Today the Chargers and the Office of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders issued the following joint statement:
“The City of San Diego and the Chargers continue to work closely together to explore publicly acceptable ways to build a new Super Bowl-quality stadium on the bus maintenance yard site in the East Village of downtown San Diego. To give this ongoing process every chance to succeed, the Chargers have announced that the team will not trigger the lease’s termination clause in 2012. Both the Mayor’s Office and the Chargers look forward to continuing their joint efforts to build a multi-use stadium that will benefit the entire region.”
Chargers.com asked Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani, the team’s point man on stadium issues, some questions about the joint statement.
Q: What is the importance of today’s joint statement from the Chargers and the Mayor’s Office?
A: For our fans, the most important part of the statement is that the Chargers will not be triggering the termination clause in the team’s lease with the city during 2012. (The trigger period opens on February 1, 2012 and ends on May 1, 2012.)
Q: Now that the team has announced that it will not trigger in 2012, what happens next?
A: The Chargers are going to continue what we have been doing now for quite some time now: Work cooperatively with the Mayor throughout the remainder of his term on stadium solutions that are mutually acceptable to the team and to the Mayor.
Q: What might those solutions look like?
A: The one thing we are all decided upon is the site: The bus maintenance yard, and surrounding properties, in the East Village of downtown San Diego. We have a strong consensus that this site offers us the best possible chance to find a solution.
As to what that solution might look like, the Mayor has retained an outside consultant to come up with a regional financing plan for a stand-alone NFL stadium. We will continue to work with the Mayor’s Office to provide information that we hope will help produce a workable plan.
Q: What about the Chargers’ recent proposal for a joint stadium-convention center project that would replace the City’s currently planned convention center expansion project?
A: We understand that the Mayor and other city leaders have decided to push forward with the existing Convention Center plan. Effectively, this means that our joint stadium-convention center proposal will be deferred for the time being, as decisions are made about how the existing convention center expansion proposal will move forward. If, for reasons completely unrelated to the Chargers, the existing convention center expansion plan fails, we hope that at that time City leaders will give our joint stadium-convention center expansion proposal a good, hard second look.
Q: Should fans be looking for a ballot measure to vote on in November 2012?
A: It’s too soon to say. We need to continue our work with the Mayor’s Office and see how much we can get done over the next 60-to-90 days. And if for some reason we miss the November ballot deadline, we need to be ready to consider alternatives, such as a special election in the Spring of 2013 – right after the Chargers win the Super Bowl!