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Polls show it won’t be easy for Chargers to secure public funding in San Diego

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The Chargers are committed to staying in San Diego. San Diego is still not committed to keeping the Chargers.

Via Eric D. Williams of, a pair of polls funded by the Chargers show public support for taxpayer funding of at least $375 million to be in the neighborhood of roughly 33 percent.

As Williams notes, those outcomes mesh with a recent poll conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune and the local ABC affiliate, which generated 36-percent support for using $350 million in taxpayer contributions toward a new Chargers venue.

Another poll, which was taken as part of the city’s official proposal to the NFL submitted in December 2015, showed 51-percent approval, but the question in that poll was crafted to point out that a third of the stadium cost would come from public funds, and that no new taxes would be used to generate the amount.

The different outcomes aren’t surprising; poll results always hinge on how the question is asked. The concept of “push” polling routinely is used by politicians as a way not to honestly gauge public opinion but to frame the question in a way that influences those who answer it.

San Diego’s poll probably wasn’t aimed at influencing voters as much as it was aimed at creating the impression that the team, not the city, should bear the blame if the Chargers move to L.A. The polls funded by the Chargers presumably were aimed at getting a baseline reading as to where the mindset of the public currently is before embarking on what appears to be a genuine effort to try to generate enough support to ensure that a majority of those who show up to vote in November will choose to approve a significant public contribution aimed at keeping the Chargers from leaving.

Ultimately, it all may come down to how the question is written on the official ballot.

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18 Responses to “Polls show it won’t be easy for Chargers to secure public funding in San Diego”
  1. TheBrownsareClowns says: Feb 18, 2016 6:01 AM

    Yeah great idea lets give the owner that wanted to ditch the city, san diego taxpayer’s hard earned money because he doesnt want to pay for his new stadium. Gee i wonder what could go wrong there.

  2. savior72 says: Feb 18, 2016 6:33 AM

    After the way the NFL misled St. Louis, no city should put up public money to finance their playgrounds.

  3. lingsun54 says: Feb 18, 2016 7:10 AM

    They shouldn’t tax poor people so millionaire players can play in a billionaire’s stadium. It’s a waste of public money.

  4. pastabelly says: Feb 18, 2016 7:28 AM

    Logic says that this team to should move to St Louis. That’s a city that was on the verge of making a commitment to NFL football and is the largest market without an NFL team. They should give San Diego a chance for an offer before making any move, but LA already has a team for its market and doesn’t need another.

  5. margoadams says: Feb 18, 2016 8:09 AM

    Billion Dollar Business with a $40M Dollar Man at the Helm. The NFL Can Get Their Greedy Little Hands Out of My Wallet!

  6. bearflagfan says: Feb 18, 2016 8:22 AM

    The Chargers stadium point man Mark Fabiani understands the politics of ballot propositions. They could easily have a ballot measure for California’s June primary election. But Fabiani knows primary elections only draw the extremes of each party and few other voters. Those two voting blocs, arch-conservatives and arch-liberals, hate spending public money on stadiums. He also knows that polling on spending any public money always starts with less than 50% support, whether it’s for schools, roads, or any other infrastructure spending.

    But successful voter education campaigns can sway enough voters to pass a measure. And while it seems silly when considering a ballot measure for building a stadium lasting 30-50 years, how the Chargers play in the 2016 season will affect the vote’s outcome.

    If I were the Chargers I would study the blueprint of how Seattle got its stadium built, then modify it for San Diego’s population. That means target two key support groups: San Diego State alumni, where it seems half the area’s population went to college, to play their six home games every year at the stadium; and the real secret, the Tijuana Xolos of Mexico’s La Liga soccer league. The Xolos have a huge following in the San Diego area, not just from the city’s large Latino population, but the many soccer fans who live in San Diego. And maybe Paul Allen can help grease the skids for the Spano’s family to buy an MLS team franchise for San Diego.

    There it is – enlist Aztecs and Xolos fans, and a winning 2016 Chargers season, they’ll pass the bond measure.

  7. steelerben says: Feb 18, 2016 8:50 AM

    The Chargers are committed to staying in San Diego. San Diego is still not committed to keeping the Chargers.


    Or more accurately:

    The Chargers were temporarily prevented from moving to LA and are going to try once more to trick the city of San Diego into paying for a significant portion of a stadium. San Diego is not still not willing to commit public funds to someone that can afford to do it on their own.

  8. intrafinesse says: Feb 18, 2016 9:12 AM

    Voter “education”? Why on earth should tax payers subsidize his stadium? Maybe the voters are educated and don’t want to pay for a billionaires stadium? The existing stadium can be used for soccer, can’t it?

