National Football League (NFL) franchise the Los Angeles Chargers has announced plans to construct a new $100 million corporate campus and training facility at a 14-acre site in El Segundo, a city in the South Bay region of L.A. County.
The site selection concludes an exhaustive and protracted search for a new headquarters for the Chargers, an AFC West division team that was first established in L.A. in 1960 but has spent most of its existence (56 seasons) playing in San Diego before relocating back to L.A. ahead of the 2017 season. Per Chargers owner and chairman Dean Spanos, the process took “more than four years because we weren’t willing to settle.” The team is currently headquartered at the Hoag Performance Center in the Orange County city of Costa Mesa.
“Good enough wasn’t going to cut it,” Spanos added in a news release. “We wanted great, and we finally found it.”
The El Segundo site, owned by Continental Development Corporation and Mar Ventures, Inc., is conveniently located in close proximity to the Los Angeles International Airport and just seven miles from SoFi Stadium, the Chargers’ relatively newly completed Inglewood home that the team shares with fellow NFL franchise, the Los Angeles Rams. SoFi Stadium will be on full international display come February as the host venue for Super Bowl LVI, marking the eighth Super Bowl to be held in the greater L.A. area. (Upon the team’s return to L.A., the Chargers temporarily played at Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly Home Depot Center and StubHub Center, from 2017 through 2019 until the HKS-designed SoFi Stadium was completed for the 2020 season.)
Back in El Segundo, which is already home to training facilities/corporate hubs for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the forthcoming Chargers compound is being designed by Gensler’s dedicated sports division as “one of the very best buildings we’ve ever designed,” said Ron Turner, principal at Gensler Sports, describing the forthcoming complex as “much more than a training facility.”
Other sports-related commissions led by Gensler in Southern California include Aztec Stadium at San Diego State University, and Banc of California Stadium at L.A.’s Exposition Park, a redesign of Petco Park in San Diego, and several athletics projects, including a new stadium and aquatic center at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.
Spanning 145,000-square-feet, the main Chargers HQ building is set to include a rooftop hospitality club, eSports gaming and content studios, and a 3,100-square-foot media center. Key features of the new facility include a trio of natural grass fields with an artificial turf perimeter that “can be taken in from 7,600 square feet of elevated outdoor terrace space,” an additional 3,400 square feet of elevated outdoor turf, and a two-lane lap pool for player rehabilitation. The field area will be able to accommodate bleacher seating for more than 5,000 spectators so that the team can host public training camp at the new complex when it debuts.
As detailed in its announcement, the Chargers stressed that specific locations within the new headquarters place an “emphasis on player efficiency and movement between spaces that includes direct access to the fields from all player and coaching spaces as well as direct connection between team meeting rooms and exterior walk-though space.”
“The look, feel and functionality of your training facility means more today than it ever has in professional sports,” said Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco. “Being able to create a building that can grow with technological advances—especially in regard to nutritional needs, strength and performance, injury prevention, medical treatment and game planning—is crucial to sustained success. Everyone knows the margin between wins and losses in the NFL is razor-thin. Any advantage you can create for your coaches and players, you’ll take it. Having a world-class training facility definitely falls into that category.”
As noted by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Continental Development Corporation will develop the 14-acre Nash Street site and act as landlord to its new leasee, the Chargers. The future Chargers HQ site is part of a larger parcel acquired “years ago” by Continental from Raytheon Technologies Corp. that is currently home to a swath of parking and storage facilities. In addition to the Chargers’ campus, a smaller portion of the old Raytheon property is being transformed into the 7.3-acre mixed-use Nash Street Exchange development, which, per the Business Journal, will feature 75,000 square feet of retail, dining, and medical office space.
Bob Tarnofsky, senior vice president at Continental, told the Business Journal the having the Chargers as a close neighbor “will be a huge boost to our current Nash Street Exchange development.”
Plans for the Chargers’ El Segundo complex are set to be reviewed by the city’s planning commission later this month. If all goes according to schedule, the facility will be completed by spring 2024.