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Stadium proposal won't make November ballot

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/01/10/sports/professional/1806210107.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>

    By Jay Paris

    SAN DIEGO ---- The Chargers are calling an audible on their stadium proposal.

    The NFL team announced Monday evening it can't meet the Feb. 8 deadline to get an initiative on San Diego's November ballot.

    "Because of the city's difficult (financial) circumstances, we will not be able to place a measure on the 2006 ballot, and we will now reassess whether it makes sense to continue to pursue the Qualcomm development concept in light of the city's situation,'' said Mark Fabiani, the team's lead counsel.

    The Chargers are searching for a developmental partner to undertake the roughly $800 million project on the Qualcomm Stadium site. The 166-acre plot would include a new stadium, some 6,000 condominiums, a hotel, retail stores and a park.

    In exchange for building the $450 million stadium, the Chargers are asking the city to give them 60 acres of the land. With that allocation, the Chargers would create an urban village to pay for their undisclosed contribution to the project.

    The team's goal was to present the City Council with a proposal by Feb. 8, then gather the required number of registered voters' signatures to qualify for the November ballot. With that not happening, the Chargers will reconsider the viability of the Qualcomm site. Under the terms of lease, the Chargers can only consider locations within the city of San Diego.

    That changes Jan. 1, when Fabiani said the team would consider other San Diego County sites. But the team also could negotiate with cities outside the county interested in luring an NFL franchise.

    The NFL has stated it wants a team in Los Angeles region. The nation's No. 2 media market has been without one since the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Raiders exited after the 1994 season. A remodeled Los Angeles Coliseum and a football venue being constructed next to Anaheim Stadium have been discussed.

    The Chargers can't exit San Diego until after the 2008 season. If they take that avenue, the team must repay the $60 million in outstanding bonds, issued to expand Qualcomm Stadium in 1997.

    The Chargers emphasize they want to stay local.

    "The bottom line is this: The team remains committed to building a new, Super Bowl caliber stadium for the greater San Diego region, and we are determined to do everything possible to keep the Chargers in the San Diego area,'' Fabiani said.

    That includes the North County, although Fabiani wouldn't mention any specific cities or sites.

    "I just can't address that question,'' Fabiani said. "What I will say is the minute we have the opportunity, under our lease, to legally talk to cities outside of San Diego, but inside the county of San Diego, we will. Right now we're not allowed to do that, so I can't really give you much more information.''

    Fabiani didn't hide his disregard for City Attorney Michael Aguirre, who has traded barbs with the team over the stadium proposal. Aguirre called team owner Alex Spanos "a welfare queen'' and the team has said Aguirre is the Terrell Owens of San Diego, in reference to the trouble NFL receiver.

    "He may say he wants to meet with us, but if you look at his public statements, look at the name-calling he has engaged in regarding the ownership of the Chargers, there is no indication that Mr. Aguirre is prepared to work with the Chargers,'' Fabiani said.

    Aguirre counters that Monday's real news is the Chargers can't find a developmental partner.

    "If they had a good deal, developers would be falling all over themselves for it,'' Aguirre said. "They might as well blame me for their loss to Kansas City. It's not the city's fault they don't have a developmental partner.

    "We're not blaming them for the pension problems, so I can't see how they can blame us for this," Aguirre added. "At a time in which we are having our worst financial crisis, for them to put on this kind of pressure, what do they want?''

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