The Chargers formally announced their plans for a citizens' initiative today, unveiling financing details for a proposed downtown stadium/convention center expansion.
Much will be hemmed, hawed, debated and dissected in the coming weeks and months. The 110-page initiative in its entirety can be found here.
Per the report, the $1.8 billion stadium (with $650 million of it being paid for by the Chargers and NFL) will contain approximately 65,000 seats and be expandable, as necessary, to host Super Bowls and other events. The team says it "looks forward to releasing some design drawings to the public in the coming weeks."
The Chargers must gather 66,447 signatures (from registered San Diego voters) by mid-June in order to get the initiative placed on the November ballot. Signature gathering will begin in about three weeks.
San Diego politicos wasted no time voicing uneasiness for the plan, which calls for a six-percent increase in the Transient Occupancy Tourism tax.
In a statement from Mayor Kevin Faulconer, he says: “After more than a decade, the Chargers are putting forward a plan of their own and San Diegans may finally have the ultimate say on a new stadium in November. The convention center element makes this proposal more than a stadium and the long-term future of San Diego’s tourism economy is now intertwined in this plan. As always, my top priorities are to protect jobs, protect taxpayers and do what’s right for all San Diegans. I will evaluate the proposal’s details through that lens.”
That was just one of many statements from the political community, all questioning (or resisting) the citizens' initiative. Things can change, and they may just do that once the Chargers release more details and design plans. How this looks now isn't necessarily how it will look in a month from now, or by November. More support for the project could be gained once questions are answered (including parking, traffic flow, how certain money is tagged, etc) and of course, the elephant in the room: Whether or not this project needs a simple majority or 2/3 vote to pass. That -- among other questions -- still remain.If you're looking for a silver lining, it's this: After weeks, months, years of waiting, the public finally has something to chew on as far as a stadium is concerned. Whether or not it will spit it out, remains to be seen.