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Chargers Stadium Faces Resistance

 

Last updated 3/31/2016 at 10:35am



The potential adverse effect on local tourism and jobs presented the Chargers' $1.8 billion downtown stadium and convention center plan with mostly negative reviews on Wed, March 30.

The proposal could potentially increase the city’s hotel tax by 32 percent and relocate a long-awaited convention center expansion several blocks off-site, leaving politicians, community leaders and merchant groups saying they will need more time before making an official decision.

The Chargers stressed that the higher taxes would be paid almost entirely by visitors from out of town, and that the public would cover about one-third of the stadium’s cost which exhoes the same ratio in a plan that Mayor Kevin Faulconer, proposed last August. "The convention center element makes this proposal more than a stadium and the long-term future of San Diego's tourism economy is now intertwined in this plan," said Faulconer, a Republican. "As always, my top priorities are to protect jobs, protect taxpayers and do what’s right for all San Diegans. I will evaluate the proposal’s details through that lens."

Councilman Scott Sherman said his initial reaction was negative to the 110-page plan, which would pay for the new stadium and convention center annex by increasing the city’s tax on hotel stays from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent, putting San Diego near the top among U.S. cities for hotel taxes.

"Once again, it appears the Chargers have chosen the path of most resistance," said Sherman. "At first glance, I am not encouraged."

The plan would require approval from voters in November as long as the Chargers gather the roughly 70,000 signatures needed to get it on the ballot.

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