports game center, a lap pool, and a 3,100 square foot media center.

Chargers safety Derwin James expressed his excitement about the complex.

“I feel like as players, for them to believe in us, to come up with something like this, it’s only to help us, giving us that competitive winning edge,” James said. 

May 18, 2022. The Spanos family breaking ground at the site of the Los Angeles Chargers’ new training and operational headquarters in El Segundo, California. Alongside members of the Spanos family, which owns the Chargers, are (left to right) safety Derwin James, head coach Brandon Staley and quarterback Justin Herbert. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

The landing place for the Chargers’ new home is literally minutes away from Los Angeles International Airport and not too far from SoFi Stadium. In layman’s terms, LAX is three miles from the Chargers’ new facility.

SoFi Stadium is a good seven miles from the site, which is nestled near where both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings hold their respective training and practice facilities.

“We welcome the Chargers to El Segundo,” said Lakers Governor and CEO Jeannie Buss. “I’d like to think we’ve had a lot of success here since we’ve been here; six championships since we moved here, and I think that the Chargers see a great opportunity to be located near LAX and being part of a city that has so much to offer. I think that players are going to be really happy here. They’re going to really connect with being a part of the LA scene.”

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said it is a competitive advantage to have a practice and training facility not too far from where game action takes place.    

May 18, 2022. Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco (background far left) and quarterback Justin Herbert look on as a Greek orthodox priest performs a ritual during the team’s groundbreaking ceremony in El Segundo, California. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“It’s the most competitive league in the world, the NFL,” Staley said. “In order to contend within it, you need to have the facilities that reflect your level of competition.”

James echoed Staley’s sentiments about the importance of what it means to have the team’s training site near where the Chargers play ball.

“I feel like it’s just a winning edge for us because all of our games are over here,” James remarked. “LAX is here. So, it’s easy to get in and get out. So, I just feel like it’s going to be a winning edge. It’s pretty close.”              

James really likes the idea of being much closer to all the vibrancy that Los Angeles brings.

“I’m very excited,” said James. “This is where everything happens. This is where LA is and we’re excited. This is our way of coming together as a team and an organization. We feel like we’re going to be here for a long time and this is just a stepping stone of where we’re headed as an organization.”