The National Football League’s (NFL) Los Angeles Chargers recently marked the first anniversary of the groundbreaking of its new practice facility in El Segundo, Calif.
“There’s a building now,” said Abraham Garcia, the Chargers’ director of project management in an announcement. “At the groundbreaking one year ago, we saw just mounds of dirt. We had just started to move some dirt around and grade the site back then.
“Now, the building’s exterior has gone up, all the frame, all the concrete, the structural members — everything is up. Now we’re just filling in the gaps with walls and beams and everything else. A lot of progress has been made.”
The facility is located on 14 acres just east of El Segundo Boulevard.
When it is completed in spring 2024, the 145,000-square-foot complex will contain a performance center and office for players, coaches, and staff, a rooftop hospitality club, full eSports gaming and content studios and a 3,100-square-foot media center.
In addition, there will be three natural grass fields outside the main building with seating for 5,000 spectators, as well as a 3,400-square-foot elevated turf area and a two-lane lap pool for player rehabilitation. There will be parking for nearly 350 vehicles.
The Chargers say their new digs, which were designed by Gensler Sports, will be one-of-a-kind, because the exterior of the facility is being made to resemble the team’s lightening bolt logo.
“It really was the inspiration for what we could do,” said Fred Maas, the Chargers’ chief of staff and counsel. “How do we take some of the exciting things around that imagery and integrate it into the building in a way that fit and didn’t look hokey but looked genuine to our brand?”
Garcia said the Chargers wanted a training facility that didn’t look like anything else in the region.
“We want people to know when they see it from the Pacific Coast Highway, or they come up to the building, to know it’s the Chargers building,” he said.
Since moving from San Diego before the start of the 2017 season, the Chargers have been operating out of a temporary training facility in Costa Mesa. Their new place is located about seven miles from the 70,000-seat SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where both the Chargers and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams play their home games.
The Chargers will have plenty of company when its new training facility opens.
They will be located in the same city as other professional Los Angeles-based sports teams, as the Kings (hockey), Lakers (basketball) and Sparks (basketball) all have their practice facilities nearby.
“We had our hearts set on the South Bay when we started this process five years ago,” said Maas. “We always thought this was an important focal point. We had seen a growing fan-base here and it had so many positive elements — proximity to SoFi, proximity to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), and all the teams that are here and the synergies of the other teams that we have on the South Bay. It was an exciting opportunity that blossomed and came to life a couple of years ago.”
While the Chargers may share SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Rams, the two teams will not be bunking up in the same practice complex.
In early 2023, Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke spent roughly $150 million to buy the 35-acre site of the Promenade Mall in Warner Center, which is slated for redevelopment with housing, offices, retail, hotels, and a 10,000-seat entertainment venue.
The Chargers hope to host an event at the facility during the 2024 draft and have all of their operations relocated in time for training camp three months later.