City Gives Chargers Bigger Stadium Cut

Times Staff Writer

Without a word of discussion, the San Diego City Council on Monday adopted a new agreement with the San Diego Chargers football team that will cut the city's share of revenue generated at Chargers games by $2.1 million from 1988 to 2003.

The deal is the result of an agreement over the terms of the lease of San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium reached last December between the city and the San Diego Padres baseball team. The Chargers' "favored nation" clause allows them to demand adoption of more favorable provisions negotiated by the Padres.

Assistant City Manager Jack McGrory said most of the provisions existed in the Padres' agreement since 1964, but Chargers officials did not demand equal treatment until they reviewed the latest contract between the city and the Padres this year.

City attorneys advised council members that the Chargers' negotiating stance was legal, and said that the club would probably have filed suit if the council did not agree to the new terms, McGrory said. The council agreed to the new plan in closed session, and the city's Stadium Authority approved it last week.

Assuming Chargers attendance averages 50,000 per home game, the city will lose $46,000 in 1988, $124,000 in 1989 and 1990, and $151,000 in 1991, a report conducted by McGrory shows. During the 15-year life of the contract, the city will lose a little more than $130,000 of the $2.1 million it now earns from the games each year, he said.

Under the new agreement, the Chargers will receive a larger share of revenue from concessions, tickets and parking. However, a $124,000 reduction in ticket revenue will be offset by the rescheduling of an extra home game in 1990, to make up for one that was canceled during the 1987 players' strike.

The city must also pay for the installation of more seats at the field level of the west end zone, as long as attendance warrants, a cost that will be offset by the city's share of increased ticket revenue as ticket prices rise.

The city also agreed to pay $20,000 as its share of refurbishing stadium sky boxes.

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