Chargers fan groups call for boycott of San Diego hotels - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Chargers fan groups call for boycott of San Diego hotels

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Some Chargers fan groups are calling for a boycott of hotels owned by influential hoteliers who oppose a stadium downtown with a convention center annex.

The boycott that's expected to grow, targets a dozen hotels controlled by three individual hoteliers.

The fan groups include the San Diego Stadium Coalition, Save Our Bolts and others. They said the hoteliers are using their political muscle to kill any downtown stadium project tied to convention center space.

The fan groups are echoing what a number of others have been saying for some time now and that is the hoteliers have too much influence at city hall.

In this case, it's the two ballot measures opening the door for a downtown stadium.

"It's the hoteliers and big money and the way special interests have run San Diego for the last decade plus, at least with the hotel industry, and then its the fans and the taxpayers and the voters that essentially are having decisions made for them," said Jason Riggs of the Stadium Coalition.

The visitor industry is the city's third largest money maker and much of that money comes through the tax on hotel room nights.

"The hoteliers have been the number one roadblock in this whole downtown stadium process they do not want a downtown stadium they don't want anyone touching this 30-million dollars plus of the transient occupancy tax that they essentially have the rights to," Riggs said.

A downtown stadium would shift a substantial portion of tax money from the hoteliers to the team in the Chargers plan and a lesser amount under the Citizens' Plan for San Diego that creates a path for a stadium. Either way, it's less money and control for hoteliers.

The fan groups want a stadium and their boycott is an effort to pressure the hoteliers to negotiate.

"If we can get everyone to coalesce around something that's actually gonna impact the Chargers bottom line that that's the one thing that might actually bring them to the table to negotiate in good faith," Riggs said.

Riggs said the boycott effort and the list of hotels will grow.

"Our group and save our bolts collectively we reach at least 40-thousand people, and that's a pretty decent chunk within those groups but then we're affiliated with other groups and have a much broader reach," he said.

Riggs said his group has connected with other fan groups across the country to expand their reach.

"We've already gotten support from a bunch of different groups all over the country in Buffalo, Miami, Oakland, L.A. with the rams organization there, so we're already getting momentum but again this is the the beginning we want to expand it from here," he said.

In the meantime, the Chargers remain committed to working with the hoteliers to garner their support.

The fan groups will soon publish a voter guide that will identify elected officials and candidates who support and oppose the two stadium initiatives.

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