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Mark Fabiani Discusses Latest On Chargers’ Push For New Stadium

Audio

Aired 11/22/10

Are the Chargers preparing to bolt from San Diego? Or, is the team committed to staying in the city even if a proposal to build a new stadium falls through? We speak to Chargers Special Council Mark Fabiani about the news that minority owner Alex Spanos is looking to sell his share of the team, and we discuss how a recent deal to lift the CCDC redevelopment cap could impact efforts to build a new stadium downtown.

Are the Chargers preparing to bolt from San Diego? Or, is the team committed to staying in the city even if a proposal to build a new stadium falls through? We speak to Chargers Special Council Mark Fabiani about the news that minority owner Alex Spanos is looking to sell his share of the team, and we discuss how a recent deal to lift the CCDC redevelopment cap could impact efforts to build a new stadium downtown.

Guest

Mark Fabiani, special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers

Read Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, You're listening to These Days on KPBS. Just last month, San Diego was buzzing about what critics called the secret deal approved in Sacramento to raise the cap on center city redevelopment funds. The move was seen as bringing San Diego one step closer to allowing public funds to go into construction of a new Chargers stadium downtown. But the latest news circulating about the chairman is not about stadiums in San Diego. A move to sell a share of the team and movement on stadium building in Los Angeles have many fans questioning if the Chargers intend to stay here at all. Joining me now to address some of these questions is my guest, Mark Fabiani, special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers. And Mark, Good morning. Welcome to These Days.

MARK FABIANI: Good morning, thanks for having me again.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We invite our listeners to join the conversation. Do you think the Chargers have shown enough good faith about staying in San Diego? What would our city lose if the Chargers left? Give us a call with your questions or comment, our number is 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. So Mark be the big news has been that minority order of the Chargers, Alex Spanos, has been looking to share his sell of the team item is he looking to sell.

MARK FABIANI: Well, it's news because it was written about recently, but in fact the effort to sell has been going on since this summer for a simple reason, the Spanos family needs to plan for that day where at the time of that estate taxes come due on the team. And you can't do that at the last minute. You need to raise money gradually over time, and to do that, you sell shares of the team. It's not an unusual situation. Those of yours who listen to your situation and have family businesses, you see it all the time in family owned sports teams, if you want to keep the team after the patriarch of the family passes on, you need to be able to pay a hefty estate tax bill, and that's why you sell part of the team over time. And again, we've been trying to do so over the last six months or so of this year, since the summer, it's not so easy to sell anything in this economy, let alone a very expensive stake in a football team. But that's the reason for it.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And the news reports also kept mentioning a minority share. How much a percentage of the team are we talking about?

MARK FABIANI: Well, Alex span os, and his wife say -- own 36 percent of the team. So that would be some or all of that share would be sold in order to raise money for estate tax purposes. Now, again, we don't have a deal with a potential buyer. We don't even have a deal that's imminent to be made. So it's hard to say actually how much of that would be sold. But that's part of the ownership that we're talking about.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And part of the reason that this became such a big story is it came out that representatives from Goldman sacks are trying to facilitate this sale, have met with several wealthy Los Angeles residents to beginning their interests in buying Mr. Spanos' share of the team. What can you tell us about that, that LA connection?

MARK FABIANI: Well, we've met with people from all over the country. Some of them have been from New York, some from Texas, so there have been lots and lots of meetings over the last six months. Again, I think the reporter that focused on this issue, his source was one of those potential Los Angeles buyers who spoke to a reporter of so that's why Los Angeles was the focal point of that reporter's story. But in fact, Goldman sacks has cast a very wide net all over the country, and I know I personally have been in meetings involving representatives of potential owners in New York and Chicago and other cities around the country. Los Angeles is one of them, certainly.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm speaking with Mark Fabiani, he's special council to the president of the San Diego Chargers. And we're talking about the Chargers intentions to stay in San Diego. 1-888-895-5727 is the number to call. You know, what people have done is they've put together the reports about people talking with potential buyers in Los Angeles, with moves towards a stadium up in LA. Billionaire Ed Roski wants to build a new city in the city of industry, the AEG group is looking at proposals to build a new stadium next to the staples center in downtown LA. Have you -- has any of the members of Chargers organizations had discussions with either of these groups about moving the Chargers to LA.

