Chargers exit plan to Los Angeles
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — KUSI Sports Brandon Stone got an exclusive interview with Dean Spanos this morning in Inglewood. He told Brandon he has an exit plan for moving to L.A. That exit plan is dictated by the relocation process.
By all accounts neither the city nor the Chargers really wanted to go down this exit ramp. But to protect his franchise without a stadium deal in San Diego or a last minute extension from the NFL. Moving the team was inevitable.
First order of business was notifying the league to relocated. That happened. With that notification the relocation process was underway.
The team has already leased temporary space at a Costa Mesa office complex near the 405 freeway, not far from John Wayne Airport. Permits are in the works for a practice and training facility nearby.
Initially the team will use the Stubhub Center as a temporary playing venue with the Coliseum as a back up field. Stubhub is a multi-use sports complex but with limited capacity for NFL football, only 27-thousand seats.
Meantime, the relocation process in San Diego will begin with a notice of terminating the lease at Qualcomm. That will happen sometime between February first and May first, the so-called annual window that allows the team to terminate the lease upon written notice to the city. On notice of termination the team will also have to vacate the Murphy Canyon Practice Facility.
There is a penalty for terminating the lease at Qualcomm early, in this case three years before its expiration date in 2020. In 2017 the payment is 12 million 575 thousand dollars. That doesn’t pay off the remaining bond debt that financed a stadium expansion in the 90’s. That is costing taxpayers $5 million a year for the next ten years.
While San Diego sports fans suffer emotional distress over losing their football team, the Chargers will be busy at work selling seats in Los Angeles, and launching a marketing campaign to sell those seats.
It’s been a long year in which nothing came forward from the city that would keep the team in San Diego. There was a meeting of two NFL committees yesterday in New York, one has to believe something happened at that meeting that caused Spanos to pull the trigger and accept the L.A option despite the Chargers not being invited to the meeting, and did not attend.
So, sometime between February and May the Chargers will notify the city they want to terminate the lease at Qualcomm. Once that happens, according to the lease, the team has 90 days to vacate the premises, at Qualcomm and at Murphy Canyon.