The Chargers have been officially able to skedaddle out of town since Sunday. The team’s still here, though, and says it will be here when their three-month exit window expires.
The contract, renegotiated in 2004, gave the team a window to leave town from Feb. 1 to May 1 every year from 2009 until the contract ends, after the 2020 season. The team, for its part, would need to swing by City Hall on its way out of town drop off a check to the city as a termination fee.
That fee gets smaller each year. Here’s how it goes over the next few years:
2009: $56.2 million
2010: $54.6 million
2011: $23.8 million
2012: $22 million
You’ll notice the costs drop off precipitously in two years.
The Chargers’ special counsel, Mark Fabiani, says the team made a conscious decision in November or December to tell people around town of its intentions.
We made it pretty clear to people that we wouldn’t be doing anything this year. … On May 1 we will be doing the same thing we are doing now, which is trying to find a solution in San Diego County.
There aren’t too many places for them to go right at the moment. While things have been heating up in the city that’s most likely to lure the team away, Los Angeles, it’s still a long way off from actually building a new stadium.