MARK FABIANI: Oh, yes, we've been very public about all of that, starting about two and a half years ago when Mr. Roski stated his stadium idea. We very clearly said that the Roski and the Spanos families were old friends, that we had talked to Roski about his plans and that they we have told him they sounded very interesting, we wished him good luck, but we were focussing on our efforts here in San Diego. Likewise, we've been very public, we have hired AEG at the beginning of 2010, again, a long time ago, to sell some of our suites and luxury products and other boxes up in the Los Angeles area. So of course we know what these people are doing up in LA, and we keep tabs on it, but at this point, as I mentioned two and a half years ago to Ed Roski, we're still focused here in San Diego trying to get something done now at the down town site.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I see. Well, tell us again, if you would, mark, why the Chargers want a new stadium in San Diego or anywhere for that matter. What elements does that facility need to include.

MARK FABIANI: Had, there are two parts to the story, one is what the Chargers need, and the other is what taxpayer it is want and need. The Chargers need to remain continually competitive with the top teams and league, if we hope to compete on the field. And our stadium simple leave doesn't allow us to do that. Of it's one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL, it's a stadium that is not built for football, it's a multiuse stadium. So there's a limit to what people will pay for in a stadium such as ours. For taxpayers, the Qualcom site is a huge deficit, the site costs taxpayer, again, depending on what numbers you look at, between 15 and $17 million a year, just to maintain that site. There's deferred maintenance on the stadium. So simply staying on that stadium and playing there as the Chargers have the right to do through 2020, that would be a bad deal for taxpayers. So you need to look at it from the Chargers perspective, we need to stay competitive, and you need to look at it from the taxpayers' perspective, is there a better use for that 166 acres of land that doesn't end up costing tax payers between now and 2020 hundreds of millions of dollars a year?

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I think that a lot of San Diegans have this question mark, and that is, what is the Chargers' first priority in its search for a new stadium? Is it staying in San Diego.

MARK FABIANI: Well, to answer the question that you asked earlier about good faith, I think you have to look not at what we say but what we've done, we have been at this stadium effort, believe it or not now, for eight years, going on nine years in 2011, we have spent well more than $12 million, we have looked at sites all over San Diego County, starting of course with the Qualcom site, then branching out to Chula Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, national city and now back in downtown San Diego. So we have done everything any human being could do to find a way to stay here in San Diego. Of so of course, that's been the top priority. We haven't gotten it done yet, and we may not get it done, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't been and won't continue to be our top priority. We just have to find a way to do it that works both for the team, and the tax pay ares.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We're gonna be taking your calls later on in the hour. I want to remind our listeners that I'm speaking to Mark Fabiani who is special counsel to the president of the Chargers, and our number is 1-888-895-5727. Mark, as I said at the beginning, the recent deal lifting the CCDC's downtown redevelopment cap was largely viewed as a step that's bringing us closer to allow public funding to allow construction of a new Chargers stadium downtown. Do you see it as a move in that direction.

MARK FABIANI: Well, it's definitely a move in that direction, but it's just one step. So I don't think people should over estimate the importance of it. That was the initial focus because the Chargers stadium is such an issue of public debate and concern in San Diego, so that's what people focused on, but in fact the cap issue is much bigger than the stadium issue. It involves the entire plan for downtown, affordable housing, homeless services, parks, open space. There's all sorts of things that the cap implicates that have nothing to do with the Chargers. And I think in subsequent weeks after the legislation was passed, you've seen that. You've seen certain people ask for some of that money to be used to pay off the old debt on the convention center. You've seen other groups come out and say, we need to use that money to build a new convention center expansion. Of you've seen others come out and talking about using the money for affordable housing, and home little services, and you saw some lawsuits filed last Friday to stop the whole thing. So it's a step in the direction, but it's not a giant step. It's an important step, but in order to get where we would need to go, you'd need a lot more steps in that sim direction. So people should keep the whole thing in perspective, I think.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, a new downtown stadium in San Diego, close to Petco Park has an estimated price tag of up to $800 million of how far of that cost might the public need to contribute to approximately this new stadium.

