Bolts Season Ticketholders Eye Federal Litigation Bid | NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego Chargers launch a hurry-up offense to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium

Bolts Season Ticketholders Eye Federal Litigation Bid

If a new Chargers stadium isn't built in San Diego County, there’s a chance project could wind up in court.

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    Bolts Season Ticketholders Eye Federal Litigation Bid
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    Chargers v. Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium in November 2009.

    It'll take attorneys as well as contractors to get a new stadium built for the Chargers.

    But if that stadium isn't built in San Diego County, there’s a chance project could wind up in court.

    Do Chargers season ticketholders have rights that give them legal standing along with the team, NFL, city and county taxpayers?

    They’re investors in a commercial product subject to federal anti-trust provisions.

    And some – including Dan Jauregi, AKA “Bolt Man” – are consulting with former city attorney Mike Aguirre as to whether they could file litigation if the Chargers were to abandon this market.

    As Aguirre explained to the City Council during a May 1, 2006 hearing while endorsing a Qualcomm Stadium amendment: "I think it's important that the Chargers emphasize to their agents, officers and employees that they need to understand that this means they can negotiate (market) their team within the county of San Diego -- but not beyond there."

    But that’s drawing dissent from current city attorney Jan Goldsmith, who defeated Aguirre for re-election several years ago, after the two have long since made up their personal differences.

    In a series of tweets directed at NBC 7'S Derek Togerson over the weekend, Goldsmith claimed a legal waiver approved by Aguirre bars the city from enforcing its Qualcomm lease if the Chargers leave the county -- which they seem poised to do with preparations for a stadium in Carson, across the county line.

    But Aguirre says that doesn't keep season ticket-holders from filing their own lawsuit in federal court alleging antitrust violations, and that maybe even the city could.

    "(Ticketholders) themselves are not prohibited by anything,” Aguirre told NBC 7 in an interview Monday. “ So there's nothing the city could do to waive any of their rights."

    Now in private practice representing utility ratepayers, Aguirre added this perspective: "Every contract has to be interpreted in the context of what the words meant at the time … it was nothing that said 'Gee, in 2015 you can play us off against Carson and thereby evade the antitrust laws."

    As for the apparent disconnect become his legal reasoning as Goldsmith’s?

    "Perhaps he -- we -- could have a chat, and he could become a little more familiar with the record,” Aguirre said, “and we could get on the same wavelength."

    The issue is now getting buzz in print, online and social media.

    The Chargers, not in so many words to NBC 7, indicate they’re not taking all this seriously.

    This response from the team’s special counsel Mark Fabiani, in a Saturday evening email to Togerson: “You’re joking, right?”