Written by The Business Journal Staff
(AP) — Voters have overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have raised $1.15 billion from increased hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers.
Measure C, which was written by the Chargers without input from City Hall, the powerful tourism industry or other stakeholders, was defeated 57 percent to 43 percent. It needed 66.7 percent to pass.
Team chairman Dean Spanos, whose attempt to move the Chargers to the Los Angeles suburb of Carson angered fans and was rebuffed by fellow NFL owners in January, said in a statement Wednesday that he will consider his options. He said a decision won’t be announced until after the season “and no decision will be made in haste.”
Measure C would have increased the hotel tax to help pay for a $1.8 billion stadium and convention center annex in the southeast corner of downtown near Petco Park, the home of MLB’s Padres. The Chargers have been trying since 2000 to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.
Spanos’ options include negotiating with Mayor Kevin Faulconer on a new plan or exercising his option to join the Los Angeles Rams in a stadium scheduled to open in Inglewood in 2019. Spanos earned that concession after fellow owners rejected his attempt to move to Carson and share a stadium with the rival Oakland Raiders.
It’s unclear whether downtown remains an option. Spanos’ plan was opposed by the tourism industry, leading civic leaders and an architecture group that panned the size of the project. While saying they want the Chargers to remain in San Diego, the Padres had major concerns with Measure C.
Faulconer endorsed Measure C only a month ago after wrangling what he said were major concessions out of Spanos.