MARK FABIANI: Well, that's something that is under discussion with the city, the Chargers and the NFL have consistently throughout this process agreed to put in roughly 400-million dollars into the process. We have looked to make up the other money with a private development that would occur alongside the stadium in order to do the whole thing privately. That, of course as I think everyone knows by now is not possible downtown. The site downtown is way too small of it's just about 11 acres of buildable land. And so you can't have a private development alongside the stadium to help pay for the stadium. So you have to figure out where the money come hads from. Of and that's why the redevelopment money is being talked about. Of that's why money from the sale of the Qualcom site is being talked about, and perhaps money from the sale or lease of the sports ark reina site is also being talked about, to fulfill that other $400 million or so gap.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, the price that I've seen bandied about more often is five hundred million, and that's not including the environmental clean up and the relocation of a bus yard to a downtown site. Do we know how much that might cost.

MARK FABIANI: There is a lot of work that's been done on that already, because of course it's been a working bus yard for years of a lot is known about the contamination there. But the exact amount that the cleanup will cost, and just as importantly, the amount to relocate the bus yards is still something that has not been determined, and those are the two big unknown costs here. We pretty much know what the stadium is gonna cost, but until you get into the ground and start to figure out exactly what the contamination is, it's hard to put an exact number on the cleanup costs there, and that's a wig unknown, but any time you're building any kind of project in a big city anywhere in the country, you've gotta deal with cleanup issues so we don't view that as a deal killer here.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Mark, do you know when the analysis of that site is going to be cleated?

MARK FABIANI: Well, we're conducting an analysis of the buildability of the estate, and by that, I mean, can it be host to an NFL stadium? Is it big enough? And just as importantly for San Diego, can it be host for Superbowls? Because the NFL generally requires a large security perimeter around the Superbowl, and of course, in San Diego, downtown, you're gonna have a stadium that basically goes from sidewalk to sidewalk, street to street. And so we're working through those issues. We would have to work with the county, the MTS, and the city, on the pollution issues. We video an initial issue analysis done pie Turner construction that basically says it should not be a deal stopper. This is the kind of cleanup you're gonna have to do if you build anywhere in any big city, so you shouldn't stop working on it. There are some earthquake issues as well, but the same analysis applied. Turner construction told us you should keep working on this, it's not a deal stopper. So the site itself looks to be workable, the question again as it has been for eight years, is how do we pay for this in a way that makes sense for taxpayers? .

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We're taking your calls on the Chargers stadium plans, and whether the Chargers plan to stay in San Diego. The number is 1-888-895-5727. My guest is Mark Fabiani, and, Elizabeth is on the line right now from Spring Valley. Good morning, Elizabeth, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Hi, good morning, thanks for taking my call. I've only been listening for the past 15 minutes. I heard the speaker saying how he's looking for places for the stadium in the past in the years, and I'm wondering, as big as the urbanization is and how wealthy, I guess, our city guys are, are you guying knowing of a way to keep the San Diego Chargers in San Diego, build the stadium in San Diego, but not have the taxpayers pay for the stadium.

MARK FABIANI: Elizabeth, it's a great question, in fact the bulk of the eight years, almost all of the eight years we've spent, and you will almost all of the $10 million we've spent was devoted to building a stadium privately. That's why we looked at the Qualcom site, we looked at the large site in Chula Vista where the power plant is. I won't bore you with all the different sites we looked at, but the plan all along was to build it privately so there wasn't any public contribution. That all changed though in late 2009 when the mayor and others in the city encouraged us to hook at a site in downtown San Diego. Of now, the reason why that site is interesting to people is, of course, it's next to the convention center, it's next to Petco Park, all the parking, the mass transit is there. Everything is there. So of course it's an interesting site to us too, but it's a small site. It's only 11 acres or so. And that means that we can't build a private development next to the stadium to help pay for the stadium. So that's where the need for another funding source comes in: And that's where the redevelopment money has come into the picture. That's where potentially selling or leasing the Qualcom site has come into the picture. And selling or leasing the sports arena site. But again, taxpayers may decide this is not something they're interested in. And if they do, we understand that, we certainly understand that the city is going through tremendous financial distress. The first part of this show was devoted just to that topic. And we understand that this is an idea that might not fly. But we also have to be candid with people, if you want a stadium downtown, there has to be another funding source, 'cause 11 acres is not big enough to build both the stadium and the necessary private development.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And mark, you you and the Chargers have been really quite adamant about the idea of wanting to put this before a public vote. Why are you so strong about that.

