The Los Angeles Chargers are a professional American football team based in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The Chargers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The club began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), and spent its first season in Los Angeles, before moving to San Diego in 1961 to become the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers joined the NFL as result of the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, and played their home games at Qualcomm Stadium. A return of the Chargers to Los Angeles was announced for the 2017 season, just one year after the Los Angeles Rams had moved back themselves (from St. Louis). The Chargers will play their home games at the StubHub Center until the opening in 2020 of the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, which they will share with the Rams.
The Chargers won one AFL title in 1963 and reached the AFL playoffs five times and the AFL Championship four times before joining the NFL (1970) as part of the AFL–NFL merger. In the 43 years since then, the Chargers have made 13 trips to the playoffs and four appearances in the AFC Championship game. At the end of the 1994 season, the Chargers faced the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX and lost, 49–26. The Chargers have seven players and one coach enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio: wide receiver Lance Alworth (1962–1970), defensive end Fred Dean (1975–1981), quarterback Dan Fouts (1973–1987), head coach-general manager Sid Gillman (1960–1969, 1971), wide receiver Charlie Joiner (1976–1986), offensive lineman Ron Mix (1960–1969), tight end Kellen Winslow (1979–1987), and linebacker Junior Seau (1990–2002).
The Los Angeles Chargers were established with seven other American Football League teams in 1959. In 1960, the Chargers began AFL play in Los Angeles. The Chargers’ original owner was hotel heir Barron Hilton, son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton.
According to the official website of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Barron Hilton agreed after his general manager, Frank Leahy, picked the Chargers name when he purchased an AFL franchise for Los Angeles: “I liked it because they were yelling ‘charge’ and sounding the bugle at Dodgers Stadium and at USC games.” The Chargers initially considered playing at the Rose Bowl, but instead signed a lease to play at the Los Angeles Coliseum. There is also an alternative theory about a man named Gerald Courtney of Hollywood who won an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico City and Acapulco for submitting “Chargers” in a name-the-team contest. The Chargers only spent one season in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego in 1961. From 1961 to 1966 their home field was Balboa Stadium in Balboa Park. As of August 1967, they moved to the newly constructed Qualcomm Stadium (then named San Diego Stadium), where they played their home games until 2016.
Boltman, a man behind the Los Angeles Chargers unofficial mascot,