Another interesting little subplot has developed between the San Diego Chargers and the City of San Diego. The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the team filed a lawsuit against the city yesterday to recoup more than $1.9 million that the team says is due them for making modifications at Qualcomm Stadium for disabled Chargers fans. Specifically they’re seeking money that was awarded to them by a state arbitrator who ruled the city should pay the team for revenue lost between 2002-05, due to seat removal and reconfiguration to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Negotiations between the team and the city have been slow, to say the very least. The city is not disputing the fact that they owe the Chargers the $1.9 million. Their sticking point is the timeline in when the team will receive this money. An interesting comment made by City attorney Michael Aguirre may or may not factor into all of this. He questioned why the Chargers are pursuing the money, despite the fact that the team has is selling out games and the city is deep in debt. Hey Michael, although your argument has some validity, an agreement is an agreement. The city should’ve considered this a long time ago before any agreement was put on paper.
Aguirre’s comments aside, this is something that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. The city is doing the Chargers no favors at all by nitpicking here and is losing face (and quite possibly the team) by prolonging what should be a minor issue. I mean come on now – what timeline is the city using to pay the team what is due them? I’m not either an attorney or a budget director for a large city, but there’s no reason why the city couldn’t juggle some numbers and resolve this. The city being in debt is an internal matter and shouldn’t factor into negotiations between them and the Chargers.