MARK FABIANI: Well, we think that the public has a right to decide this issue. In other words, although it's legally possible, according to the city attorney to spend the redevelopment money without a public vote, we don't feel that that would give this project the kind of man date it's gonna need to succeed. If only a vote of the people in favor of the project, really gives it the map date that pushes it forward. Without a vote, I think you would hear verifiable complaints from all sorts of people about how they didn't get a chance to weigh in. We've just believed and we have from the beginning, it's power position that we took on day one, that a vote is a really hard part of this process, and we hope that we get that far with our plan hopefully to get the public a chance to volt on it in 2012.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We have a lot of people lined up who want to speak with you, so I'm gonna take an early break. And when we return, we'll have callers talk to Mark Fabiani who is special counselor to the president of the San Diego Chargers. Our number is 1-888-895-5727. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, you're listening to These Days on KPBS. My guest is Mark Fabiani, he is special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers. And we're talking about recent rumors about the Chargers maybe selling a share of the team to investors in Los Angeles. We've been hearing about movement about a possible stadium being built in Los Angeles, and of course there's the idea of allowing public funds to go into construction of I new Chargers stadium downtown. Lots to talk about, and there are a lot of people on the phones who want to join the conversation at 1-888-895-5727. Let's go immediately to the phones, and curt, in Escondido. Good morning curt and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning, my question is about the land. Do you expect the city to give you the land, and a side note, that must be tens of millions of dollars. And the city could surely develop that land, not give it away.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay, curt, let's find out. Thank you for the call.

MARK FABIANI: Curt, that's still very much a subject of negotiation. Of the land is owned by different parties. Some of it is owned by the city, some of if by the MTS. And some of it by private landowners. So the land is gonna have to be acquired somehow. But curt, the thing to keep in mind is the city now has between the sports arena and the Qualcom site about 260 or so acres of land that it already owns that it now just sitting there, fallow, if you will, and even worse than fallow, it's costing the city many millions of dollars a year to keep it up. Between 15 and 17 million dollars a year just at the Qualcom site along. So there has to be a way, curt, to make better use out of the land that the city already owns, and if you think big and think about creating a sports complex downtown, and then doing something useful with the land at Qualcom and even at the sports arena site, you could do a lot that would generate revenue for the city that would create open space for people. So it's something to think about. You're not just talking about land downtown, 11 acres or so, you're talking about 260 acres that the city now owns that really is generating very little for taxpayers on the positive side and is costing millions of dollars on the negative side of the ledger.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Bob is calling from El Cajon, and good morning, bob, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning, good morning. You know, I got one -- I'm gonna say one positive thing. You know, these people that think losing the Chargers is gonna be a lot -- you know what? They bring in a lot of people. They play eight game ace year, at least 2000 people follow them. That's 2000 rooms, they go and eat downtown issue they shop at sea port village and this and that. These people that think losing the Chargers isn't anything, they are losing a lot. And I'm sorry. Now, the only other thing, I wish they'd build a stadium by Qualcom like Denver did next to theirs. But other than that, that's my comment.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, bob, thanks so much for calling. Any comment, Mark?

