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By Bill Seals
Sports Reporter 

Chargers look to the future in Los Angeles with their new Facility

 

Bill Seals

If there are any questions about the Chargers commitment to Los Angeles, the Chargers' new facility in El Segundo should put those concerns to rest. On Thursday, May 18th, the Chargers gave a tour of the facility to the media, and it is very impressive. The 14-acre property will consist of three full-sized natural grass football fields and the three-story facility will have 146,000 square feet of space.

The Chargers broke ground on their new headquarters on May 18, 2022, about a year ago. Despite some heavy winter rains, the progress has been very good. The headquarters will consist of business offices, an expansive players locker room with lounge, a roof-top hospitality club, a full eSports gaming and content center, equipment, training, and weight rooms, and a 3,100 square foot media center.

The complex is designed by Gensler Sports, a global design and architectural firm. The Chargers expect their new facility to be completed in the spring of 2024, in time for the NFL Draft in late April of 2024. They will spend one more season in their current facility in Costa Mesa, with training camp opening in late July.

El Segundo is a beach town located three miles from LAX Airport and seven miles from the Chargers home, SoFi Stadium. A South Bay city with an ocean breeze, great for practicing football or just hanging out. El Segundo bills itself as the Aerospace Capital of the World and is the home to the Los Angeles Times, and dozens of Fortune 500 Companies.

The city of El Segundo, with a population of just under 17,000, has been the home to several professional sports teams over the years. The Chargers are joining the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, both of whom are headquartered in the city of El Segundo. The Las Vegas Raiders had a training facility in El Segundo from 1982 through 1994, when they were known as the Los Angeles Raiders.

The Chargers continue to add to their roster for the upcoming 2023 season. The Chargers recently signed defensive lineman Nick Williams, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound lineman who will add much-needed depth to the defensive line. Williams is a nine-year veteran who has started 42 games over the past four seasons. Williams signed a one-year contract with the Chargers. Terms were undisclosed.

Williams was a seventh-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft. He played his college football at Samford. Williams played last season with the New York Giants. He had his best season with the Chicago Bears in 2019, when he had a career high of six sacks. Charger head coach Brandon Staley was on the coaching staff of that Bears team, along with current Chargers defensive line coach Jay Rodgers.

The Chargers also ensured that running back Austin Ekeler will be with the Chargers this season. The veteran running back had demanded a trade due to a contract that is undervalued. Ekeler is in the last year of a four year, 24.5-million-dollar contract that will pay him 6.25 million in base salary in 2023.

According to the Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Chargers have added incentives to Ekeler's contract this season, which will include up to $1 million for total offensive yardage (tiers from 1,125 yards to 1,639 yards) and up to $600 thousand dollars for touchdowns (tiers from 10 to 16). Based off his numbers from the past two seasons, he should easily reach those incentives if he stays healthy.

Ekeler can also make $150 thousand if he makes the Pro Bowl. Ekeler has never made a Pro Bowl. The incentives added to his contract could earn Ekeler an additional 1.75 million in 2023. Ekeler is 28 years of age and is a valued member of the Chargers and a leader on the team. The Chargers need him on the roster in 2023 if they want to return to the playoffs.

 

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