As the Chargers move forward with their efforts to remain in San Diego, the team has pulled the sheet off the legal process that will be used to position the effort for an up-or-down vote of the electorate.
A “Citizens’ Initiative” has been finalized. If successful, the team will have the green light for a new stadium in San Diego.
“We are excited to report that our Citizens’ Initiative has been finalized,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said in a team-issued release. “We believe this is a great opportunity for the community to come together and create something special: an iconic, modern multi-purpose venue while also supporting and expanding our tourism and convention industries.”
The ballot box opens on November 8 (the same day as the presidential election), if the Chargers can gather 66,447 signatures through a petition drive by the middle of June.
The city’s contribution of $350 million toward the $1 billion proposed stadium would come from a hotel tax, and the effort to gather signatures for the petition can begin three weeks after publication of the Citizens’ Initiative in the local newspaper.
The real question is whether the effort requires a majority vote or a supermajority of two thirds of the ballots cast.
“There is a brand new California Court of Appeal decision that will help determine the answer to these questions,” the team explains in a question-and-answer session regarding various issues, including the 2/3 majority. “That decision is now being carefully evaluated by the San Diego City Attorney along with lawyers all across California. In the meantime, our goal is to win the support of as many voters as possible.”
The percentage required may go a long way toward resolving the issue. Then again, given the current national mood regarding the subsidization of sports venues, the initiative may not even get to 50 percent.
If the effort fails, the chances of the team moving to Los Angeles increase, dramatically.