No New Stadium in San Diego … For Now
One of the less polarizing takeaways from this election cycle was the rejection of a publicly-funded stadium initiative by the residents of San Diego. On Election Day, voters defeated the proposed six percent hotel room tax increase that would have aided in the funding of the venue. For now, the Chargers are focusing on football, and any decision about relocating elsewhere will be made after the NFL season concludes.
The club wanted to build a new stadium in the city of San Diego — a change from its current home of Qualcomm Stadium in nearby Serra Mesa — with a new 65,000 seat stadium and convention center. Talk of the move filled airwaves running up to Election Day, and was given more weight by a proposed Los Angeles joint-stadium between the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. NFL owners, however, rejected this proposal in favor of relocating the, now former, St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles. Making matters worse, the Raiders are quickly moving towards relocating to Las Vegas where Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval approved an increase in the hotel tax to fund the $750 million needed to help fund the nearly $2 billion project.
A California Supreme Court case adds yet another dimension to the Chargers future home. The California State Constitution mandates all citizen ballot initiatives be passed by a two-thirds majority vote. But in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, the California Supreme Court could hold citizen ballot initiatives are not applicable to the State’s two-thirds majority vote, rather, a simple majority would suffice. The court has not issued an opinion in that case, so, for now, the Chargers are staying put at Qualcomm Stadium for the foreseeable future.