San Diego Election Results: Chargers’ stadium initiatives fall flat; Measures C and D fail to pass
The future of the San Diego Chargers remains in the air as Measure C — the Downtown Stadium Initiative — failed to come close to the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. The vote was open to voters within the San Diego city limits. Measure C was designed to fund the construction of the new stadium and convention center project by increasing San Diego’s hotel occupancy tax by six percent, along with a $650,000,000 contribution and 30-year commitment by a professional football entity.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer supported Measure C after waiting to take a stance on the issue, joining the Chargers, Dean Spanos and several independent groups who pushed to drive support for the downtown stadium. The stadium would have 65,000 seats, expendable to 75,000 seats, while the convention center expansion would provide 385,000 square feet.
Those in favor for C argued that the facility would be more than a stadium and convention center, providing space to host world-class events. The key has remained that San Diego residents would not face new or increased taxes despite the huge downtown project, while the city will oversee the design, construction and operation of the facility. 3,000 permanent jobs are projected to have been created with the new stadium.
The vote on Measure C is the culmination of a long battle on the future of the Chargers. The Chargers were one of the teams in discussions to move to Los Angeles, which ultimately went to the St. Louis Rams. The next location that could house an NFL team is Las Vegas, where the Oakland Raiders are linked as a top candidate for a move. Los Angeles could also be an option if an agreement is reached to house two teams in the to-be-constructed stadium in Inglewood.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos released this letter shortly after the results were clear that Measure C would not pass:
Despite the fact that Measure C failed to receive a two-thirds majority, I wanted to reach out right away with a very sincere thank you for your loyal support as a fan and for considering our initiative.
There is much we can be proud of tonight: the 110,000 residents who qualified the measure in just six short weeks; the vocal and passionate support from our fan groups and corporate partners; the strong endorsements and hard work of numerous civic, business, and labor leaders; and the heartfelt efforts of our alumni and players.
In terms of what comes next for the Chargers, it’s just too early to give you an answer. We are going to diligently explore and weigh our options, and do what is needed to maintain our options, but no decision will be announced until after the football season concludes and no decision will be made in haste.
The outpouring of support from friends like you, and so many others, has been heartwarming throughout the campaign and I will continue to be mindful of that in the weeks ahead.
Thank you, again, for believing in the Chargers. Everyone on the team and in my family appreciates your loyal support and continued patience, and we look forward to an exciting rest of the season.
Dean A. Spanos
Owner – Chairman of the Board
Measures C and D failing to pass doesn’t mean the end of the Chargers in San Diego, but it’s clear there are many obstacles to clear before this situation has a resolution one way or the other. Stay tuned to KUSI as we cover what comes next for the Chargers.