The LA Chargers aren’t generating a lot of headlines early in this offseason. That comes as a welcome relief after a tumultuous 2017 offseason that included a new city, a new head coach, a new playing field, and personnel changes. Despite missing the playoffs, the Chargers looked to be headed in the correct direction by the end of the regular season. For these reasons, fans of the Chargers have a lot to look forward to in the near future.
In the further future, specifically 2020, there promises to be even more glitz and glamour surrounding the Chargers. Dean Spanos recently sat down with ESPN reporter Eric D. Williams to discuss the future of the Chargers in their monumental home-to-be.
Work has already begun on the mammoth project. With the stadium about 25 percent complete, Spanos dropped a few hints about how the stadium will be customized for Chargers game days.
“Most of this stadium is going to be digitized,” Spanos said. “So we’re going to be able to, in simple terms, flip and switch and make it really Chargers oriented. We’re not to that point right now, but that’s our goal. That’s what we’re going to do. So when the fans come in, it’s going to be blue, white and gold.”
That is an interesting and creative compromise to the issue of having two teams in the stadium. While Spanos did not elaborate on exactly how far the digital overhaul will go, it offers the hint that this will be more than just a jumbotron and a few TVs sporting Chargers colors. Entire walls and supporting structures could be part of the color-changing package, and there are undoubtedly more features yet to be unveiled.
The Chargers have a tenant-lease agreement with Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s development group that lowers the team’s risk because they do not have to borrow money for construction of the $2.6 billion project, and are not on the hook for any cost overruns.
The stadium project will be partly paid for through the use of season ticket sales and Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs), which both the Rams and the Chargers will sell. These PSLs, worth up to $800 million, plus another undetermined amount for the naming rights, and $400 million from the NFL G4 loan will finance the bulk of construction costs in the here-and-now.
The stadium will feature 275 luxury suites (representing 16,000 premium seats), and both teams hope to open up sales for PSLs in the near future. Luxury seats that are good for both teams are already for sale.
One of the premier features of the stadium will be a translucent, single-pane roof that covers the field and seats. Inside, the stadium will prominently feature the Oculus -- a circular, two-sided video board that’s 162,000 square feet of LED awesomeness enough to make the Cowboys envious. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 70,000, expandable up to 100,000. The Super Bowl is already slated for 2022. The Olympics already have it earmarked for 2028.
One of the final interesting points of the stadium project is that much of the stadium will be beneath ground level. This is due to nearby LAX, whose radar would be skewed by the large structure. Right now the site features a 100-foot hole, but the final field height should be a few stories closer to ground level than that.
Exciting times ahead for the Chargers!
-Jason “If You Can’t Make it to the Super Bowl, have the Super Bowl Come to You” Michaels