Measure C fails, what happens next?
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The voters have spoken: No tax money of any kind for a Chargers downtown stadium.
So what’s next?
Dean Spanos said he’s weighing his options but he will not make a decision until the end of the football season.
The options include moving the team to Inglewood or to some other city, or staying in San Diego, which Spanos said he prefers.
A team statement from Spanos on election night, in part, urged San Diegans to be patient.
" … I’m sure we all want to put aside stadium talk for awhile and focus on the rest of the Chargers season. I’m eager to give the stadium debate a rest …" Spanos said.
The Chamber of Commerce backed the downtown stadium plan and CEO Jerry Sanders on Good Morning San Diego said the vote is not the end of the stadium.
"There will be continued dialogue. The Mayor was for this plan, so I think the door is open to have conversations. I firmly believe the Chargers will engage in those conversations, and it just depends on how we as a community can craft something that works for everybody," Sanders said.
Dr. Jim Lackritz of SDSU’s MBA Sports Business program agrees.
"They’re going to start discussing this today. It’s not going to be a public discussion probably until January or February," he said.
Lackritz said the Chargers dug themselves a hole by opposing the mayor’s Mission Valley plan an their attempt to move to Carson, which alienated not only their fans, but all of San Diego.
"If Dean really wanted to start to mend some of the damage that’s been done over the last 12 to 18 months he would immediately go the NFL and ask for an extension of the option to be able to go to Inglewood," he said.
Sanders said by going the Citizens’ Initiative route with a tax increase was very difficult to sell to the voters.
"When you try to put something that large, a concept that large, a vision that large in a ballot initiative, it’s pretty difficult to communicate how it’s going to benefit everybody," he said.
And the initiative’s language, and length, was far too complex for the average voter to comprehend.
"Not doing any sort of collaborative effort just coming out with this plan C saying this is what we want, this is a stadium that didn’t get any buy-in from major groups in San Diego," Lackritz said.
If Lackritz were advising the Chargers on what’s next, he would say:
"I would be telling him to immediately bring in Kevin Faulconer, and hoteliers and start to quietly behind the scenes build a coalition to see what are the options that we could all eventually agree on," he said.
And Sanders said an agreement is possible without a two-thirds vote, which killed Measure C.
"You can raise money in different ways with a 50 percent threshold but you have to be able to convince voters that it’s gonna be used for the purpose that they want it used for," he said.
As Yogi Berra would say: It ain’t over till it’s over.