Chargers to release economic impact study of downtown stadium
SAN DIEGO — A study is expected to be released Tuesday morning detailing the expected economic impact of the Chargers’ initiative to build a stadium and convention center annex in downtown San Diego if it is approved by voters this November.
Alan Gin, a professor at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, and Murtaza Baxamusa, director of planning and development for the San Diego Building Trades Council Family Housing Corp., authored the report tracking how many construction and permanent jobs the plan known as Measure C would create, along with the impact of its construction and future operations on regional economic output and on labor income.
The Chargers have sought to replace Qualcomm Stadium for years. Local officials had initially offered to build a replacement on the Mission Valley site, but the team rejected the plan in favor of a move to an East Village location near Petco Park.
Measure C, if approved by two-thirds of voters, would raise San Diego’s hotel room tax to help pay for the project, which has an estimated price tag of $1.8 billion. The levy is currently 10.5 percent, with a separate 2 percent fee that funds tourism marketing. Measure C would raise the tax to a total of 16.5 percent.
The Chargers and NFL would kick in a combined $650 million toward the project. Team executives said the combined facility would not only result in a state-of-the-art football stadium, but space that could be used for around 300 days a year.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorsed the initiative after Chargers executives agreed to cover any cost overrides related to the construction or land purchases, guaranteed that the city’s general fund would not be used and, among other concessions, agreed to turn over to the city revenue generated from non-NFL events.
The team would also repay the city preliminary costs if the Chargers relocate before construction begins and pledge to remain in San Diego until the project’s initial debt was paid off.
“This wasn’t about the short term of the November election, it was about the long-term protections that we need for decades to come,” Faulconer told City News Service Monday.
Measure C opponents — including City Councilmen David Alvarez, Chris Cate, and Scott Sherman, along with Councilman-elect Chris Ward and other civic leaders — ratcheted up their campaign Monday and continued to criticize the plan.
“A lot of promises are being made by the Chargers and by others,” Alvarez said. “Talk is cheap — the only thing that matters is what’s on the ballot. That is the only thing that’s legally binding.”