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Chargers hire special adviser for prospective ballot measure for new stadium

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos met with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and county Supervisor Ron Roberts Monday, just a couple hours after announcing the hiring of a longtime civic leader to push a stadium project forward.

Fred Maas will serve as a special adviser for a prospective ballot measure, according to the Chargers.

Maas used to be chairman and CEO of the Centre City Development Corp. -- the city's former downtown redevelopment arm, and his appointment could be seen as a preference by team officials for a downtown stadium.

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said in a video posted on the team's website that such speculation wasn't necessarily accurate, and that Maas would also provide input on Mission Valley adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium -- a location being offered by city and county.

"I want somebody who's objective and is going to look at both sites ... and we have to look at it from a financial perspective and what are the chances that the public's going to support one of these projects and give us the best chance to get a stadium," Spanos said. "He's going to be looking at all that and advising me."

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After the team's bid to move to Carson, in Los Angeles County, was rejected by fellow National Football League owners, Spanos said he would try one more time to build a stadium in San Diego.

A statement from the Chargers said Maas will advise Spanos and the Chargers on "the citizen's initiative process, including the exploration of possible stadium financing plans that would be publicly acceptable, the drafting of the initiative document, and the creation of the campaign infrastructure necessary to give the citizens' initiative the best possible chance of success. Mr. Maas will be working closely with an established team of legal, financial and land use advisers."

Special counsel Mark Fabiani, a lightning rod for public criticism of the Chargers, confirmed that he will remain involved in the stadium effort, but in more of a background role.

Spanos also said he's hiring a legal team to draft an initiative and a land-use team to develop a site.

"Mr. Maas has a wealth of experience on the stadium issue, and we welcome his addition as a positive development. Mr. Maas is well versed in the opportunities and challenges of the various options Mr. Spanos is considering for a San Diego stadium solution. We anticipate further meetings over the coming weeks," said Faulconer's director of media relations. 

Maas is currently president and managing director of MRV Systems LLC, a manufacturer of marine robotic vehicles for the oceanographic, intelligence and defense industries. He is also the founder and CEO of Pacific EcoCompanies LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused on clean technologies and sustainable development.

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