MARK FABIANI: Bob, we wish we could have built something at Qualcom too. That's where we spent a lot of our eight years trying to get something done there. And it just doesn't work out. But bob's point about the value of the team is well taken. This is a major business, imagine if another major business in San Diego might not be able to stay here, people would be very concerned about that. But it's not just the Chargers, if you had a multiuse stadium downtown where a retractible fabric roof, you could host super bowls, you could host final fours, you could host major boxing events, major MMA events, you could host major conventions that we now don't have the space to host. So it's much more than just a football issue dun town. You could really create something that would generate a lot of new revenue for the city, not to mention freeing up these 260 or so acres at Qualcom and the sports arena for better use for the taxpayers.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let me do the flip side of the argument we just had from bob, and critics argue new stadiums are all about owners gaining a big piece of revenue, not what's best for the city or for tax payers, they say team owners generate more money for funding, revenue from sweets and concessions and parking, and they get to shape where that money goes. How do you answer those arguments?

MARK FABIANI: Well, there's no doubt that it's true. You wouldn't be doing everything we've done to build a new stadium, if you didn't think it was gonna generate new revenue for the team. That's the whole point in the NFL, you've gotta be able to sign the best players, you've gotta be able to do everything that the biggest teams do, the New Englands and Philadelphias, and on and on and on, and to do that, you need a modern stadium. But in San Diego, it has to work for taxpayers of we are under no illusions here, this is not another city on the east coast, for example, where stadiums get thrown up left and right because the people there will do anything they can to keep their team. We understand this is a different political environment here, people are not eager to subsidize these facilities so that's why we have to make it work for taxpayers, and that's why we talk so much about the costs that taxpayers are bearing, because people really don't understand. No one other than us ever talks about them. The fact that you've got 166 acres of land that you the taxpayers own at Qualcom and it's costing you millions of dollars a year, you've got lands at the sports arena site that you own that's costing you money every year or at least not making you very much depending on which numbers you look at. So here's the question for taxpayers, is there a way to make this work both for the team and taxpayers. It cannot just work for the team and it cannot just work for tax pay ares of it's gotta work for both or it's not gonna happen.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: My guest, Mark Fabiani, he's special counsel to the president of the San Diego Chargers. We're taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. Beatrice is calling from Carlsbad. Good morning Beatrice, welcome to These Days. Hi, Beatrice are you there? Okay. We'll try Tom in San Diego. Good morning, Tom, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Hi.

NEW SPEAKER: Hi. I have a question. Does anybody know how much the taxpayers benefit or the city benefits by the Padres' stadium that the taxpayers paid $400 million for plus giving away land for developers to build hotels and so forth? Is anybody honestly come up with a calculation of how that benefited the city?

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Mark, are you looking to what Petco Park has done for the city as any kind of model for what a future Chargers stadium might do.

MARK FABIANI: Well, there's no question that there are parallels. Clearly Petco Park stimulated the redevelopment of that entire area of downtown. I don't think anyone who drove through that area prior to the building of Petco and drives through it now would disagree with the fact that there was a huge renaissance in that area started by Petco Park which has generated lots of new property tax revenue for the city. Now, football stadium's a different thing because there aren't as many games. And so you're not bringing in people on 81 nights a year or afternoons a year like you do with base ball. You only have eight games a year, plus we hold playoffs of so you have to structure a different model so it's not directly comparable. But clearly investing that kind of money in an area is going to lead to the rejuvenation of the surrounding blocks, and I think that's something that people in that area of downtown would like to see at least from what I can tell from going to community meetings, people would like to see the renaissance of the area extend further eastward.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We're talking about the Chargers building a stadium possibly in downtown San Diego, and other recent rumors about the team. My guest is mark Fabiani, and we're talking your calls at 1-888-895-5727 John's calling from Coronado, good morning, John, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Oh, hi, this is Joe from Coronado. Thanks for taking my call. My question is, the Padres and the Chargers have shared a stadium in the past. Is there any possibility that they could in the future.

