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Chargers to stay in San Diego at least one more season

Club will not exercise an escape clause in its lease at Qualcomm Stadium and continue efforts with the city to build a downtown stadium.

January 09, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • Chargers owner Dean Spanos signs autographs before a game against the Buffalo Bills last month in San Diego.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos signs autographs before a game against the Buffalo… (Denis Poroy / Associated…)

The Chargers are staying in San Diego for at least another season.

Owner Dean Spanos said Monday that the franchise will not exercise its right to move for at least another year, allowing more time for efforts to build a downtown stadium. Spanos and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said in a joint statement that they will work closely to try to make that happen.

"The City of San Diego and the Chargers continue to work closely together to explore publicly acceptable ways to build a Super Bowl-quality stadium on the bus maintenance yard site in the East Village of downtown San Diego," the statement reads.

"To give this ongoing process every chance to succeed, the Chargers have announced that the team will not trigger the lease's termination clause in 2012. Both the Mayor's Office and the Chargers look forward to continuing their joint efforts to build a multi-use stadium that will benefit the entire region."

The Chargers negotiated an escape clause in their lease at Qualcomm Stadium that each year affords them a three-month window during which they can negotiate with other cities and relocate without the threat of a lawsuit from San Diego, as long as the team pays off the existing bonds on Qualcomm.

Had the Chargers terminated their lease in 2012, they would have owed $23.98 million on the bonds. If they terminate in 2013, they will owe $22.015 million.

"Believe it or not, this is our 10th year working on this stadium issue," Mark Fabiani, the club's special counsel, said in a phone interview Monday. "So we feel like we've already been in it for the long haul."

sam.farmer@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesfarmer

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