Stadium Watch: Backers of competing initiatives meet to discuss stadium plans

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The Chargers held another in a series of behind-the-scenes meetings with the backers of a competing initiative hoping to persuade them to drop their plan. 

Both ballot measures rely on increasing the hotel tax but the "Citizens’ Plan for San Diego" backed by Donna Frye and Cory Briggs said none of that money will be used for a stadium.

With both plans relying on hotel tax money paid for by visitors, having both on the same ballot could mean both are likely to fail.

On "Good Morning San Diego," Cory Briggs said the Chargers agree with the Citizens’ Plan that backs a Convention Center annex in the East Village and a vision for a higher education center in Mission Valley.

"The Citizens’ Plan is trying to get that implemented with voter support. The Chargers happen to share that view and they want to be supportive. They’ve always been supportive of that. We’re simply talking to them about additional ways that we can enlist their support to make this vision become a reality," Briggs said.

These meetings have been ongoing, twice last week alone, but they haven’t been able to reconcile their differences.

While the two sides share some common goals, such as Convention Center space, and the vision for Mission Valley, the Chargers believe the Briggs plan has too many legal problems to merge the two.

One being the 50% plus one vote instead of two-thirds.

And the Briggs plan mentions Convention Center space and a hotel tax, multiple subjects that could be a violation of the single subject rule for initiatives and of course, there’s the no money for the Chargers.

"the chargers think they need some public money, they’re trying to fill in what they believe to be a gap in our initiative, that’s fine if they can persuade the voters that’s great." Briggs said.

The Citizens’ Plan has collected enough signatures. It too has to persuade voters.

"We’re simply continuing discussions on how to make that a reality," Briggs said.

This division has spread to elected officials and the voters. 

The funding gap for the Chargers right now is $350 million to be filled by hotel tax money. Councilmember Chris Cate said the Chargers can fill that with $320 million from personal seat licenses, naming rights and revenues from other NFL events at the stadium.

"When you take the $320 million and the team’s contributing $350-million, they’re almost able to recover all of their capital costs thru those types of revenue streams," Cate said.

And Cate said any money going to a stadium reduces what goes to the city treasury.

"Any impact however negative or how minimal it will be in reducing the amount of tot that comes to the city will have an impact on taxpayers," Cate said.

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