MARK FABIANI: Well, that's a great question, and it's something that's important for fans to understand, the reason why Qualcom never really worked for the Padres and doesn't work for the Chargers is because it's a multiuse stadium. Which means it has to accommodate both base ball and football. And that means the site lines are not really very good for either one. To take our example, we have about a hundred and 20 luxury suites, we have about 8000 club seats, and about two thirds of those products which are your premium products where you generate a lot of your revenue, they're in the end zones, so they're not along the side lines, they're not inside the gold post, which is where people really want to sit. And so the stadium for football right now if you built it from the ground up, as many other cities have, is much more vertically, there's very little space between the side lines, and the stands. People have good seats almost no matter where they're sitting and you just can't achieve that in a multiuse facility like Qualcom. That's why the Padres moved out. That's why they sought their own stadium. And that's why we're trying to do the same thing.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Each year the Chargers have an opportunity between February and May to move out of Qualcom stadium. To basically move on to another city. The team would need to pay about 54 million in an early termination fee this year. But that fear goes down. Tell us how that fee goes down in the next couple of years.

MARK FABIANI: It goes do you happen to about 26 million, I believe, I could could be off a million or two. But roughly by $3 million a year, they're all the way through 2020.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And I'm wondering, if indeed, the voters did volt on whether or not the Chargers could build a stadium downtown using public funds and they said no, would that be a deal breaker for the Chargers? Would we basically being saying good-bye to the team.

MARK FABIANI: Well, you always hate to say that it's a deal breaker because I think you'd want to look at how close the vote was and whether there was something else we could have done to make it successful, but it's always a decisive defeat such as the one that Prop D, the sales tack initiative just suffered here and that sends a pretty clear message that you're probably not gonna get anything done in this area. Now, of course other things can change. The economy could improve, the possibility of a private development on another site could come into play. So I hate to say that a vote down is the end of the team. Of it would certainly send a strong message but you'd have to look at all the circumstances, you'd have to look at, as I said, the margin of defeat, what we might have done differently to make the proposal better, and the over all state of the economy. But obviously there'd be a clear signal that it's gonna be very difficult to get something done here if that were to hatch.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Austin is calling from San isid row. Good morning Austin welcome too These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: I'm experiencing some déj here, I went through this in Tampa Florida where the owners of the team, the Buccaneers, promised to pay half of the new stadium, and to date, have not paid anything to the stadium. I'm wondering what types of measures and penalties are implemented to insure that the Chargers do pay their share of the stadium?

MARK FABIANI: Well, this would be a ballot measure, so this would not be some agreement between the city council and the mayor and the team. This would be a ballot measure, and if the Chargers and the NFL did not contribute the money that was no, sir to build the stadium, the stadium wouldn't be built. In other words there wouldn't be authorization to spend more than a certain amount of redevelopment money, and beyond that, are the stadium wouldn't be built if the team and the NFL didn't live up to its commitment.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay, thank you very much, Austin. I'm wondering, you know, there was a big deal made last week about the idea that NFL commissioner Roger do dell basically told the people innat ranta if they wanted anymore super bowls they were gonna have to build eye new stadium. And the Georgia dome is only 18 years old, and it hasn't been paid off yet. Where do you see this in the larger issue of stadiums, mark? Where is the NFL in this? Is it just one stadium after another in perpetuity? Or is there ever gonna be a time where the San Diego's got a great stadium and it can actually stay with it for a while.

MARK FABIANI: Well, I think you've seen that in other places, the NFL continues to hold superbowls in Miami, continues to hold super bowls in.

NEW SPEAKER: , and I think that if you have a modern stadium with modern site lines issue instead of upgrading it over the years, not tearing down and building something new, the problem with some of the stadiums we've talked about, the multiuse stadiums are that the site lines just aren't what the modern NFL fan demands. And so you need to recreate the site lines in a way that people will be willing to pay for those seats and luxury boxes and club seats. But once you've done that, once the bones of the stadium are in place, the site lines are as good as they're gonna get. Then it's a matter of updating the facility. And that's something that the team would be obligated to do over the life of its 30-year lease with the city. So we don't see in California certainly these stadiums being ripped down after 25 or 30 years. We see them being modernized over time with the good site lines remaining in place throughout.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I have one quick last question for you mark, and that is, I think a nightmare scenario for a lot of San Diegans would be if the voters said, okay, let's build a stadium, and then a couple years later, the Chargers decided to leave. Is there gonna be further guarantee that the Chargers will stay in indeed a new stadium is build built.

