San Diego Chargers bolt for Los Angeles, owner announces in letter

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: NFL Rookie Ladarius Green #89 of the San Diego Chargers holds his helmet at arms length after participating in drills during a minicamp workout on May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Say goodbye to the San Diego Chargers.

After much speculation, the team’s owner, Dean Spanos, confirmed Thursday that the team would move to L.A. and become the Los Angeles Chargers.

The team made quick work of the news Thursday, changing its Twitter handle, Facebook page and Instagram account to reflect the move.

Spanos posted a letter Thursday announcing the relocation.

“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles,” Spanos wrote. “Today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.”

Spanos thanked San Diego for being the Chargers’ home for 56 years and said the city will “always be a part of our identity.” He said he and his family had “nothing but gratitude and appreciation” for the support the team has received from fans over the years.

Spanos referred to L.A. as a “remarkable place” and acknowledged that the franchise has a “tremendous amount of work to do.”

The Chargers will pay a $550 million relocation fee and buy out their lease at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The team will play home games at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., a venue that seats 30,000 fans.

The Chargers wanted a new stadium in downtown San Diego, but a ballot measure for a new stadium and convention center expansion failed by a vote of 57 percent to 43 percent. Spanos faced a Jan. 17 deadline to exercise the option for the L.A. move.