LA Chargers News

Chargers Send Stern Message To San Diego Task Force

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The San Diego Chargers met with members of the Stadium Task Force on Monday to discuss the struggles that they’ve been facing in getting a new stadium built in San Diego County over the last 14 years.  Special Counsel to Chargers Owner Dean Spanos, Mark Fabiani sent a message to the task force asking them for a realistic proposal, as opposed to developing a plan that would presumably fail in a vote among taxpayers in San Diego.

His full statement to the task force is below:

We appreciate the enormous difficulty of the challenge before you.

We are now in the midst of our 14th year of work on this issue – an effort that has cost the Spanos family more than $15 million, has explored sites all over San Diego County, and has resulted in nine different proposals – all unsuccessful so far.

So the Chargers understand firsthand how difficult your job will be over the coming months. And at the outset of your work, we would like to thank you all for volunteering your time to trying to find a solution to this long-running San Diego stadium dilemma.

Based on this 14 years worth of experience, we would like to suggest four principles we hope will help guide your work:

First, you should resist the political pressure you will feel to make a proposal simply for the sake of making a proposal.

The second guiding principle is this: The Chargers have no intention of quietly participating in any effort to provide political cover for elected officials.

The third principle: Any proposal that emerges from the work of your Task Force should be subjected to serious, real world stress tests. In particular, any Task Force proposal should pass each of the following three real world tests:

First, is the proposal one that has a strong chance of being approved by two-thirds of the voters?

The second real world stress test should be this: Are the Mayor and a strong majority of the City Council prepared to support the recommendations of your Task Force?

The third real world stress test for any proposal should be this: Does the proposal recognize the economic realities of our local marketplace and of the NFL

The fourth and final guiding principle is this: It should not be enough to suggest a plan that might succeed under perfectly controlled laboratory conditions – but that is unlikely to succeed in the real world of San Diego politics.

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These, then, are the four basic principles, and three real world tests, that we believe should be applied by the Task Force.

In addition, we would like to take a moment to describe the situation now facing the Chargers franchise.

The Los Angeles and Orange County market has been without an NFL team for 20 years.

Over those two decades the Chargers have worked diligently to win fans and business partners in the LA/Orange County market.

And the Chargers have succeeded. Now, fully 25 percent of the Chargers’ season ticket base comes from the LA/Orange County market (along with the Inland Empire).

If another team – or two other teams – enters the LA/Orange County markets, most of that Chargers’ business there will disappear.

“Simply put, it would not be fair to the Chargers – a team that has worked for 14 years to find a stadium solution in San Diego County – to allow other teams that themselves abandoned the LA market to now return and gut the Chargers’ local revenue stream.”-Mark Fabiani

This will put the Chargers at a significant competitive economic disadvantage.

Simply put, it would not be fair to the Chargers – a team that has worked for 14 years to find a stadium solution in San Diego County – to allow other teams that themselves abandoned the LA market to now return and gut the Chargers’ local revenue stream.

The Chargers are continuing to work hard to find a solution in San Diego.

But we also want to be clear with this Task Force right at the outset: We are keeping a close eye on developments in LA. We do not have a choice but to also monitor and evaluate our options there. Simply put, it would be irresponsible for the Chargers not to be taking every possible step to protect the future of the franchise.

It definitely sounds like the team does not want to play around anymore in getting this stadium issue resolved.

The task force is expected to come up with a site, along with a financing plan by the Fall of this year, when it will be recommended to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

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