Possible Chargers practice facility would be just outside Costa Mesa
The San Diego Chargers recently submitted plans to Santa Ana City Hall for interim training and office facilities on the edge of Santa Ana city limits in South Coast Metro, near the Costa Mesa border.
The NFL franchise — which is considering a move to a planned stadium in Inglewood that it would share with the Los Angeles Rams, who are returning to Southern California after 20 years in St. Louis — sent grading and landscape plans last week for two practice fields on a 5-acre vacant lot near Susan Street and Lake Center Drive, with offices in a building off Lake Center formerly occupied by UnitedHealthcare.
“The franchise is continuing to review all of its options, and no final decision on relocation has been made,” the Chargers said in a statement last week. “It was necessary for the team to submit the grading and landscape plans now because of the long lead time necessary to secure land-use approvals and to prepare the natural grass practice fields in time for the team’s offseason workout schedule.”
Both the lot and the building are owned by Costa Mesa-based C.J. Segerstrom & Sons. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Santa Ana officials said in a statement that they “recognize the significance of this type of development in our community and will review all plans with upmost diligence and professionalism. The city of Santa Ana is ready, willing and able to provide the best service to both the Chargers organization and C.J. Segerstrom & Sons.”
Diane Pritchett, executive director of the South Coast Metro Alliance, noted that the team’s plans are up in the air but that “it would be wonderful if it truly happened. It would draw further attention to South Coast Metro.”
If the Chargers do come to the area, it could bring back memories of the Rams’ presence in Costa Mesa in the early 1980s.
The team played in Anaheim after moving from Los Angeles, and players would stay at the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel before home games — a big deal at the time, Pritchett said.
“It was excellent for tourism,” she added.