    I have a novel idea – let the people attending the games pay for it via PSLs. If the owner can’t raise enough then he’s out of luck. How is Kroenke able to build his own stadium? Kraft built his own. Let the team move. The 66,000 fans who attend his games will be sad, the rest will watch some team on TV.

    >>But successful voter education campaigns can sway enough voters to pass a measure. And while it seems silly when considering a ballot measure for building a stadium lasting 30-50 years, how the Chargers play in the 2016 season will affect the vote’s outcome

  9. jmoney74 says: Feb 18, 2016 10:30 AM

    I agree with the poster above… why use public money when they will eventually threaten or actually leave in the future.

  10. jonathankrobinson424 says: Feb 18, 2016 10:31 AM

    …..bearflagfan has given more thought and insight into HOW to get a stadium built in San Diego, than the Chargers owners, the city council & major ,and the NFL power structure. Maybe Spanos and SD government need to read this board?

  11. JSpicoli says: Feb 18, 2016 1:17 PM

    Its a retirement, military and college town. No real cash there, at least no coporate sponsorship. What do that have
    PETCO and Nokia?

  12. yaryers says: Feb 18, 2016 1:53 PM

    San Diego’s population is 1.356M, which means it would cost each taxpayer an extra $275 to keep their team. Would I pay $275 to keep my team?


    I understand not everyone has that kind of money, but it’s really not that substantial an amount as a one time tax hike.

  13. mdintino1420 says: Feb 18, 2016 2:39 PM

    I really think they are going down a dangerous path in putting the stadium issue to a public vote. City and county officials are the only ones who need to approve a new stadium or modernization of the convention center.

    If you don’t like football or sports, fine. Please do not ruin it for those that do. In other words, DO NOT VOTE.

    If the referendum loses, Spanos will wash in hands to San Diego for good good and move the team to another city. He has a tentative deal to move to Los Angeles. Let’s preserve and improve city institutions like the Chargers and the stadium. Let’s show the world that we are an up to date NFL town. Something well beyond money would be lost if we lost the Chargers. VOTE YES TO PRESERVE OUR CULTURE AND TRADITION. VOTE YES SO YOU CAN TAKE YOUR KID TO SEE A CHARGER GAME FOR MANY YEARS TO COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. mdintino1420 says: Feb 18, 2016 2:45 PM

    It is crucial to get the YES VOTE out in full force. Tell your family members, friends, co-workers, church members, bowling league members, etc. TO VOTE YES. We need every vote we can get to defeat the ignorant cheapskates who will vote no


  15. mackcarrington says: Feb 18, 2016 3:42 PM

    The residents of San Diego are determined to prove that they don’t need the NFL to provide them an identity. They saw that the world didn’t come crashing to an end when LA went 20 years without pro football. In fact San Diego doesn’t really care about pro sports much at all. They’ve never tried to replace the 2 NBA franchises they lost and have never lobbied for the NHL or even pro soccer. They’re just fine with Comic-Con, their zoo, beaches and weather. San Diego doesn’t yearn for national attention or acceptance the way Buffalo, or Cleveland, for example, does.

  16. ivanpavlov0000 says: Feb 18, 2016 4:39 PM

    Public money (tax money) should never be used to fund an NFL stadium.

    The NFL (like many other corporations) believes in socializing its costs while privatizing its profits. A publicly funded stadium only helps the NFL and the owners. It provides a very poor return on investment for taxpayers.

    It’s worth noting that most of San Diego’s politicians love the idea of a new stadium, but the good citizens of San Diego want nothing to do with corporate welfare for billionaires.

  17. raiders757 says: Feb 19, 2016 1:55 PM

    What I don’t get, is that if the NFL rakes in billions every year, why don’t they give interest free loans to the teams that need new stadiums instead of having them mooch off the tax payers? Loan the teams the cash that would otherwise come from public funds, and have them pay it back over the course of a few years through their revenue shares.

    It’s a simple solution that takes the burden off the communities involved, and keeps the NFL product up to date.

  18. brettfavreisapacker4ever says: Feb 21, 2016 9:06 PM

    raiders757 says:
    if the NFL rakes in billions every year, why don’t they give interest free loans
    The “Billions” is a total of all 32 NFL teams and their merchandising. I’m pretty sure they committed to help with a new S.D. stadium. A good business deal is when 2 parties negotiate in a way that benefits each other. I know taxpayers hate taxes but I can’t see how you can let them leave for $375 million? Think of the lost revenue in so many ways. Taxes, small businesses in the area, restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. Lost jobs, You have to do it.
    It just hurts a little less if you build it.

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