City of San Diego Sues Chargers

Brent Schrotenboer, of the San Diego Union-Tribune, reports the city of San Diego has filed a breach-of-contract suit against the San Diego Chargers, claiming the team owes the city more than $170,000 for use of Qualcomm Stadium in 2004, including more than $44,000 in accrued interest. The suit came as a surprise to the Chargers, who noted that the team’s lease with the city calls for any controversy between the two parties to be decided in arbitration, not in a lawsuit. “The contract is clear,” said Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ special counsel. “We’re not allowed to go to court against the city, and we don’t believe the city is allowed to go to court against us.” Fabiani said he expected the suit to be dismissed because of the lease stipulation. The city’s suit says the Chargers were obligated to pay $250,000 per game in rent for the city-owned stadium, subject to certain rent credits allowed by the city in the lease. In 2005, the city audited payments by the team for 2004 and found the team underpaid the city by $125,795 as a result of the Chargers claiming skybox rent credits that were previously disallowed by the city for the 1996 through 2000 seasons.