Safeguard Approved, Trigger Extended

The Chargers wanted a provision that would force the city to begin immediate lease renegotiations if a court struck down the trigger extension reached between themselves and the City Council. The City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday to approve that safeguard for the San Diego Chargers in the team's attempt to renegotiate their 1995 stadium lease.

Attorney Michael Aguirre has threatened to sue the city over the delay, saying the council's Jan. 13 vote violated the state constitution and likely will Thursday, a day after the original 60 day deadline was set to expire. Bruce Henderson, a former council member, has also vehemently opposed such a delay.

The Council had wanted to wait and see if the Citizens' Task Force would recommend including the "Savings Agreement". The Citizens' Task Force recommended approving the Saving Agreement, but it expressed the view that the city has every right to challenge whether the team has actually met the trigger specifications.

"Approval of the Saving Agreement is in the best interests of the city and the task force," Deputy City Manager Bruce Herring and Assistant City Attorney Les Girard stated in a City Manager's Report.

The trigger window has now moved from Dec. 1 to March 1. The triggering clause allows the Chargers to reopen negotiations on their Qualcomm Stadium lease once every four years until 2020 if they meet a financial formula balancing player salaries against league-wide revenues.

A 60-day window opens each Dec. 1st, during which the team can notify the city that it intends to renegotiate (the same notice that has just been extended). The notice would activate a 90-day negotiation period with the city of San Diego.

If no agreement was reached, an 18-month window would open during which the team could continue shopping itself, with the city retaining a 90-day window to match any offers.

"We're pleased at the result and look forward to spending the next month working with the task force to further develop the proposal we presented the week before last," said Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani.

The proposal included the Chargers paying $200 million of the $400 million dollar project, with the city of San Diego picking up the rest. The proposal also included ways for the City to make that money and a design for what the grounds of the Q can be used for.

Fabiani said the team expects to trigger during the 60-day period beginning March 1.

"The trigger is simply a mechanism to begin negotiations with the city," Fabiani said. "We don't have to decide on that for a while and I think that's good for everybody."

SD Super Chargers Top Stories