It has long been likely that a proposed stadium/convention center for the San Diego Chargers will fall short at the ballot, but recent numbers look even worse.
With a two-thirds majority needed and a tepid reaction to the plan in some corners, it has looked as if the Chargers are facing an uphill battle to have the measure approved. On the ballot as Measure C, the proposal calls for a hotel tax increase from 12.5% to 16.5% to cover a public contribution for the $1.8 billion stadium/convention center in downtown San Diego.
Polling in recent months has shown that the plan is unlikely to pass, and that trend is continuing as Election Day approaches. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
A Union-Tribune/10News poll released Thursday shows that Measure C is trailing 55 percent to 45 percent among actual voters and likely voters who are certain how they will vote, down from a 52 percent to 48 percent margin against the measure in mid-October.
The latest poll, which included likely voters and people who have actually cast mail ballots, shows Measure C is far short of the two-thirds support — 66.7 percent — required for approval.
It also shows the measure appears likely to fall short of a simple majority.
That could matter if the state Supreme Court upholds a March lower court ruling that tax increases by citizen’s initiative require approval by a simple majority instead of two-thirds of voters.
Beyond Tuesday, the Chargers will have to consider their options. It has been suggested that a good showing at the polls, even if Measure C fails to receive two-thirds approval, could allow the team to reopen talks with San Diego officials.
If this proposal fails, and fails by a wide margin, the picture becomes less certain. Chargers owner Dean Spanos has already said that the team is not interested in building a stadium in Mission Valley, where Qualcomm Stadium is located. The franchise also has an option to move to Los Angeles. If exercised by the middle of January, the Chargers could relocate to Los Angeles and, within the next few years, join the Los Angeles Rams at a new stadium in Inglewood.