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Chargers seeking hotel tax hike to help finance new San Diego stadium

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 5:  A general view of Petco Park and the new pedestrian bridge before the start of the San Francisco Giants vs. the San Diego Padres MLB Game on April 5, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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41 Responses to “Chargers seeking hotel tax hike to help finance new San Diego stadium”
  1. iceracer2015 says: Mar 23, 2016 1:20 AM

    Build.Your.Own Stadium.

    #ThatIsAll

  2. broncosbeliever says: Mar 23, 2016 1:29 AM

    The only reason that I care about the Chargers staying in San Diego, is that I have the option to watch the Broncos live once a year if I want. I observe year in and year out how the Chargers ownership seems to only want to run it like a money making machine. They don’t care about the fans. LA was pursued for monetary reasons only. If they get their new stadium downtown where they want it, I don’t believe they will improve upon the product they put out now.

  3. powpow042 says: Mar 23, 2016 1:29 AM

    It’s technically a 6.5% increase in the hotel tax.

    The city currently collects at 10.5% with a 2% surcharge added from the Tourism Marketing District.

    The TMD is likely to be dissolved as it’s the subject of a lawsuit.

    So essentially the city would go from 10.5% to 16.5%…bringing it more in line with LA, SF and Anaheim.

    Every one cent is equivalent to about 17 million dollars.

  4. powpow042 says: Mar 23, 2016 1:29 AM

    Oops…bad math. 6% increase.

  5. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 23, 2016 1:35 AM

    No more welfare for billionaires! If you want a stadium, build it yourself, end of story!

  6. jimnaizeeum says: Mar 23, 2016 1:42 AM

    Of course they are.

  7. gopack1991 says: Mar 23, 2016 1:55 AM

    Where is the other $800m coming from?

  8. sdnative1904 says: Mar 23, 2016 1:57 AM

    Pay up tourist !

  9. R.J. says: Mar 23, 2016 2:02 AM

    This is never going to pass. C ya, Chargers!

  10. maiphatdong says: Mar 23, 2016 2:40 AM

    so long San Diego!

  11. pacificdan says: Mar 23, 2016 2:48 AM

    Another multi-millionaire owner, who most likely fancies himself a conservative, trying to force the expense of running his business onto the taxpayers through governmental action.

  12. judalation says: Mar 23, 2016 4:12 AM

    Why not use the taxpayers money to pay for the crumbling infrastructure in America instead? My 2001 Lexus GS300 wheel axial just broke a few days ago because of the repugnant roads that I have to drive every day… Its literally a roller coaster in the east coast after winter.

    On top of that I just had to fix my shocks for the same reason a few months back… If these billionaire don’t have enough money for a billion dollar tax free stadium, do what we commoners do and work within your budget. Hotel Goers should not be taxed to pay for a stadium when the profits are private and the losses are passed on to the taxpayers.

  13. kiwicricket says: Mar 23, 2016 5:03 AM

    Tax tourists so that you can help build a new stadium for a multi billionaire. Yup, great idea. Sounds fair.
    (Increasing tourist tax, creating revenue and using it for something else perhaps?)

  14. tccoats says: Mar 23, 2016 5:31 AM

    Hotel tax and rental car tax……always tax the tourists, no money spent by the locals. It’s the smartest way to go.

  15. uglydingo says: Mar 23, 2016 6:02 AM

    Welfare for billionaires (plus now let’s try to make San Diego visitors get slugged).
    Why do the Chargers need a $1.8 Billion stadium? If the Spanos family can’t make the math work, it’s time to sell the team.

  16. keylimelight says: Mar 23, 2016 6:58 AM

    What a rip off.

    4% on hotel stays all for an nfl stadium.

  17. steeltroll says: Mar 23, 2016 7:21 AM

    Hey Chargers Ownership: YOU pay for it you rich jerk.

  18. dtr3e says: Mar 23, 2016 7:43 AM

    No more tax dollars! And how sly to tax the people who are visiting that city. Who more than likely won’t even be attending a Chargers game…

  19. ravenswinsuperbowl47 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:17 AM

    Fingers crossed that San Diego voters approve this deal. San Diego is one of the top NFL cities for road trips.

  20. logast says: Mar 23, 2016 8:17 AM

    It never ends. As if there aren’t enough taxes in the fiscal train wreck that is the state of California.

    Because of Lucas Oil Stadium, Marion County and the seven counties that border Marion County all have elevated taxes. These are taxes on hotel rooms, rental cars and meals. And it still hasn’t been enough.

    Guess who gets the short end of the stick? It ain’t the league.

  21. musicfootballprogramming says: Mar 23, 2016 8:24 AM

    Maybe they should get the billionaires who want to build it to chip in.

  22. excusemewhileiwhipthisoutagain says: Mar 23, 2016 8:26 AM

    None of which should stop it from being done.

    There is nothing stupider then relocating to be second fiddle where you fan base isnt (and paying $500M to do so) instead of contributing some or all of that $500M to stadium construction in the city where your fanbase is.

    The San Diego Chargers perceived ownership of the LA Market is a joke.

  23. tahnoonzee says: Mar 23, 2016 8:42 AM

    SB celebration downtown SD February 2017. Bolt up!

  24. blakemize says: Mar 23, 2016 8:45 AM

    How is a tax on someone else hard to sell? A notable politician has that as his lone platform plank.

  25. fordmandalay says: Mar 23, 2016 8:46 AM

    Not one more dollar in billionaire welfare. San Diego won’t hurt one bit if the Chargers leave. Let them be the second tier team in L.A. if they want to.

