The Chargers are seeking a four percent increase in the hotel tax rate in to help fund a $1.8 billion stadium and convention center complex in downtown San Diego near Petco Park (pictured).
According to Dan McSwain and Lori Weisberg of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the measure would go to a public vote in November.
The Chargers would contribute $650 million, which includes $300 million made available to the team by the NFL ($200 in stadium allocation funds and an additional $100 million in incentive given to the team during the Rams relocation vote to Los Angeles). The city would contribute $350 million in bonds covered by the increased hotel tax, and the building of the convention center.
The project could likely represent the last chance at the Chargers getting a new stadium in San Diego. The team has the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles and has up until January 2017 to make that decision. If an agreement between the Chargers and the city of San Diego can’t be reached on a stadium plan, or the tax increase measure isn’t voted through in November, the Chargers would likely feel little more obligation to remain in San Diego.
The extra $100 million in available funds from the NFL has given the Chargers incentive to find a deal in San Diego. Unlike most of 2015 when the city and team couldn’t even get to the table together, there seems to be a real effort to find a solution to keep the team in town. But getting voters to approve tax hikes for sports franchises has become increasingly more difficult. And even though this tax targets mainly travelers visiting San Diego instead of the local population, it can still be a tough sell to the public.