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genericSAN DIEGO – The Chargers have informed San Diego Mayor Bob Filner the team will not be exercising its right to leave the city in 2013 and will not be applying to relocate to Los Angeles next season, The Times has learned.

Filner announced the Chargers’ decision in a speech Tuesday night.

The development is not a guarantee that there will be no NFL in L.A. next season — although there has been no recent movement on that front — nor is it a guarantee the Chargers will never relocate. They have to make the same decision whether to stay next season, and each year after unless there’s a change in their lease terms.

What it does mean is the Chargers will not be playing in L.A. in the fall. If a team were to relocate to L.A., it would play in the Rose Bowl or Coliseum while a stadium was constructed downtown, in City of Industry, or potentially elsewhere (if another candidate arises).

At the moment, L.A. is a back-burner issue for the league, and probably will continue to be at least until there’s some resolution to the AEG sale.

The Chargers for years have sought venue solutions in the San Diego area, an alternative to the aging Qualcomm Stadium.

Negotiated into the club’s lease is an out clause that allows the Chargers to negotiate with other cities — and relocate, if they choose — after each season without the threat of lawsuits by San Diego, as long as they pay off the existing bonds on their current home.

Said Mark Fabiani, Chargers special counsel: “For more than a decade the Chargers have done everything possible to find a stadium solution in San Diego, and we are going to continue to work hard in 2013 with the new mayor and City Council.”

———–Story by Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Farmer

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers began to clean house Monday with announcing the firing of Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith, according to the team officials.

turner,-smith

Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner, General Manager AJ Smith

The announcement was made by team president Dean Spanos in a statement issued on the Chargers’ official website and Twitter.

“I thank A.J. and Norv for the determination and integrity they brought to the Chargers each and every day,” Spanos said. “Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom-line is winning.”

The team ended their 2012 season Sunday with a 7-9 record, missing the playoffs for the third season in a row.

“My only goal is the Super Bowl, and that is why I have decided to move in a new direction with both our head coach and general manager positions,” Spanos said. “I am committed to our great fans, and we will do whatever we possibly can to achieve that goal.”

The Chargers announced the team has retained former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf as a consultant and would begin a hunt for successors for Turner and Smith immediately. The Chargers plan to ask teams that made the playoffs for permission to speak with their employees.

The names of several NFL and college coaches have been bandied about over the past few weeks as possibly coming to San Diego. A statement by the team said no comments will be made on potential candidates.

Spanos, Wolf, longtime Chargers executive Ed McGuire and Spanos’ son John Spanos will make up a search committee that will have a goal of hiring a new general manager first — though they said they intend to remain flexible on that point, according to the team.

After six years, Turner leaves the Chargers with the highest winning percentage in the team history.  During his reign has the head coach, the team won three AFC West titles and two second place finishes.

According to the team’s website, Turner tied former head coaches Don Coryell and Bobby Ross for the most playoff wins in team history with three.  He was USA Today’s NFL Coach of the Year in 2009.

Smith was named the general manager of the Chargers in April 2003 and took the team to five AFC West championships. Before he took over as GM, the team did not have a winning record for seven consecutive seasons.

The team will owe Smith $4 million for the remaining two years of his deal and Turner $3 million for his one remaining season.

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Norv Turner walks into Chargers Park day after team finishes 2012 season.

SAN DIEGO – Chargers coach Norv Turner told reporters Sunday after defeating the Oakland Raiders that he plans to meet with the team Monday and was expecting the team to start looking for a new head coach.

During the post-Raiders game press conference Sunday, a reporter asked Turner if that game was his last with the Chargers.  He responded by saying the team would most likely start looking for his replacement soon.

“Obviously, we’re going to meet with the team and I’m sure they’ll start looking for a new coach,” said Turner.

norv presser raiders

Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner said he’ll meet with team owners Monday “then I’m sure they will start looking for a new coach.”

The team ended their 2012 season Sunday with a 7-9 record, missing the playoffs for the third season in a row.

Rumors of Turner and the team’s general manager A.J. Smith’s firing sparked in early December when a Union Tribune sports reporter published an article stating team owner Dean Spanos had already decided on their fate in November, but was waiting to make the move until the end of the season.

Spanos quickly denied that U-T report by releasing this statement:

“There is only one person in this organization who will make those decisions and that’s me, and I haven’t shared my thoughts with anyone,” the statement reads. “I will make my evaluations at the end of the season.  Anything coming out now – from sources or otherwise – is pure speculation.”

If the team does let both men go, they owe Smith $4 million for the remaining two years of his deal and Turner $3 million for his one remaining season.

chargers-on-tvSAN DIEGO — For the third time in a row and fourth this season overall, the Chargers’ home game Sunday against Carolina will not be televised in Southern California, the team announced Thursday.

The Chargers said they were 11,000 tickets short of a sellout, running afoul of the National Football League’s blackout policy. Teams are required to sell out all but their most expensive tickets 72 hours prior to kickoff.

Contests against Atlanta, Baltimore and Cincinnati were previously not shown on local televisions. A fourth blackout, a prime time match against Kansas City, was narrowly averted when corporate sponsors snapped up the remaining tickets.

Fan interest has waned amid a 5-8 season that has seen the Chargers blow several fourth quarter leads and fall out of AFC West title contention. It’s been reported that head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will be fired at season’s end, but team president Dean Spanos said that was “pure speculation.”

