No on Chargers Stadium Coalition - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

No on Chargers Stadium Coalition

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No on Chargers Stadium Coalition No on Chargers Stadium Coalition

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The coalition opposing the Chargers Initiative has issued an open memo to all San Diegans.

The memo, from a coalition called, "No Downtown Stadium. Jobs and Streets First," sees a number of hidden costs in addition to the $1.1 billion the team would get from raising the hotel tax.

Here are four of them with responses from the Chargers.

The first is the lease the Padres have with the city that gives them 1,000 spaces at Tailgate Park. The coalition says if the stadium is built, the city is on the hook for providing new parking spaces.

"That could result in 10's of millions of dollars in costs to the city and taxpayers to pay for that new parking structure for those spaces," said Chris Cate, who is part of the new coalition.

Chargers stadium point-man Fred Maas said the Chargers Initiative offers a solution to that problem.

"That parking obligation will be the responsibility of the Chargers and the JPA that's ultimately going to build the facility," he said.

Items two and three: The coalition said the initiative cuts tourism marketing dollars in half and if hotel taxes drop for whatever reason, the taxpayers would have to make up the difference to make the bond payments.

"If we see any kind of reduction in hotel tax money because of a recession or economic downturn the city is on the hook to pay for that debt," Cate said.

Maas said the initiative did stress tests that factored in a downturn and marketing dollars would be sustained over the life of the project.

"The same folks who are making these points seem to ignore the fact that if you apply that same stress test to the 15 and a half tax that they supported for the contiguous space you run into enormous problems," Maas said.

Then there's the land issue. The coalition said the East Village is thriving right now and development there would generate more tax dollars than a stadium.

"These are valuable pieces of land that we believe could potentially be developed for a higher and better use and there's a potential for more money to come into the city," Cate said.

Maas said the costs associated with a smaller development in the East Village, the MTS bus yards issue aside, are enormous. The parking obligations along would bury any small development.

"On the one hand you can't say that they're trying to avoid the parking obligations, but on the other hand say the parcel's so valuable that there's a better use for it. It is disingenuous and incongruous, they both can't be true," Maas said.

Maas said the only way to realize the opportunities on that East Village site with a large development like a stadium with a convention annex.

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