SBD/Issue 62/Facilities & Venues

Chargers Inform San Diego They Will Not Terminate Lease For '11

While Chargers Will Stay At Qualcomm Stadium
For '11, Team Would Not Commit For '12

The Chargers informed the city of San Diego yesterday that they are "not triggering the termination clause" in their Qualcomm Stadium lease for '11, according to Nick Canepa of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The Chargers have the "option to do that every year from Feb. 1 through May 1 until their contract expires" in '20. The team, however, "stopped short of any guarantees past 2011 -- no one thought it would be going anywhere before 2012 anyway -- as it continues its attempt to get a new downtown stadium built." Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani and President & CEO Dean Spanos "refuse to commit" to staying in San Diego beyond next season. Spanos said, "No good businessman is going to lock himself up unless there’s certainty. ... You’re never going to say never. It’s unfair to ask any businessman to make a long-term commitment. It’s not good business practice." He added, "It's not a question of our commitment, but can the city get something done." Canepa notes rumors that the team "could be headed" to L.A. have "heated up since the Spanos family hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for 36 percent of the franchise, saying it needed the sale to help pay for estate taxes when owner Alex Spanos and wife Faye die." It is believed that "one of the suitors" is AEG, which is planning to build an NFL stadium in downtown L.A. But Fabiani said, "Every time somebody comes up with a new stadium idea in L.A., people think we’re moving. We can talk until we’re blue in the face. This is exactly the same as 2008" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/9).

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? Fabiani yesterday said, "With the holidays coming up we had a choice of making the announcement now or waiting until after the first of the year. In light of the rumors swirling about Los Angeles over the last week or so, we decided we should make the announcement now" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 12/9). The AP noted the Chargers could seek "hundreds of millions of dollars" in public funding for a new stadium, and at the moment are "determining whether or not a measure can be placed on the ballot in 2012." Fabiani said, "Obviously if we get something on the ballot in 2012, we'll be playing here in 2012. If at the end of 2011 there's no support for a financing plan from city leaders, obviously at that point we'd have to look at other options" (AP, 12/8).

A NEW STADIUM OF THEIR OWN: Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask said, "There will be a new stadium for the Raiders, it’s on the horizon and it’s very exciting." The Raiders are "committed to playing" at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum through the '13 NFL season, and Trask noted that the "team's priority is to stay in Oakland." But she said the Raiders "have an open mind about sharing a stadium" with the 49ers (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/9).

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