Chargers lease approved by the City

A landslide decided the San Diego Chargers new lease with the city of San Diego on Monday. In a 7-1 vote, the City Council approved the reworked deal that will keep the Chargers in town at least through 2008 but threatens to blackout games if they do not sell out.

Not surprisingly, Councilwoman Donna Frye was the lone holdout in opposition to the lease.

Under the new terms of the deal, the teams ticket guarantee with the city has been ended -- but at a price. Local fans will no longer be able to see broadcasts of the games unless they are sold out by Thursday before the game.

"I'm willing to say the ticket guarantee was a huge mistake," said Mayor Dick Murphy. "We also get rid of that 'trigger clause' that we've been fighting over for months now."

The trigger clause allowed the Chargers to renegotiate their deal with San Diego or look for another city if certain conditions were met.

The Chargers can leave the city after the 2008 season if a new stadium deal with the city has not been agreed upon by voters. Much as the fans may pay a heavy price, so would the Chargers. Should they leave before 2020 there would be a penalty placed on the team, beginning with a $57.7 million bill if the Chargers pull out of San Diego in 2008 or 2009.

"This gives us five years of peace between the Chargers and the city, and maybe the people will be ready to talk about it in the next couple of years," said Murphy.

The Chargers hope by putting a winning product on the field they can convince everyone that a new stadium is needed in San Diego, not only for themselves but for future Super Bowls.

SD Super Chargers Top Stories