In a move that signals a new approach to “We’re All In” – a marketing slogan that was abruptly deep-sixed last year – the Chargers have announced the appointment of a prominent development executive as special adviser to team chairman Dean Spanos.
In assigning that role to Fred Maas, former chairman and CEO of the Centre City Development Corp., the Chargers embraced the so-called “Citizen’s Plan” initiative and said Maas would head up a multitude of efforts toward the goal of building a new stadium in San Diego.
Mark Fabiani, longtime special counsel to Spanos, told NBC 7 in an email conversation that the team would commit major financing to a stadium initiative campaign: “It will be quite expensive to write the initiative, qualify it and then campaign for it,” Fabiani said. “$10 million or more, all in.”
The statement released on behalf of the Chargers speaks of creating “the infrastructure necessary to give the Citizens Initiative process the best possible chance of success”, and says Maas will be working with “an established team of legal, financial and land use advisers.”
The Citizens Initiative already has nearly $1 million in backing led by JMI Inc. -- a leading developer in downtown’s East Village, where the Chargers have expressed interest in a stadium and hybrid convention center “campus”
The proposed measure, drafted by activist attorney Cory Briggs would hike and reconfigure the city’s hotel room tax structure and, according to its backers, could pave the way for the Chargers’ East Village vision to become a reality.
Former city councilman-turned-radio talk show host Carl DeMaio, who sparred with Maas over redevelopment policy and issues, leveled a broadside against the former CCDC chief’s new role: “Nobody knows more about taxpayer giveaways than Fred Maas -- he will fit right in with the Chargers as they demand hundreds of millions more from San Diego taxpayers.”
Read the full statement here.