MARK FABIANI: Well, you'd sign a 30-year lease with the city, again, that would be part of the ballot measure, every voter would have a chance to examine that. There wouldn't be any out clauses, there wouldn't be any triggers before wouldn't be any of that bad old stuff that was in the old lease with the city that we got rid of in 2004, this wouldab I lease and there will be ample opportunity for everyone to examine it and satisfy themselves that it's a 30-year binding lease, both on the team and the city.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. Well, mark, I really do appreciate you talking with us today.

MARK FABIANI: It's always a pleasure, thanks for having me.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you so much. I want to let everyone know, of course, the Chargers play the Denver Broncos tonight on Monday night football, the game starts at 530 on ESPN, and will be played in goold old Qualcom stadium. I want to let everyone know if we didn't get a chance to take your questions your comments on the air, please request on line of KPBS.org/These Days. You've been listening to These Days, sty with us for hour two, coming up in just a few minutes right here on KPBS.

Comments

Avatar for user 'kantthink06'

kantthink06 | November 22, 2010 at 10:07 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Why don't the Chargers issue new ownership interests to the public in $10,000 shares? It could be formed as a limited partnership with the new owners having no management or personnel authority. The Chargers would have the right to buy back the new shares at par and resell them at market, possibly at a highrer amount than $10,000. each. Share owners would be entitled to special perks such as discounted tickets, VIP management parties, discounted merchandiswe and parking, etc. Green Bay Packers have a similar ownership arrangement and its way could be used as a model for the Chargers. It helps keep the team local and allows diehard fans to own a piece of the action.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'dialyn'

dialyn | November 22, 2010 at 10:25 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

The Chargers ownership have ripped off the City of San Diego in the past, and I have zero confidence they've developed ethics now. I'm not swayed by poor Mr. Spanos needing more money for estate planning...some of us would like to see billionaires pay their fair share instead of panhandling the government. The Chargers and their eight games a season can leave with my blessing and I pity the City who gets stuck with them. Let only those people who want the Chargers pay for the Chargers...the rest of us who get no benefit from the team should not have to keep subsidizing the hobby of a billionaire. Let's not buy into the idea this will create jobs other than minimum wage and temporary ones. There's no argument Fabiani can make that I would trust at this point.

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Avatar for user 'bgulino'

bgulino | November 22, 2010 at 12:03 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Subsidizing a football stadium is a complicated subject ill served by reading prepared questions to an attorney for the Chargers. Next time, try to commit a little journalism by having an informed economist sharing the interview.

The interview, as it stood was a waste of time. The Chargers' lawyer asserted that building a stadium was a good deal for San Diego. You aired no informed opposition to his viewpoint.

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Avatar for user 'tompen'

tompen | November 22, 2010 at 12:26 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

If Petco Park is any example, there should not be consideration of building a new stadium downtown without solving the traffic problem. I am a season ticket holder for the Padres too, on game days with big attendance, the Imperial Ave. exit backs up the right lane all the way back to Interstate 8 creating a huge traffic hazard. And that's the short way to get into the parking.

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Avatar for user 'dherrer1'

dherrer1 | November 22, 2010 at 1:20 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Losing the Chargers is no big deal. I was born and raised in San Diego and can't see any reason to subsidize this team. I wouls much rather see the new library than a new stadium for a real average team...LET THEM GO and lets start supporting the Aztecs and the Toreos...NCAA football is still the best and not yet a complete business. If SDSU can recruit local people instead of them going to Oregon,UCLA or USC we could have a real powerhouse NCAA team. The Chargers are just not that important, except for a few hotels or restraunts. Let them go...PLEASE!!!!!

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Avatar for user 'newhere'

newhere | November 22, 2010 at 1:59 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Build this thing! Letting the Chargers go would be the dumbest thing this city ever allowed to happen. Public/Private ventures happen, and will benefit San Diego in the long run. No, I am not an economist, nor do I need to be one to see that letting one of the biggest draws to our city just walk away is a bad idea.

If the Chargers leave, the SDSU NCAA football program is probably going to fold too... how are we going to pay for the upkeep of that stadium when there is no NFL tenant? With college football ticket fees? The television revenue for the Aztec games? That's a joke.

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