Another way to fund a New Stadium

Every once in awhile a good idea hits you without you even knowing it, in my case, it came across my E-mail in a letter by Rob Evans who was letting me know he enjoyed one of my articles on the Stadium issue and he dropped his idea on me on how we should fund a New Stadium without costing the "Tax" payers of this city a dime, well, unless you rent a hotel room that is.

Rob told me that he recently took some trips to cities where they have built new stadiums and as he received his bill for his hotel room he noticed a tax that was added for the sports stadium. Now there is a concept for you tax the tourist to pay for your stadium and you don't pay a dime. Now the question is how and would this work in the City of San Diego?

The answer is sure it would, according to CONVIS (San Diego Convention Visitors Bureau) San Diego is projected to reach 15.5 million overnight visitors an overall increase of 2.3 percent over the 2002 total. Ok let's stop here for one moment. I can remember going to my buddies wedding in Las Vegas and the first thing they told me is that I have to pay a 2 dollar a night electricity Charge for each night I am there. I was there 3 nights so I donated 6 bucks to keeping the lights on in Las Vegas, and that got me to thinking when I read Rob's E-Mail, if San Diego did do something like that as he proposes just in overnight Visitors the city could make 30 Million right there in Overnight guest's that just stay in San Diego one night. They predict San Diego hotel Occupancy to hover around 69.4 percent and overall tourist spending to be close to 5.4 billion dollars. That is a lot of spending, but wait, by reading this if Tourists are spending on Average 5.4 billion dollars, where is that money going? Another topic for another story, my goal is an alternative way of getting money to keep the Chargers in San Diego.

San Diego's Hotel inventory is due to increase also giving 51,469 rooms being available countywide the average hotel rate is also going up to $111.43 dollars per room. What does all this mean, well it means more rooms, more people staying in them, the more Tourists the more money they spend. When you book a room, do you ask what Taxes you are paying? I did not even know Las Vegas had an electricity tax on their Rooms till I paid it. What was I going to do tell them No? EVERY Hotel charged the same exact Tax.

Rob had some great insight on this; he indulged me with his thoughts which I thought were great. For one, what will happen with the Q if the Chargers Leave is my first Question? Second Question, what is going to happen to the Aztecs venue and the Holiday Bowl? They will not be able to afford the rent on the stadium, there goes some of that Tourism that CONVIS is hoping for, also, I know that last year for the KC game about 6,000 fans make the trek from KC to San Diego for the game. Ok so that is but a smidgen of the tourist industry but that is 6,000 fans that rented rooms and spent money in this city that will no longer do so if the Chargers move. Of course no one is thinking on the likes of what it will cost the city if they do lose the Chargers…

I know they are to make around 300 million or so for this Super Bowl. Well there is 300 million they are going to lose every 5-10 years, and think about it, 70 thousand people occupied hotels in this City, well ok take away maybe 10 thousand that went to San Diego Residents, and you have 60 thousand people that if you charged them that 2 dollar tax Contributed to keeping the Chargers in San Diego and helping to secure more Super Bowls, do you think they would mind? I can guarantee over half of them did not even look at the bill till they got home.

Do you think people stop going to Las Vegas just cause they have to pay an extra 2 dollars a day to help keep the lights on so that they can Gamble? Other cities charge us as tourists when we go to visit to fund their stadiums, Cities like Denver and Seattle that have recently opened new stadiums. Stay at one of their hotels and check your bill you will see a stadium tax on there. Why? Because they know something our city does not think about, THE NFL means Money. I don't care what you think of the owners, Football brings money, it brings tourist Dollars every year by the thousands. Will San Diego go Broke if it loses the Chargers, no, but it will lose a chunk of its Tourist season. Look at it this way, when the 6,000 come from KC do you think they spend only the money for the tickets to the game, the airfare, the Hotel room and the rental car? No they go to the zoos, the Wild Animal Park, and Sea World; they go to restaurants, movies and the Gas Lamp district.

I know we are Charger fans so we do not speak the dreaded R word (shhhhh), but let's look at last years Charger vs. Raider's home game. Everyone agrees they were mostly Raider fans, I say 60/40 others say a little more a little less, a lot came down that day but even more came to stay overnight. Hell they call this their second home, make them pay for it with the hotel tax, then they will be funding Al Davis with a new home at least one game out of the year.

If it works in other cities why can it not work in San Diego, it takes no money away from the citizens of San Diego, it charges that tourist, who believe me wont stop coming cause of an extra 2 dollar a day in Tax on their room. In the end, it frees up money for other uses, like Schools, fireman, policeman and roadwork that needs to be done, and when all is said and done, that extra 2 dollars will be helping to generate even more income and jobs for the City and the surrounding counties. If it is that simple for a regular Joe like Rob and myself, why is it not that simple for the city council or our governing body?

Well that is simple to, they are not thinking of the whole impact, they are thinking with anger, they are thinking I am not going to give Spanos what he wants, I am not going to help that Evil empire known as the Chargers to castigate itself all over the citizens of this poor city. Bahhhhh, Rubbish I say, what they are doing is alienating the NFL and the Chargers and helping them to move that much quicker. Why is it so hard to think with your minds and not your head and not your stupidity, Anger gets you nowhere, believe me I know. If they sit down and talk and instead of complaining that the Chargers want a new stadium, or moaning that we are not going to do anything to help Darth-Spanos and his evil empire, and start thinking there are millions of dollars in revenue to be gained by building a new Stadium and there are millions of Dollars that can be saved by adding that 2 dollar tax to the hotel's and motels in the area instead of on the citizens of San Diego. Why can they not think about what is economically beneficial to this town? Oh I know it will hurt the pocket they say if we build one, the money won't go to the schools, police officers or road work, well is the money going there now? I see they voted themselves a raise almost every year, if they are so worried about Money why don't they give some of that money Back?

One other thing of note before I end my ramble, one other thing the City can do is share the wealth, why not get help from the surrounding Counties, like North County, East County and South Bay? We spend our Money at the stadium just like anyone else; we buy tickets and concession and pay for the outrageous parking fees. Why not have the 4 counties help out by throwing in a few million, the tourism from these games and Super Bowls help these counties as much as the help the City. I mean our Team is getting voted out of here and we are not even getting a say in it, but they accept our money for the games just the same. Allow the Counties to help out, take some of the pressure off the City itself that would ease the burden of hurting the City and its taxpayers to foot the whole (half) bill. Look at the Chargers; they are getting Help from the NFL. Why? Because putting aside the stupid comments of Tagliabue, they know that San Diego is a great place to play football and to see a game; it also is a great place for the NFL to make money. Of course we are not LA, where there is Tinsel Town and big Money, but we throw one Hell of a party for the Super Bowl and they know it. They do not want to lose that anymore then we do.

First thing any citizen that earns an income in this town says is no new Taxes, and they mean for themselves not to be taxed, they do not want to pay anymore then they have to, and I agree on that, but I say tax the tourist, heck they come here to this town to see the games. Two Dollars, nothing more, nothing less. If we can help keep the lights on in Vegas, why can't they help us keep the Chargers in San Diego. Thanks Rob, good to see at least someone out there is thinking with a straight head.

Boltaholic can be reached at: Boltaholic

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Rob Evans contributed to this report.

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