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Friday, March 16, 2007 | I agree with the basic premise of your article, which is the city made its deal with the Chargers “drunk” or sober.
The fundamental point is that the Chargers have a lease with the city. To my knowledge the Chargers have always honored that lease. Sure, there have been procedural points of discussion, but nothing fundamental to the business deal. If the lease is not the best for the city, that is not in any way the Chargers fault or responsibility. It is ridiculous for anyone in the city to argue or state otherwise.
No one in the mayor’s office has ever proposed the Chargers pay the bond payment. When the line was attributed to me — that I was going to ask the Chargers about bond payments — it was the first I had heard of it. I wasn’t and I’m not.
My point is a much narrower one: As I stated, there was no way for the Chargers to know the cash cost to the city of putting on a game. And, frankly, under the terms of their lease, that cost is not their problem.
What I hoped to do was share the numbers with the team and see what, if anything, could possibly be done collectively to reduce or recover some of the cash cost. The answer might be nothing. But having the conversation could not hurt.
The Chargers were understandably upset by the appearance created at the unfortunate press conference of Monday. At this point no discussions are scheduled. The city and the Chargers will each continue to perform per the lease.
Jim Waring is deputy chief for land-use for the city of San Diego.