San Diego voters could decide if Chargers stay

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A Chargers Task Force stadium rendering.

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SAN DIEGO – If San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer gets his way, the decision on the new Chargers stadium could be up to voters.

“San Diegans deserve a vote on a new stadium,” said Faulconer following the second meeting between city/county leaders and the team.

On Tuesday, FOX 5 spoke with members of the mayor’s staff who said work begins now to prepare for a special election.

“All that is contingent upon reaching an agreement with the team,” said Matt Awbrey, Deputy Chief of Staff & Chief of Communications.

“What exactly is on the ballot will all depend on what is agreed to with the team,” said Erik Bruvold, President of National University’s Institute for Policy Research.

Bruvold also helped crunch the numbers in the Charger Stadium Task Force plan.

He said what’s critical will be the language of the ballot.

“The question is going to be how much taxpayer dollars are involved what the risk is going to be to tax payers in terms of future cost overruns and tax shortfalls,” said Bruvold.

The language will be dependent upon the agreement reached by the Chargers and city officials. The city council would have to approve any ballot measures by September 18, in order to refer them to the county Registrar of Voters office in time for a vote before the end of the year.

Bruvold estimated the cost of a special election around $2 million. He also said in general, such elections are risky.

“Turnout would be likely extremely low and I think even more so in December timeframe, it’s 10 days before Christmas.”

He also said the election may not bring out voters who support the Chargers.

“What we would get is an electorate that tends to be older to be older more conservative,” said Bruvold. “On the flip side, they have been around SD for a longer period of time, so that might work to the Chargers benefit too.”

First, the Chargers must decide whether they are going to stay in San Diego.

“Are the Chargers interested in making a deal and what kind of deal would that look like,” said Bruvold.

Awbrey said Mayor Faulconer is confident, the votes will come in.

“If this is a good deal, the San Diegans are going to support it,” said Awbrey. “We expect San Diegans to come out in droves and make sure their voices are heard.”

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