City of San Diego, Chargers: Back to the Table

In the vacuum of deep-drill information regarding the Chargers proposed stadium deal with the Rams in Inglewood, NBC 7 can offer this perspective, based on intel from sources close to inside “information pools."

The deal is, for now, an “agreement in principle” – not a done deal, but something that could be refined and must be finalized by further signatures of Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos.

Early indications are that the Chargers would be $1 a year tenants and share in stadium revenues, but not equity owners in Kroenke’s building, nor partners in the “ancillary development” – hotels, residential, retail outlets and “L.A.” Live-style additions.

On Friday afternoon, the team’s special counsel Mark Fabiani issued a statement quoting Spanos, in part, as follows:

“Today I decided our team will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season and I hope for the long term in a new stadium. I have met with Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Roberts and I look forward to working closely with them and the business community to resolve our stadium dilemma. We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego.”

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In recent weeks, the team has filed a “Los Angeles Chargers” trademark application, removed “San Diego” from certain existing logos, and tied up property in Santa Ana for a practice facility.

Political observers say this latest development gives Spanos leverage to re-open talks with San Diego City and County officials, who have presented a $1.1 billion stadium re-build proposal involving the current Qualcomm Stadium site.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave his account of the developments on the Fred Roggin Show, an LA sports radio show. 

Faulconer told Roggin that he and County Supervisor Ron Roberts met with Spanos at his La Jolla home Friday, where Spanos announced his decision to stay in San Diego.

Spanos made it clear that he wants to get a stadium plan done in San Diego, Faulconer said.

"But make no mistake, there's a lot of work that we have to do here in the coming months, but it's one that I'm looking forward to and I think Chargers fans are as well," said the mayor.

Now comes a mad rush to get a stadium plan on the November ballot. The city hopes to meet with the Chargers in the coming days to iron out directions, details and, most importantly, location.

The Chargers have long envisioned a stadium and hybrid convention facility in downtown’s East Village.

"While we've said that, you know, all locations are on the table, and I mean that, it's also very clear that our fastest, most definitive opportunity remains Mission Valley," said Faulconer.

Either way, a serious stadium deal here would have to be ratified by San Diego voters by way of a ballot measure in November.

At the very least, Spanos’ decision gives die-hard Bolts backers reason to hope for a local solution.

But the franchise figures to have to mount a charm offensive to rebuild good faith with taxpayers, and avoid the prospect of a lame-duck season that would kill gate receipts and deter network coverage of games here.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released the following statement,

"We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution. NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league’s full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal."

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