Chargers won’t exercise stadium escape clause for 2011

The good news for folks in San Diego?  The Chargers will be back in 2011.  The bad news?  The threat of a move remains very, very real.

According to the Associated Press, the Chargers informed San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders on Wednesday that the team won’t exercise an escape clause that would allow the franchise to leave Qualcomm Stadium as of 2011.

“We decided to make it now, especially given all the rumors that have circulated over the last week or so about Los Angeles,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said.  “It seemed to be the right time to do it.”

But it’s meaningless as to whether the team is committed to remaining in San Diego beyond 2011.  If the Chargers truly hope to kill rumors regarding a potential move, they should declare that no portion of the team will be sold to Anschutz Entertainment Group.  Better yet, they should state unequivocally that the team isn’t moving.

They won’t, and they aren’t bashful about saying they won’t.

“We don’t have a crystal ball, so we cannot predict what will happen beyond the next year, year and a half,” Fabiani said.  “We understand that people would love us to make a forever commitment, but we also hope people understand that in their own lives or their own business, no one would reasonably ask someone to make a commitment so far down the road.   That’s not how the world works.  We also hope people understand we are doing everything we reasonably can do.  To say otherwise would not be responsible.  It would not be honest.”

In other words, the Chargers are firmly in play to move to Los Angeles.

23 responses to “Chargers won’t exercise stadium escape clause for 2011

  1. YES!!!!….i mean, come on this makes the most sense. chargers are having trouble selling games out anyway, how is that situation going to improve with another team moving to within a couple hours of them? that same reasoning is the best reason for them to be the one to move. they are already in close proximity, they somewhat have an established fan base in socal and really, does anyone want four teams in Cali? make this happen so my vikes aren’t the ones packing their bags in 2012.

  2. I’m by anyway a Charger fan by any shape or form but they belong to San Diego and nowhere else. L.A. doesn’t deserve any team based on their sorry support to the ones that has come and gone (and Vikings is Minnesota).

  3. Hey jeb…Just a question..where are the Vikes gonna play in 2011 if we don’t get a new stadium?? Until that is resolved I wouldn’t worry about the Chargers…I bleed purple but facts are facts. SKol

  4. They will not exercise the escape clause until they have somewhere to play in LA. Since USC controls if anyone else can play in the coliseum that is not an option until the new stadium can be built. I guess the Rose Bowl could be a temporary landing spot. They could just sit in SD until the new place is done.

    Don’t be shocked to see the Vikes go also. I could see an AFC and NFC presence in L.A. again.

  5. Listen, Viking fan … we don’t want to lose our team either. The Chargers are this city’s passion just like the Vikings are yours. Rooting for a city to lose their team just so you won’t is so lame.

    And Florio, I understand your goal is to make your posts as sensational as possible to stir the pot and create more clicks/interest, but your read on Fabiani/Spanos’ comments is off base. The Spanos reiterated today there first goal is a stadium in San Diego and there will be a ton of effort to getting a stadium on the 2012 ballot in San Diego.

    Here’s the quote you conveniently left out of your post: “The site (in downtown San Diego) is in a redevelopment area that will benefit from the recent legislative increase in the CCDC spending cap; the necessary transportation and other infrastructure is in place, dramatically reducing the cost of the project; and City leaders have a vision for a sports, entertainment and convention district that would be anchored by a new Super Bowl-quality stadium.”

    The Chargers have already conducted an extensive site analysis, according to Fabiani. In the coming months the Chargers, the NFL and the City of San Diego will be working together to determine if a viable financing plan can be created and placed on the ballot in 2012.

    Fabiani also addressed the recent rumors about a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

    “Every time a serious new stadium idea emerges from Los Angeles, the Chargers — along with several other teams — are caught up in the rumor mill. It happened two-and-a-half years ago when Ed Roski proposed his new stadium in the City of Industry, and it is happening again now. But as we know better than most, it’s extraordinarily difficult to build a new football stadium anywhere in California.”

    Here’s what the San Diego Mayor said today: “Dean Spanos notified me today that the Chargers would not in 2011 exercise the exit provision in its lease with the city,” Mayor Sanders said in the statement. “I very much appreciate the commitment that Dean, his family and the Chargers have shown throughout the team’s eight-year search for a new stadium. The Chargers understand, and we all do, the tremendous challenges facing our region during these historically difficult economic times. But, even in the face of these challenges, we will be able to work through 2011 with the Chargers on a stadium solution downtown that works for both taxpayers and the team.”

    If you read all that carefully, Florio and Viking fan, the city of San Diego is still where this owner wants to be and is trying to be.

  6. jebdamone says: ” YES!!!!….i mean, come on this makes the most sense. chargers are having trouble selling games out anyway, how is that situation going to improve with another team moving to within a couple hours of them? that same reasoning is the best reason for them to be the one to move. they are already in close proximity, they somewhat have an established fan base in socal and really, does anyone want four teams in Cali? make this happen so my vikes aren’t the ones packing their bags in 2012.”

    Soooo close to a rational argument there, Jeb.

    While I will agree that moving a different team in to the Los Angeles area wouldn’t help the Chargers’ attendance, this isn’t really about helping the Chargers. It’s about putting a team in the #2 market in the country and making it work for the long term.

    I can understand your reasoning in thinking that the Chargers must have a fan base here because they are geographically close. Clearly, you have not spent much time here. Much like L.A. and San Francisco, there is a significant cultural divide between Los Angeles and San Diego. Baltimore and D.C. are even closer in proximity, but I will wager there weren’t a lot of Redskins fans in the former after the Colts left. Are there Charger fans here? Of course . . . in about the same proportion as Packers fans, Giants fans, Browns fans, and Vikings fans.