  26. garbageman1 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:55 AM

    No tailgating at this location, why even go if you can’t tailgate that’s half the NFL experience, you might as well watch on TV at home of a bar! Works for MLB but not the NFL.

  27. nextmanup81 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:57 AM

    Why on earth do they need to spend 1.8 billion dollars on a stadium? My lord that’s a lot of money

  28. lobzila says: Mar 23, 2016 9:00 AM

    This future former Charger fan wishes them well in whatever city they end up in. This “were leaving, now were staying, but we might leave if we don’t get a stadium” whining has done nothing but drive off the fans. The Chargers are like a crazy ex-girlfriend, threatening to leave one minute, but will only stay if she gets her way. Like all crazy ex’s, its time to move on. Oh sure, there are a few fond memories, But look at how well the team has treated its star players in the past, Weddle, Seau, Tomlinson, Brees. The Chargers treat there fans the same way when they pull this routine. We might put up with it if you would feild a decent team, but your decent team has been going downhill since you fired Marty Schottenhiemer for having the nerve to put together a 14-2 team.
    Good luck in LA in 2017. Maybe Kronke will cut you a deal. This fan is done with you. Might as well become a Raider fan now.

  29. margoadams says: Mar 23, 2016 9:06 AM

    Tax your customer base then flip them the middle finger and play a game or two in Mexico or London. Screwing the stadium & concession workers out of a days pay. Sounds like a plan. Not!

  30. jjackwagon says: Mar 23, 2016 9:06 AM

    St Louis, San Antonio, Las Vegas, LA, each is a better option than staying in San Diego. No reason to stay in a city that clearly does not want you.

  31. stew48 says: Mar 23, 2016 9:19 AM

    Gee, it took a long time to get to this, which is probably the best answer. Note how the naysayers ignored the 650 mil from owners. If handled well by city and owners, this will pass easily. BTW, most of he hotel taxes are actually paid by……yep wealthy business owners! Further, it is my guess none of the negativity vomiters have ever been to SD.

  32. boltbacker619 says: Mar 23, 2016 9:21 AM

    I totally agree garbage man. Me and my buds would attend 30-40 Padre games a year to tailgate at Qualcomm where the chargers play. Since Petco has opened I’ve been to 4 games. Because the tailgating sucks downtown. I’ve attended 70-80 Charger games. And would love to see the stadium stay in mission valley for 1.4 billion. If not I don’t see myself attending too many games anymore

  33. milwaukeeguy says: Mar 23, 2016 9:25 AM

    San Diego is a convention city so they are going to do the hotel tax anyways for the updated convention center, so if a majority of SD voters want to expand that tax to include a stadium for the Chargers, that’s their choice. But, unlike WI where I live, SD has arguably the best weather and geography in the US, so they have leverage – they really don’t need a money grubbing, privately owned NFL team when there are so many other quality of life options available.

  34. quicktaker says: Mar 23, 2016 9:30 AM

    Raising taxes will hurt tourism, the local hotel industry, and the rental car companies all for building an unneeded building. Real 365 day jobs will be affected for a building that will host 10 games a year. I hate traveling to towns when the hotel and rental car fees are artificially grossly inflated.

  35. steelerben says: Mar 23, 2016 10:17 AM

    It makes sense to use a tax on hotels to help pay for the stadium since travelling fans of the opposing teams will be filling the seats.

  36. rcali says: Mar 23, 2016 11:19 AM

    I can speak for myself that when it comes to vacation destinations we take a long look at the rental car and hotel taxes as cities have leveraged this very highly to fund their toys. Be careful San Diego, Vegas is expanding their convention center.

  37. rao50858 says: Mar 23, 2016 11:32 AM

    There’s no way this gets done for 1.8 billion. Between land acquisition, building costs and most importantly infrastructure costs, there is no way this stays on budget. Who’s going to cover the cost overruns? The downtown area can barely handle 25k fans at a Padres game, I’m thinks 75k would be a nightmare without major, major infrastructure improvements.

  38. mdintino1420 says: Mar 23, 2016 12:28 PM

    Charger fans, Aztec Alums, and Comic Con fans need to get out the vote and get this thing done. We have a chance to improve our city’s infrastructure/economy and preserve our traditions and culture. We have a lot to gain from voting yes and a a lot to lose voting no.

    STAND UP SAN DIEGO and fight for what’s right in your town..

    BTW, the Vikings are moving into a billion dollar domed stadium with the tax payers footing half the bill. They did not have a public vote. San Diego is obeying the law in getting voter imput. You would have to be a narrow minded cheapskate to vote no.

    VOTE YES NOVEMBER 8th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. mongo3401 says: Mar 23, 2016 12:46 PM

    And the citizens are still on the hook for 272 million for Petco. New stadium is not happening especially with no tailgating down in that area.

  40. Tucker Peterson says: Mar 23, 2016 4:37 PM

    This is exactly what they needed to do to pass this on the ballot – public does not want taxes raised but by putting this on the hotels that solves the probelm: make the tourists pay for it. Tourism is San Diego’s #1 economic revenue generator and it only makes sense.

    All of you who are jumping to conclusions already batting this project down need to stop. This is huge for the city of San Diego. Open your eyes and step it up.

  41. Tucker Peterson says: Mar 23, 2016 4:47 PM

    LASTLY, the raise in the tourist tax is PERMANENT. What does that mean? Once the stadium AND CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION (ppl seem to be forgetting that part of this project) are DONE, San Diego continues to get this revenue from the raise in taxes. Basically free money for the city which can be spent on anything.

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