SAN DIEGO (CBSLA.com) — For 21 years, Los Angeles didn’t have an NFL team. If San Diego doesn’t pass a voting measure in couple of weeks, it may soon have two.
If voters say no to Measure C, which would raise the city’s hotel tax 4 percent to help pay for the a new stadium and convention center downtown, the Chargers will have the NFL’s blessing to move in with the Rams in Inglewood when L.A.’s stadium is ready.
“The Chargers are part of San Diego’s heritage, our DNA,” Chargers fan John Herrick said. “As you can tell from the 40-50,00 people here, it’s part of our lives it’s part of who we are.”
The team has made it clear it wants to stay, and it will if voters approve a $1.8 billion project supporters call a “convadium” near near Petco Park and the Gaslamp District.
The Chargers play in the city’s Mission Valley area at Qualcom Stadium. Built in 1967, “The Q” is now one of the oldest NFL stadiums in the league.
“It took the threat of the team leaving for them to finally get off their butts and take it seriously,” Chargers fan Kimberly Newbold said.
But the measure’s lead opponent wants to know who will pay for parking, trolley lines, and freeway offramps. And what happens when there’s another recession? Hotels are the first to take a financial hit, council member Chris Cate says. “The city is going to be on the hook for over two billion dollars.”
At one of the city’s most popular sports bars, Chargers fans who live and work downtown say a new stadium downtown is a bad idea.
“It’s hard to even get here there’s no parking.” Chargers fan Maggie Contreras. “Just adding more people, it would be ridiculous just to get around.”
Measure C needs 67 percent Yes to pass. Recent polls show it may get sacked.