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The Inside Track | NFL

San Diego Officials Send Strong Letter to the Anschutz Group

June 06, 2002|Sam Farmer

In their strongest indication yet they intend to keep the Chargers, San Diego officials fired a legal salvo Wednesday at the group looking to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

Leslie J. Girard, a San Diego assistant city attorney, faxed a two-page letter to Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke, along with pertinent excerpts from the team's Qualcomm Stadium lease.

"The City trusts that AEG will conduct its business affairs in Los Angeles without interfering with the contractual rights and obligations of the City and the Chargers under the agreement," Girard wrote in the letter, which was endorsed by the San Diego City Council and distributed to reporters by San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy.

The letter reiterates the Chargers can only pursue their renegotiation rights if a defined "triggering event" exists on Dec. 1, and the team has 60 days after that to notify the city such an event has occurred. After that, the Chargers and the city must negotiate in good faith for 90 days, then--if those negotiations fail--the Chargers have 180 days to present the city with a letter of intent to use another stadium. The city then has 90 days to match that offer.

The letter appears to imply that the city might file a lawsuit if the Anschutz group, by openly dealing with the Chargers, causes San Diego fans to lose interest in the team, thus increasing the amount the city has to pay for unsold tickets. The city has paid nearly $25 million for unsold tickets in recent years.

Leiweke could not be reached for comment about the letter.

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