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The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. They have been members of the West division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL) since 1970. The club began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League, and spent its first season in Los Angeles, California before moving to San Diego in 1961. The Chargers play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers continue to be the only NFL team based in Southern California, with no teams in Los Angeles since 1994.
The San Diego Chargers were established with seven other American Football League teams in 1959. In 1960, the Chargers began AFL play in Los Angeles. The Chargers' original owner was hotel heir Barron Hilton, son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton.
According to the official site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Barron Hilton agreed after his general manager, Frank Leahy, picked the Chargers name when he purchased an AFL franchise for Los Angeles: “I liked it because they were yelling ‘charge’ and sounding the bugle at Dodgers Stadium and at USC games.” The Chargers played in Los Angeles in 1960 and moved to San Diego in 1961. From 1961 to 1966 their home field was Balboa Stadium in Balboa Park. As of August 1967, they moved to the newly constructed Qualcomm Stadium (then named San Diego Stadium), where they still play their home games. The Chargers only spent one season in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego in 1961. The early AFL years of the San Diego Chargers were highlighted by the outstanding play of wide receiver Lance Alworth with 543 receptions for 10,266 yards in his 11-AFL/NFL-season career. In addition he set the pro football record of consecutive games with a reception (96) during his career.