Chargers hire Fred Maas to head stadium initiative effort

SAN DIEGO -- The Chargers have appointed Fred Maas as a special advisor to team chairman Dean Spanos to work on the stadium initiative project, the team announced Monday.

A former chairman of San Diego’s Centre City Development Corporation, Maas will advise Spanos on the citizens’ initiative process, including the exploration of possible stadium financing plans that would be acceptable to the city, the drafting of an initiative document and the creation of a campaign infrastructure that eventually will pitch the project to voters later this year.

Spanos said last month that the Chargers will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season but has an agreement with the Rams to move to Los Angeles if a long-term stadium solution to remain in San Diego isn't worked out.

Mass will work closely with an established team of legal, financial and land-use advisors hired by the Chargers. However, Spanos said that Mark Fabiani, who has served as the point person on the Chargers’ stadium effort for the last 14 years, remains involved in the effort.

Maas currently serves as the president and managing director of MRV Systems LLC, a manufacturer of marine robotics vehicles for oceanographic, intelligence and defense industries.

Mass provides familiarity with the process because of his work as stadium point man for former San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders.

“He’s going to be helping in the site location and developing a financing plan that will hopefully be publicly supported some time down the line -- all aspects of the entire project going forward from now on,” Spanos said in this video on the team’s web site.

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer initially tried to hire Maas as his stadium point person at the end of 2014, but Maas turned down the job and Faulconer ultimately appointed a task force to study the issue in January 2015.

Maas, Spanos and Faulconer met to discuss the stadium issue on Monday afternoon.

“He’s very familiar with all the political aspects of what goes on in this city and how that all works,” Spanos said. “And I think his knowledge of San Diego as a whole will give us the best chance to get this initiative passed.”

Spanos said that even though Maas has a wealth of experience on land-use issues in downtown San Diego, the Chargers remain open-minded when it comes to having a new stadium either downtown or at Mission Valley, the current site of Qualcomm Stadium.

“Fred and I have talked about it, and that’s why I brought Fred on because I want somebody who’s objective and is going to look at both sites -- potentially Qualcomm and downtown,” Spanos said. “We have to look at it from a financial perspective, and what are the chances the public’s going to support these projects, and give us a chance to get a stadium.”