Raider Nation to descend on Costa Mesa as training camp set to move to Jack Hammett

Las Vegas Raiders Cornerback Amik Robertson and Chargers' Gerald Everett at Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium on Dec. 14.
Las Vegas Raiders Cornerback Amik Robertson and L.A. Chargers’ Gerald Everett at Allegiant Stadium on Dec. 14. The Raiders will train at Costa Mesa’s Jack Hammett Sports Complex this summer, city officials announced Friday.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

A new NFL team could soon be coming to Costa Mesa’s Jack Hammett Sports Complex, after city officials announced Friday they were in talks with the Las Vegas Raiders over use of the facility as a 2024 summer training camp.

The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday will discuss in its regular meeting the possibility of brokering a one-year agreement regarding the Fairview Road complex, recently vacated by the Los Angeles Chargers, who’d trained there since 2017.

“Costa Mesa is proud to be one of only two cities in the country to host an NFL team’s summer training camp in a publicly owned facility,” City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison said in a release Friday. “Jack Hammett is a treasure and we are excited to potentially have a new NFL team training here.”

The Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex will be the site of the Las Vegas Raiders' spring training activities.
The Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex will be the site of the Las Vegas Raiders’ spring training activities this year.
(Courtesy of the city of Costa Mesa)

Under the proposed agreement, the Raiders would pay the city $165,000 in rent and would agree to make an estimated $600,000 worth of improvements to fields at the 14.5-acre facility, the release indicated.

The team would agree to establish a junior training camp for kids ages 6 to 12, provide 100 tickets for local students to attend an NFL game in Southern California and would make a donation of $10,000 to a local youth sports team.

Additionally, outdoor weight training equipment would be donated to nearby Costa Mesa High School, while a new mobile recreation van would be made available for use by programs in underserved areas throughout the city.

Starting in mid-July, the team would use the site’s fields for its training camp, bringing fields No. 3 and 4 up to standards required by the National Football League. Team representatives have further committed to hosting public practices to give fans up-close experiences with players.

Activities at Jack Hammett are not anticipated to disrupt regular youth sports hosted there, as the site’s fields typically undergo renovation during summer months.

“Just win, baby!”

— Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens, quoting former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.

As training dates would coincide with the annual Orange County Fair, which runs July 19 through Aug. 18, city and team officials have agreed to collaborate on a comprehensive parking and traffic management plan.

The Fairview Road facility has been used as an NFL training site since the former San Diego Chargers relocated to Los Angeles in 2017 and were in need of a training area closer to Los Angeles County.

Their search led them to the Costa Mesa complex, named in 2011 for former City Councilman and two-time Mayor Jack Hammett.

Under that lease agreement, the team had the option of remaining at Jack Hammett for up to 10 years. But in 2022, Chargers owners broke ground on a new corporate headquarters and training facility on a 14-acre property in El Segundo, closer to Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium.

Work on that site is anticipated to wrap sometime this summer, according to the team’s website.

Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens said Friday he was pleased to welcome the team and their loyal fans — dubbed Raider Nation — to the City of the Arts.

“The Raiders and Costa Mesa share a commitment to excellence, and our partnership will greatly benefit the community,” he said in Friday’s statement, thanking Newport-Mesa School Unified School District and Costa Mesa High for their involvement in the endeavor.

“To quote [former Oakland Raiders owner and general manager] Al Davis, ‘Just win, baby!’”