WEB EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with Chargers Stadium Savior Fred Maas
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos hired another high profile advisor to take charge of getting a new stadium built in San Diego on Monday.
His name is Fred Maas.
Bringing a wealth of experience on stadium issues, Maas is the former stadium point man under then city Mayor Jerry Sanders. More importantly, Mass is familiar with how city government and San Diego politics work.
Maas is currently the president of MRV Systems, a manufacturer of marine robotics vehicles for oceanographic, intelligence and defense industries. He knows how to manage big projects, like the black mountain ranch development. He chaired the city's redevelopment agency, and was the point man on stadium issues under former Jerry Sanders.
Dean Spanos sat down with current San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Fred Maas Monday and said that Maas's knowledge of the city gives the team the best chance to get an initiative passed.
“I've known Fred for quite a few years (and I have) a tremendous amount of respect for him. He is somebody who wouldn't have taken this job if it weren't possible to get it done. That is the first thing he said to me and he wanted my commitment, which I gave to him,” Spanos said in an interview on Chargers.com. “He is going to be helping in the site location, developing the financing plan that will hopefully be publicly supported down the line (and) all aspects of the entire project going forward from now on.”
It is important to remember that Mayor Faulconer and Dean Spanos have 43 days to agree on a stadium site. Once the draft initiative is received by the registrar of voters on March 24, 2016 it will be illegal for the mayor to be involved in the initiative, other than to state his support or opposition.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is the vote, where there's a substantial public subsidy on the table. However, the environmental challenges are gone. A project initiated and put on the ballot by citizens is exempt from the state's environmental laws.