Chargers get council's OK to shop for stadium deal


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Jan 22, 2006
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Chargers get council's OK to shop for stadium deal

By Craig Gustafson
May 2, 2006

The Chargers will be allowed to seek a stadium deal elsewhere in San Diego County under a lease amendment the San Diego City Council approved yesterday.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, who has said the city doesn't have the time or money to devote to a new stadium, supported the change to help keep the Chargers in the county.

The most likely suitors are Chula Vista, Oceanside and National City.

Under its lease, the Chargers can start negotiations with any U.S. city beginning Jan. 1. The Chargers can relocate after the 2008 season, provided the team pays the balance on $60 million in bonds the city issued in 1997 to expand Qualcomm Stadium. The city pays $5.8 million a year on the bond debt.

Sanders said he wanted to give local cities a head start in stadium talks. The mayors of San Antonio and Las Vegas have expressed an interest in bringing the Chargers to their cities, and Los Angeles and Anaheim also want a National Football League franchise.

The council voted unanimously to change the lease, which does not require the team keep the name “San Diego Chargers” if it moves within the county.

City Attorney Michael Aguirre recommended the city include a provision that would ensure the name doesn't change, but the council rejected his advice.

Councilman Jim Madaffer said he didn't want to prevent the team from assuming a regional name like the New England Patriots have.

“I think it's important that we do everything we can to work with the Chargers,” Madaffer said.
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