    Four teams in California seems excessive only if you don’t understand the psychology of the state. The Raiders and the 49ers belong in the Bay Area, despite what a dwindling holdover Raiders fan base will loudly proclaim. The Chargers — That’s Sandy Eggo’s team. We don’t want ’em. If we want to see the ‘Bolts, we’ll drive down and make a weekend of it.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t personally want the Vikings either, although I can’t hide behind reason on this — I grew up a Vikings fan in the upper Midwest and feel it would just be wrong for them to move.

    I’d favor the Jaguars, although their attendance has improved recently. Ideally, I’d like the Rams back where they belong, thankyouverymuch, but that seems like it would be a longshot (although, I have read something about the new ownership not being happy with the Jones Dome . . . )

  7. The Chargers played in LA before they played in San Diego anyway. The smartest thing for the league would be to relocate San Diego to LA. That way the league stays at 32 teams and you don’t have to relocate w team that’s not already out west and mess up divisions geographicly.

    Sent from an EVO 4G

  8. The Chargers clearly are trying to find a way to make it work in San Diego. Declaring that they won’t move is not a smart move on their part. If at some point they do end up moving, IMO Spanos won’t be to blame for that. You can’t build a stadium without land. This has been going on for many many years.

    Clearly, the stadium should have been built for the Chargers and not a ballpark for the Padres. The Padres are never going to be a consistent winner year in and year out. They just traded their biggest star to the Red Sox after the Padres just barely missed the playoffs.

    Qualcomm is an old huge multi-purpose stadium. Those are enough reasons right there for them having problems selling out. Add in the cost of ticket prices and that adds even more difficulties in terms of selling out the stadium.

    As for the Vikings, even if the Chargers have no choice other than to move to LA, that does not mean the Vikings won’t join them. There have been rumors about two teams possibly moving to LA, not just one.

    @ jebdamone:

    Hoping another team moves so that the Vikings don’t move is really a douche bag move on your part. It would be better if no teams moved there. LA has had two NFL teams and lost them both. Do they really deserve a third? No.

  9. THANK GOD !!! Now the trolls will leave us Jaguar fans alone ! This is the move that makes the most sense anyway, No realignment required and the team already has a local fan base in place. Now when this team fails to draw in LA like the others before it we can finally put to rest the ” RUMOR ” That LA is a NFL town.

  10. I lived in San Diegeo for three years. There was never a Buzz about the Chargers. It was always “Tony Gwynn’s” town. You folks in San Diego want to keep your team? You gotta do what we did in Pittsburgh for the Pens..come out in droves and support the team EVERYWHERE you go. Dig up dirt on potential new owners…get your faces on the news showing support…whatever you gotta do if you really luv your team. For the hardcore Charger fans (which I don’t beleive there are any) I feel your pain.

  11. The only real question is. Will the Bolts wear their old AFL uniforms when they move back to LA?

  12. The City of Chula Vista, south of the city offered a land deal for them. There are hardcore fans there.

  13. @chargersrule says: “Listen, Viking fan … we don’t want to lose our team either. The Chargers are this city’s passion …”

    I think it’s a stretch to call the Chargers “San Diego’s passion.” They may be your passion but look at the attendance numbers.

    Having said that, and given you a gentle ribbing about going overboard with the hyperbole, I hope the Chargers remain in San Diego for years to come. I have flown in twice from northern Virginia to see the Steelers play (another passionless hint: easy for a visitor to buy tickets) and have never had a more pleasant city and stadium experience. Good luck to all Chargers fans. Hope you stay in San Diego.

  14. Loved that stadium half full of Raider fans Sunday… Then after half time it was 1/4 Charger fans.

  15. I think it’s very reasonable to expect both the Chargers and the Vikings to relocate to new LA stadium.

  16. Qualcomm is garbage. I honestly hope a chunk of concrete doesn’t fall from that turd and injure one of my Chiefs this weekend.

  17. I traveled out to the Ravens/Chargers game in ’07, by far the most pathetic excuse for a stadium I’ve seen next to the Skins old RFK. What an eyesore that thing was. Fans were real a-holes too contrary to what me and buddies thought. Throwing beer, throwing food, really classy surfer bro’s. Chicks were smokeshows though, i’ll give em that.

  18. kenny1960 says: “THANK GOD !!! Now the trolls will leave us Jaguar fans alone ! This is the move that makes the most sense anyway, No realignment required and the team already has a local fan base in place. Now when this team fails to draw in LA like the others before it we can finally put to rest the ” RUMOR ” That LA is a NFL town.”

    I understand your defensiveness, Kenny; nobody wants to lose “their” team. We’re not picking on you as a Jaguar fan just for the sake of baiting you — well, most of us aren’t, anyway — we just want a team.

    As I pointed out above, moving the Chargers only “makes the most sense” to those people who don’t know this area. There really isn’t a fan base for that team here. My observation is that local feelings for the Chargers range from apathy to a vague antipathy — probably a result of the Raiders playing here for a while. Geographic proximity doesn’t automatically translate into interest — would you transfer your allegiance to the Buccaneers if the Jaguars were to leave Jacksonville, just because it’s the closest NFL franchise?

    Oh, by the way — realignment wouldn’t be necessary if the Jaguars were to relocate here. We’re actually at a lower latitude than that AFC South team with the horseshoes on their hats.

  19. Chargers sold out games for years. I’m not a Chargers fan but live in SoCal and can tell you the economy sucks here. It is worse than most areas except Detroit so some people aren’t spending all the discressionary income on Chargers tix. I can tell you there is a lot of support for the Chargers here.

    Not withstanding, I think Qualcomm is ready to be replaced and SD should find a way to support their only winning franchise and help with a stadium.

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