A Fair Proposal

In a interesting development on the Chargers Stadium issue, the San Diego Chargers made a proposal to the city to finally get rid of the Ticket Guarantee (for at least a year) and to finally put aside the hold up at the negotiation table on whether the Chargers had a right to trigger their "Trigger Clause". After comments made by city councilmember's last week, the Chargers are taking the fist step to finally get rid of the two controversial issues and move forward with the negotiations.

The Proposal is:

The Chargers want to do away with the 2003 Ticket Guarantee now, not later, but now.

They wish to pay rent of 2 million dollars which is 2 and ½ times the amount of rent that was paid on the stadium last year.

They want to go into Binding Arbitration with an agreed upon retired judge that would legally prove or disprove the Chargers rights to pull the trigger. Two issues would be submitted:

1) Whether the Chargers had the right to pull the trigger
2) What fee the Chargers would have to pay to terminate the contract under the current lease agreement

These issues would be decided by a qualified Arbitration judge and the losing side would have one chance to appeal, if the should fail to win the appeal then the final ruling would be binding by the Arbitration agreement.

The Chargers pulled out the stops. City said they want proof. The City said lets go to Court. Chargers said fine lets do it. No more games, lets get all the controversy out of the way so we can get down to business.

Next step is whether the City agrees to this Arbitration. Politically they would be dumb not to. Chargers are giving them the opportunity to prove they had no legal right to trigger, they get rid of the Ticket Guarantee that the City wants to rid themselves of and they still receive 2 million dollars in agreed upon Rent. (The full details of the Proposal can be seen at www.chargers.com, the official site of the Chargers).

Politically if their constituents want them to sue the Chargers well here is their chance. The Chargers are giving them the Chance to save face, to make the Deal non-laughable so to speak. Whether the city decides to keep their eye on the ball and run with it, or drop the ball and Fumble away the cities NFL Franchise remains to be seen. My money is on smart politics, and they go for the deal. Remember the old adage, "be careful of what you ask for, for you just might get it."

Well the City asked for it and the Chargers are giving it to them. Whether it backfires on the Chargers remains to be seen and only a judge will decide "if" it gets to arbitration.

Of course we could always just recall the council just like we did to the Governor.

Tom Criswell can be reached at tcrisswell@cox.net

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