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Posted: 11/27/2003 2:06:11 AM EDT
I despise this horseshit. My tax dollars shouldn’t be involved supporting what amounts to a private organization comprised of money grubbing businessmen.

Take your shitty team and get the hell out. San Diego will do just fine without your whining, bitching, moaning and financial blood sucking antics.

signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20031126-1228-chargers.html

Chargers file suit against city of San Diego over stadium lease

By Caitlin Rother
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

12:28 p.m. November 26, 2003

Although the city spent $78 million in 1997 to expand Qualcomm Stadium and build the team a new headquarters, the Chargers said they need a new stadium to remain economically competitive with other NFL teams.



The Chargers filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego late Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking to resolve the question of whether the team has met the criteria to get out of its lease at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Chargers have tried to persuade the city to put this question to arbitration, but city officials have refused.

Mayor Dick Murphy has said he opposes arbitration because it would mean forfeiting a jury trial and a right to appeal the decision.

Murphy said he was "outraged" by the news of the lawsuit, which he said proved the Chargers were negotiating in "bad faith."

"I am appalled by the Chargers filing this lawsuit," Murphy said. "The Chargers have once again shown a complete disregard for the people of San Diego.

"During a time when the city is facing some of its most difficult challenges in recent history, from budget issues to recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in California history, the Chargers decided it was in their best interest to file a lawsuit against the city and the people of San Diego."

City Attorney Casey Gwinn said Wednesday morning he is "very disappointed they've chosen to go this route," while the city and team are in negotiations over the Qualcomm lease. Gwinn said the Chargers' representatives never mentioned plans to sue during their most recent negotiations with the city last Thursday.

"The Chargers' actions are an outrageous act of bad faith," he said.

"Let's be clear about what the Chargers want – to move to Los Angeles and make more money. Don't insult the intelligence of the fans and the taxpayers by telling us you want to stay, and then sue the taxpayers for the right to leave."

The Chargers believe they have crossed a financial-hardship threshhold outlined in the lease, but city officials say the team has not given them access to enough financial information to prove that claim.

Known as "the trigger," the threshhold clause can only be activated when theChargers' player salaries and benefits surpass a financial mark measuredagainst revenues across the National Football League.

In March, the team notified the city that it had reached that mark, which triggered a renegotiation period on the lease that both sides have agreed twice to extend.

The Chargers contend they need a new stadium to remain competitive in the NFL and have offered to build a $400 million stadium at the 166-acre Qualcomm site in Mission Valley. In exchange, they want the city to give them 60 acres to build 6,000 housing units, restaurants, a hotel, offices and shops.

Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani said the team filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles because it is neutral ground and more convenient since the team's corporate counsel works there.

"The Chargers filed this action because we had no other choice," he said in a written statement. "The public deserves to know whether or not the Chargers have validly triggered. The trigger issue must be resolved before voters can be asked to support a new stadium. Unfortunately, the city has refused a joint business/labor proposal to arbitrate the trigger issue, and so the Chargers were left with no choice but to bring today's action."

Dan Shea, co-founder of The Fans, Taxpayers and Business Alliance, said his group supported arbitration because it estimated litigating the matter in court had the potential to cost the taxpayers $75 million to $100 million. Wednesday morning, he said, the good news is that the lawsuit doesn't seek damages.

"It's unfortunate that it got to this point, but frankly I don't know what else you do, because to my undestanding they've exhausted every avenue to try to get the city to sit down and discuss the renegotiation clause with them," he said.

Murphy said, "If the Chargers want a fight, we'll give them a fight," adding that, thanks to the timing of the suit, instead of enjoying a long weekend, "We'll be working over the Thanksgiving holiday to discuss our legal strategy. We will also be meeting with the City Council next Monday to discuss our long-term strategy."
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 2:48:17 AM EDT
I was living in San Diego in 1997 and the stadium deal was very controversial then. Not only did the city pay for the expansion, but they guaranteed a certain number of ticket sales each week. Opening week the Chargers set an attendance record, but failed to reach the guaranteed minimum sales (the guarantee applied to gen admission seats only). The city was paying the Chargers tens of thousands of dollars every week. The kicker - the city didn't even get the tickets they payed for. The contract wasn't written that way - the city just guaranteed a number. Eventually following tremendous public outcry, the Chargers agreed to allow the city to purchase the tickets outright and they were given to active military as well as grade and high school students (don't recall the eligibility formula for them). Moral: Gov't doesn't belong in business. They and therefore the taxpayer will get screwed. Now after all that, the team wants to run. That's messed up.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 3:04:36 AM EDT
The same nonsense is going on in Indianapolis(not as far yet) regarding a new stadium for the Colts.[:(!] Until [b]ALL[/b] cities being blackmailed by pro sports stand as one then this shit will [b]never[/b] end. I don't attend any pro sports events and thus I don't support their less-than-honorable(if not illegal!) activities in any way. [devil]
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 3:35:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 5:53:33 AM EDT
We have the New Orleans Saints. Same thing they want a new stadium.I say if the state wants to do anything just remodel the Superdome.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 9:02:39 AM EDT
Hahahahahaha Look at Seattle we have TWO new stadiums here and they blew up the Kingdom that wasn't even paid for yet. We're paying for those stadiums that are leased to the teams for practically nothing. I would have let the Mariners and Seahawks leave, hell buy them the bus tickets!
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 9:13:47 AM EDT
Voters approved a new stadium in Cinci, Bungals gauranteed x number of ticket sales. They didn't make. Last I heard city wanted to sue the Bungels. IMO should have let them leave. Screw 'um.
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