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Team owner: San Diego Chargers moving to Los Angeles this year



LOS ANGELES, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The San Diego Chargers are moving to Los Angeles beginning this upcoming NFL season, the team owner said on Thursday, ending sometimes tense negotiations for a new stadium in the city where the sports franchise has played for more than five decades.

Starting this fall, the Los Angeles area will have two NFL teams in a potential boon to the region's leisure and tourism industry. The nation's second largest city had no NFL team from 1994 until the St. Louis Rams began playing there last year.

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Chargers owner Dean Spanos in an open letter on the team's website said San Diego has been the squad's home for more than 55 years and the city shaped the team's "identity."

"But today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers," Spanos wrote.

In November, San Diego voters rejected a ballot measure that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a proposed $1.8 billion downtown stadium project.

"The Chargers will make our NFL tradition even richer, and give sports fans everywhere one more reason to be in Los Angeles," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

The NFL Network reported on Thursday that the Chargers will play the next two seasons at 27,000-seat StubHub Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, until the new stadium the Chargers will share with the Rams in Inglewood is completed. The Chargers will eventually join the Rams as a tenant of the futuristic $1.8 billion stadium being built in Inglewood, which is projected to open in 2019.

16 PHOTOS
Best photos from NFL Wild Card Weekend
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Best photos from NFL Wild Card Weekend
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Wide receiver Paul Richardson #10 of the Seattle Seahawks brings in a one-handed catch for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card game at CenturyLink Field on January 7, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Andre Holmes #18 of the Oakland Raiders makes a reception against the Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs down field for a touchdown after catching a pass from Ben Roethlisberger #7 during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8: Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers breaks up a pass intended for Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants in the first quarter during the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore collides with Jay Ajayi in the third quarter as they play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 at Heinz Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 08: Julius Peppers #56 of the Green Bay Packers sacks Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jan 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans strong safety Corey Moore (43) knocks the ball out of the hands of Oakland Raiders wide receiver Johnny Holton (16) during the fourth quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) is tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) catches a pass in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay (22) during the first half in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 08: Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers scores a touchdown in the third quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Paul Richardson #10 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a one-handed reception against Nevin Lawson #24 of the Detroit Lions during the second half of the NFC Wild Card game at CenturyLink Field on January 7, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8: Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers walks off the field after beating the New York Giants 38-13 in the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins receives attention on the sideline after taking a hit during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8: Eli Apple #24 of the New York Giants tackles Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter during the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Houston Texans Quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) throws downfield from his own endzone during the NFL AFC Wild Card game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans on January 7, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis, Additional reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Franklin Paul and Tom Brown)

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