The season-finale against Oakland is almost sold out, the Chargers said. The annual appearance by the rival Raiders can generally be counted on to fill the seats at Qualcomm Stadium.

grouponSAN DIEGO – The Chargers have turned to Groupon in hopes of increasing ticket sales and avoiding their fourth straight television blackout of the season.

In recent home games, there have been thousands of empty seats –  even empty sections at Qualcomm Stadium.

“It’s too common,” said San Diego resident Goeff Koren.

To help fill the seats, the Charges have teamed up with Groupon.  For $68, you get a face-value ticket in the end zone area. The deal also includes a $20 food and beverage voucher.

“We saw this as another opportunity. Let’s just try it out and see how it goes and see what happens,” said Bill Johnston, Director of Public Relations.  “This is the first time we’ve ever done this.”

The Groupon deal started on Monday.  Fans can purchase up to eight packages on the discount website.  The deadline is Saturday.

“That’s not a bad idea actually. I think it will prompt economic growth for the Chargers,” said Christopher Chavez, a San Diego resident.  “The tickets are so inaccessible sometimes, so why not?”

AJ Smith

AJ Smith

SAN DIEGO — Chargers president Dean Spanos has decided to fire head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith at the end of the season, the U-T San Diego reported on its website Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

However, the team responded quickly with a statement from Spanos that called the report “pure speculation.”

The firing of Turner has been considered by many to be a foregone conclusion, with the team’s record slipping to 4-8. The U-T reported that Spanos, whose family owns the team, decided to fire Turner last month and recently determined that Smith had to go as well.

The decision comes amid declining fan support that has resulted in the last two home games being blacked out on Southern California televisions thanks to low ticket sales.

It was also reported that the team’s director of player personnel, 17- year Chargers employee Jimmy Raye, is most likely to succeed Smith and be assisted by Spanos’ son, John, the club’s director of college scouting.

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Norv Turner

In his statement, Dean Spanos said, “There is only one person in this organization who will make those decisions and that’s me, and I haven’t shared my thoughts with anyone. I will make my evaluations at the end of the season. Anything coming out now — from sources or otherwise — is pure speculation.”

Turner has been criticized by some as an uninspiring head coach despite his reputation as a great offensive coordinator. Smith has come under fire for running off talented veterans and for recent lackluster draft classes.

The Chargers started the season by winning three of their first four games, but have emerged victorious only once since the end of September. Quarterback Philip Rivers has been hampered by a makeshift offensive line and a series of poorly timed mistakes have allowed opponents to come from behind in the fourth quarter of several contests.

The U-T San Diego columnist Kevin Acee, who first reported the end of season firings Thursday, made claims last year that Norv Turner was about to be fired and AJ Smith was likely to be let go as well.  The 2011 report ended up being false.  In both reports, Acee’s sources were anonymous.

 


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers failed to sell enough tickets to avoid a local television blackout for the third time this season, the team announced Thursday.

Ticket sales fellchargers-on-tv 11,000 short of the sellout required by National Football League policy to have Sunday’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals appear on TV screens around Southern California.

It’s the second week in a row in which a home game will be blacked out in San Diego. Interest has waned during a 4-7 season and fan frustration over an off-season decision by team president Dean Spanos to retain coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.

Last week’s 16-13 overtime loss to Baltimore and an early season 27-3 setback to Atlanta were also unavailable for local television viewing. Ticket purchases by area companies helped the Chargers avoid a fourth blackout, against Kansas City.

The NFL requires that general tickets be sold out 72 hours before kickoff for a telecast to be shown in a local market — though extensions are routinely granted when a team is close. Pricier club level seats do not apply to league rules.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers announced Tuesday that 12,000 tickets for Sunday’s home game against the Cincinnati Bengals need to be sold to avoid a local television blackout.

If they aren’t sold by early Thursday afternoon, the telecast would be blacked out in Southern California for the second week in a row under National Football League policy. Pricier club level seats are exempted from the NFL’s television rules.

It would be the third time this season local fans would not be able to see a Chargers home game. Interest has waned during a 4-7 season and fan frustration over an off-season decision by team president Dean Spanos to retain coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.

Last week’s 16-13 overtime loss to Baltimore and an early season 27-3 setback to Atlanta were also unavailable on local television. Ticket purchases by area companies helped the Chargers avoid a fourth blackout, against Kansas City.

SAN DIEGO – Phillip Rivers threw two touchdowns but had as many interceptions Sunday afternoon during the San Diego Chargers second loss to the Denver Broncos this season.

Rivers, who went 24-of-40 passes for 258 yards, lead the Chargers (4-6) to it’s fifth defeat in their last six games.

Danario Alexander ended up with 96 yards on seven receptions and caught both Chargers TDs.

Malcom Floyd added four grabs for 67 yards to counteract a 47-yard, 15-carry performance from Ryan Mathews.

Peyton Manning, who threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns, finished with 25-of-42 passes with one interception returned for a score by Eric Weddle.

Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the Broncos was the second time the teams faced each other this season.  In first AFC matchup was won by the Broncos during Monday Night Football.

Next up for the Chargers are the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, November 25 at 1:05 p.m.

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